Current Winners



MahliAnnButtMahli-Ann Rakkomkaew Butt is a PhD candidate at The University of Sydney in the departments of Media & Communications and Gender & Cultural Studies. For the PhD thesis, she is conducting an ethnography investigating the roles women are afforded in gaming, with a focus on the affective dynamisms and negotiations of social gaming spaces and gaming relationships. Mahli-Ann is the student officer for the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and its local chapter DiGRA Australia. She is also an editorial board member for the peer-review game studies student journal Press Start.

AndreaHayesMy name is Andrea Hayes and I’m 23 years old. I am an indie game designer and an MA student from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. My MA is focused on the representation of women in video games, as well as how game designers are able to challenge the narrative trope of the damsel in distress through game design principles. When it comes to making games, I normally take the roles of programmer and/or creative writer. Currently I am working on a game called “Helping Hand”, where I am the lead creative writer and project manager.

RohanMaloneRohan is a young programming and design student living in Melbourne who is slowly creeping into the video game industry. He is particularly interested in narrative driven experiences, interesting mechanics, puzzles and all things robotic and/or cute. With an affinity for 2D games with colourful and cute characters, he wants to make games for everyone. He is always excited to meet, learn from, and work with a diverse range of people and ideas and is endeavouring to build a network of all sorts of creative new friends from all walks of life.

EmilyMulgrueAfter building a career in Telecommunications through her early twenties, Emily Mulgrue decided take a risk – she left her job, and threw herself into becoming a Game Dev. Over two years later, Emily is finalising her studies of Game Design & Production. As well as completing multiple small games, Emily also manages a Facebook community called Women + NB Studying Games (W+NBSG), aimed at supporting women and Non-Binary game dev students. W+NBSG has 190 members worldwide. Emily also devotes time to helping other Game Dev events in Melbourne, like Alterconf and VR Content Creators (VRCC) events.

ChimaDenzelNgeremChima Denzel Ngerem is a bit of a unique individual… A lawyer turned video game producer. He has both an LLB from the London School of Economics & Political science as well as MSc in Video Game Enterprise & Production, graduating with a distinction, from Birmingham City University. He has also recently completed a six month internship at Nintendo’s European Headquarters in Frankfurt Germany. He is now currently enrolled in the Nigerian Law School. He’s looking to learn more about the video game industry with the aim of ultimately setting up his own video games studio back in Nigeria.


NoniOchNoni Och is a Sydney based Game Designer, with a passion for Narrative Design. She enjoys creating stories that give players ‘all the feels’ as well as making games that educate players on serious issues. Noni is an advocate for diversity, both in games and the teams that create them. In January 2017, she helped run the Sydney Girls Make Games camp and she wants to continue inspiring young women to pursue games development. She hopes to write diverse characters and stories that are often neglected by mainstream media, so more people can see themselves represented in games.

AidanWallAidan Wall is a writer, artist, musician, and game designer from Dublin, Ireland. Their research revolves around the radical potential of games as experiences which can help reflect or make transparent oppressive systems of governance under neoliberal capitalism. This research output takes the form of essays, publications, performances, and tabletop games. While pursuing an independent research and artistic practice, Aidan also works as a producer with the independent video game company Dreamfeel. Their most recent tabletop project NO PLINTH sought to investigate how gendered subjectivities might be subverted in a game’s fiction as well as in its systems.


ChrisWrattChris Wratt has a broad background in audio, from C DSP programming, to composition and field recording. They have experience working on a variety of academic and industry projects, including developing audio plugins for film post production, creating audio for video games, and touring as a performer of experimental music throughout Japan, Korea, and Aotearoa. Chris has a strong fascination with real-time interactive audio. Their current masters research at the Victoria University of Wellington involves developing software synthesizers and generative systems to create new audio tools for video game developers.