Current Winners

GDC 2018

Myriam Beauvais is a Montreal based software engineer doing her Master’s of Engineering at McGill University in Real-time Rendering. She started her career in Video Games at Eidos-Montreal as a Graphics Programmer intern where she worked on the Tomb Raider’s franchise. She’s into leveraging Computer Graphics to enhance storytelling and experiences. Myriam has also been volunteering at SIGGRAPH and for the CS Games since 2015, has organized a Birds of a Feather session on VR Ethics at SIGGRAPH 2017 and is contributing to the SIGGRAPH 2018 Creative Development Committee.

Alice Bowman is an alumni of the University of East London’s Game Design: Story Development degree, and is now a PhD student at Abertay University in the department of Games and Arts. Her research focuses on exploring how games and interactive narratives can be used to support cancer patients. Alice is also a writer and designer with industry experience at Failbetter Games, King and Outplay Entertainment.


Christina “Phazero” Curlee is a game designer and game artist based in Los Angeles, California. A first year MFA student at the University of California, she enjoys creating boundary breaking games that explore emotional experiences, marginalized identities, “digital consciousness”, and video games as art practice. Her current project is a game experience about childhood neglect, coping, and what it means to be an adult that has learned to live comfortably with trauma. Phaz plans to keep building unusual worlds; and work in, teach, and play games forever more.

Lars de Wildt is a Ph.D. candidate at KU Leuven (Leuven University)’s Institute for Media Studies. His research focuses on how developers and players of videogames use religion in the post-secular 21st century, despite often being from non-religious and differently religious backgrounds. He is involved in various projects around games, game industry and culture, including research on cultural capital, leadership and subjecthood. Super Mario World is the perfect game and no arguments can disprove that. Lars is a member of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), chairman of its local chapter DiGRA Flanders, and is on the Press Start Journal editorial board.

Kiara du Toit started tertiary education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand with a BA/Fine Arts conjoint degree but fell down a biological anthropology rabbit hole and ended up with a Bachelors of Science instead. She then worked in the fine arts scene anyway as a gallery assistant and public educator at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki before she was drawn to the games industry, hoping for opportunities to utilize the widest range of her seemingly disparate interests and skills. She is now in her last year of a Creative Technologies (Game Art) degree at Media Design School.

Logan Erickson is a breakdancing game designer and storyteller with an energetic passion and undying motivation for game development. He carries out his dream every day in Salt Lake City at a local studio start-up, Octothorpe, and as a student in the University of Utah’s Undergraduate Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program. He has a particular interest in the adoption of games in neurology, wellness, and education, and believes in tapping into the potential of entertaining games with serious societal benefits. Logan’s goal is to create experiences that do more than entertain–experiences that create positive educational and social impact.

Klaus Fehkührer is a game designer and VFX enthusiast currently writing his master’s thesis about community-friendly game design. He’s simultaneously founding an indie game company together with three of his study colleagues in Vienna, Austria. While still in university his team developed the pacifistic exploration game “NIVA”, which was able to collect a couple of awards. Recently they started working on their debut adventure game “Weaving Tides” and they strive to make it the first of their innovative and inclusive titles.

Tyler Haddad is a Producer/Project Manager and the founder of GameCraft, a STEAM program for underserved young people in the Lawrence, MA area that uses video game development as a vehicle to teach STEAM concepts. Tyler also founded Graybox QA, a QA outsourcing service, and Psychoactive Entertainment, a game development company working on its first project.

Shuaiying ‘Shane’ Hou is a Game Designer and Programmer born in Shanghai, China. He started his career in the mobile game industry in 2011. During his career, he worked for several released game titles, also participated in lots of game jam events and developed over ten mini-games in his spare time. To pursue his career goal, in 2017 Shane moved to the UK and started to study game design in National Film and Television School. He is also working on his indie game project, which focuses on the topic of game censorship, and freedom of speech.

Adam Kallibjian is a composer for visual media from Cleveland, Ohio. He is the president of the Video Game Music Club, lead student technology supervisor, and a student ambassador at the Berklee College of Music. Adam has worked/interned for renowned composers Mychael Danna, Jason Graves, and Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions. In his free-time he enjoys skiing, martial arts, and playing video games. His goal is to bring the story of visual mediums to life by combining music and technology.

Jocelyn Kim is a Korean-American game maker and illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. She is currently in her senior year of studying Interactive Entertainment (a.k.a. videogames) at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Jocelyn hopes to bridge the rift between art, design, and engineering while advocating for inclusive community spaces within games. Jocelyn spends most of her time doodling, prototyping, drinking coffee, and petting dogs.

In her fourth year, Amy is a computer science and game design student at Cornell University. Her hobbies include gaming, streaming, electronic music producing, piano playing, and language learning. During her time in college, Amy has programmed two computer games, Direkt and Fara Heim, and created VR simulations of a Star Wars rollercoaster game and LoL home theater. A staff writer for the Arts and Entertainment section of her collegiate newspaper, Amy writes reviews for video games and animations, covering creative and niche works that are often overlooked by non-gaming-oriented press. She hopes to advance the game industry and get people excited about gaming with her unique perspective as a coder, streamer, and artist.

River Liu took an interesting path to becoming a wizard prentice in the game programming world. She received traditional training in fine art and music, then became an ordinary engineering student, an usual neural network researcher, later a history scholar, and a popular science journalist specialized in psychology. All her previous life merged together and provided a solid knowledge base when she went to Carnegie Mellon University-Entertainment Technology Center and finally realized her childhood dream of making games. She considered herself quite nerdy from time to time…she used to make games in under seven days, because she could; she wrote code at GDC parties, because she had an impulse. Her passion in game AI grew when she tried to re-engineer the Last of Us and FEAR. She is now creating an AI engine for action-adventure games, for learning and practicing of course, but mostly for fun. River is also this year’s Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship winner.

Chima Denzel Ngerem is a young video game producer who is currently a lawyer-in-training at the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.
He has acquired an LLB from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) as well as an MSc in Video Game Enterprise & Production from Birmingham City University. Not only an avid gamer, he has also gained some professional experience having interned with Nintendo of Europe in Frankfurt, Germany for six months.
He’s now seeking more experience in the video game industry with the ultimate aim of eventually setting up his own video game studio in Nigeria.

Tara Ogaick is an Iranian-Canadian artist studying 3D modeling and scripting! They are excited to bring characters, environments, and creatures to life in games! They love fully realized worlds with living creatures and want to be part of creating those. They are also an activist and community organizer for marginalized people who are interested in or currently work in games. They are currently a 2D illustrator and comics creator and recently illustrated and published “Just Another Naming Ceremony” with Gwen Westerman (Dakota) and “Wives” with Darcie Little Badger (Lipan Apache) for Indigenous anthologies.

Sergio Madera is a Computer Engineering student whose dream is to inspire people through videogames. Specifically, inspire them to create and/or pursue their own goals. While figuring out how to do that, he has contributed to multiple small games, founded a Game Development Club at his university, and been a student representative. As that club’s president, he has held several meetings and organized a local 24-hour gamejam. Additionally, he has done research about how to teach recycling through games. Currently, he is looking for a game development internship in order to break into the games industry.

Erryn Rivers is a quantitative psychology masters student studying at Sacramento State University. She currently studies video game behavior and its interaction with interpersonal communication and gender stereotypes. Her other study interests involve general media psychology and environmental psychology. She has presented her research at multiple national conferences and hopes to one day present on video game behavior at GDC. Her goal is to become a user experience researcher at a major game company to make online interaction a better experience. Her current favorite games are Monster Hunter: World, Heroes of the Storm, and the Shovel Knight series.

Jessica Vazquez is a junior developer and recent Computer Science graduate from Puerto Rico. She has been active in the online “amateur” game makers community for many years, helping friends with their own projects in a variety of roles. In the future, she would like to participate in research related to serious games, interactive narrative and educational technology. More than entertaining, she wants to create educational and positively transforming experiences through games. She has also been active in the local community, advocating for more inclusive and diverse STEM fields, and helped organize the 2018 Global Game Jam in Puerto Rico.