Leena van Deventer
Co-FOUNDER, Executive director
Leena van Deventer is a writer, game developer, and educator from Melbourne. She teaches interactive storytelling at the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) and RMIT University. In 2016 she co-authored “Game Changers: From Minecraft to misogyny, the fight for the future of videogames” for Affirm Press with Dr. Dan Golding. Leena was on the curatorial advisory committee for ACMI’s “Code Breakers” exhibition, and is the Deputy Chair of the Games and Interactive Advisory Committee for the Australian Writers Guild. Leena also sits on the Board of Directors of the Victorian Women’s Trust, and is currently completing her Masters of Arts Management at RMIT University.
Alex is a senior lawyer working in the IT/tech, media/entertainment and communications industries. In her eleven years of legal practice, she has worked in big and small firms, as in-house and external counsel, and in front and back-end law. She knows her shit.
Alex’s practice benefits from the breadth of roles she perform both inside and outside work. She is a Startup Vic Expert; an advocate for community and NFP organisations; and has been on the boards of innovative (including tech-focussed) organisations for a decade.
Alongside her paid work, in recent years she has been really honing her dispute resolution skills as a parent to two tiny negotiators.
Simone has been a part of WiDGET since almost the very beginning, working as moderator, committee member, and taking charge of our tiny little kitty full of dollar coins! Simone embodies the saying Jill of all trades, regularly surprising people with what else is on the List of Things She Can Do. Recently she has tried to encapsulate this variety of skills by giving herself the title of Digital Content Developer, Editor & Coordinator.
Simone regularly volunteers her time at Melbourne International Games Week, tends to livetweet too much, is making a fanciful mobile game and working toward creating interactive experiences that are meaningful and bring people joy.
Maize is a Melbourne based composer, sound designer, and audio programmer. Their focus is in 3D spatialised audio, and dynamic music, using cutting edge techniques. Maize consults in Australia and around the world on these topics, and is heavily engaged in the game development community, and in activism and representation within it. Recently co-founding an online community for non-binary gender advocacy.
As well as freelancing working on videogames, Maize consults with development teams and composers who investigating their options in working together, and what knowledge they need. Maize is also a regular teacher at Box Hill Institute, and guest lectures at universities and institutes around Australia.
Maize is currently working on Wayward Strand, after the studio having received state government funding. Maize's work has a strong focus on dynamic and adaptive audio systems, and novel experiences of musicianship. Other well known games Maize has worked on include VRTOV's A Thin Black Line (2017), Cosmic Express (2017), Invert (2017), Earthrise One (2016), and Framed (2014).
Maize’s community focussed works include the Game Art Melbourne Exhibition, co-directing Glitchmark's Holograph conference in 2014, musical instrument videogame series, CTRL_Coda, and Encounters by Microsoft Social NUI lab and VCA in 2015, and the anti-authoritarian #ResistJam in 2017. Their work has been shown extensively in prominent Melbourne galleries and museums, such as Arts Centre Melbourne, Fort Delta and the Ian Potter Museum of Art, and a two month residency in the Vienna Museumquartier, at the end of 2016.
Pritika is a community manager with a passion for all sorts of narrative. She loves writing and telling stories, and believes that extends to how developers engage with their players. Therefore she’ll always encourage an open dialogue from all parties, and strive to create thriving community.
Pritika’s worked in all sorts of areas of games, from artist to producer, and is currently the community manager for CheckPoint, co-producer for Contours and social media coordinator for Freeplay.
When she's not online, Pritika explores her passion for video games academia, specifically within feminine and character representation within games.
Pranee McKinlay is an independent game developer passionate about creating meaningful interactive experiences in games, VR, film, and multimedia. As the founder, creative lead, and main developer of FutureStateMachine, a games and interactive media studio based in Melbourne, she strives to improve the world through play.
As an indie developer, Pranee wears many hats and also performs contract work for hire. She recently completed a contract as UI Artist & Designer on the sailing game, VR Regatta.
Pranee has been a judge for the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge for the past 3 years and she tries to support the community whenever possible.
Having worked in the Film Industry for over 10 years on several highly regarded films including Avatar, Indiana Jones, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings, Pranee now makes quirky, story driven games with a whole lot of heart and soul. She is currently busy updating her virtual reality experience, OfficeBots: Reality Bytes after receiving games funding from Film Victoria.
Jane Cocks is a PhD Candidate at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where her research strengthens the bridge between the Psychology of Behaviour Change, and Game Design. Jane has completed Bachelor degrees in Behavioural Science and Health Science, Psychology Honours. She has spoken and written extensively about serious games, the psychology of games, and the relationship between games and mental health, nationally and internationally. Alongside her academic pursuits, she also consults with game studios on game design for positive change. Jane has been awarded by MCV Pacific as one of the top 100 Women in Games in 2016, and as one of the Top 30 Women in the Game Changers List in 2017. She was also a finalist for the Campaigner Award, recognising Women in the Games Industry who have worked for a games-related charity, or community, to use games as a force for change, inclusion, education or improvement.
Emily is a Melbourne based Game Developer & Community Manager. Fresh out of University, Emily is working on various projects as a Designer & Producer, bringing her passion for equal representation in tech and games to life.
Outside of making games, Emily manages a Facebook-based community called Women + NB Studying Games (W+NBSG), aimed at supporting Non-Binary & women game dev students worldwide.
Dr. Helen Stuckey is an arts curator, historian and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Flinders University working on Australia’s early game history. At the Australian Centre for the Moving Image she initiated, produced and curated the Games Lab (2005 – 2009), a dedicated exhibition space for exploring videogame culture. She was the Director of RMIT University’s Games Program in the School of Media and Communication (2009-2011). She recently completed her PhD on how museums can work with online knowledge communities on the preservation and exhibition of videogames as part of the ARC Linkage Project – Play It Again: Creating a Playable History of Australasian Digital Games, for Industry, Community and Research Purposes.
Amani is an artist and game maker from the Maldives living in Naarm/ Melbourne. She works in with people from different creative professions to make experimental games. Her work has been exhibited and played at game events and festivals, art museums and galleries. She is involved in the collectives PlayReactive and Copenhagen Game Collective, working internationally between Copenhagen and Melbourne. She is currently working on her PhD and thinking about what it means to make play in occupied and high risk environments.