Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li… the influence of video games on society can be seen in the way entertainment companies have embraced the games as a source of creativity and design.
Gaming experts spoke about the evolution of the multi-billion dollar industry, its impact on traditional entertainment and popular culture, and what we can expect to see next, during the Emerson Alumni Relations Game Changers panel discussion on December 4.
Emerson College is exploring ways in which its curriculum can best prepare students for leadership roles in this exciting field.
Hosted by Bob and Linda Gersh P’10 the panel was held at The Gersh Agency in Beverly Hills. The panelists spoke about Facebook and smart phones becoming platforms for video gaming.
“Everyone is a gamer now, even if they don't know it,” said attendee Kathleen Barth '09.
“The audience was really enthralled, and they came from a surprisingly wide background,” said Emerson’s Director of Alumni Relations Barbara Rutberg. “The panel stayed wide enough to accommodate, but dove into a few specifics to flesh out the conversation.”
Wade Beckett moderated the panel. He has worked in videogame and technology-based television for more than 12 years, and currently serves as Executive Producer on G4's “X-Play,” the most watched videogame series on television, seen in 10 countries across the globe. Prior to joining “X-Play,” Beckett held positions with ZDTV, Tech TV, DreamWorks, NBC's Peter Engel Productions, TV Guide Channel, and CinemaLine.
The panelists were: Chris Hewish, Monica Loya-Clarke, Micah Wright, and Richard Wyckoff.
Hewish currently serves as Head of Global Interactive for DreamWorks Animation. Prior to joining DWA he worked at Activision Blizzard for 13 years, during which time he held a number of roles including Executive Producer and Lead Game Designer. For the past three years Loya-Clarke has helped start up the Warner Bros. Games division. Her experience is in selling videogames to major retailers in the United States and Latin America. Wright is the chairman of the Writers Guild Videogame Writers Caucus. He is a writer who has worked in videogames, film, television, animation, graphic novels and comics. He has also published three graphic novels. Wyckoff has been a videogame designer and manager since the mid '90s, working for industry leaders such as Electronic Arts/Pandemic Studios, Vivendi Universal, and Dreamworks Interactive. He has been a guiding force on critically acclaimed titles such as THQ's Full Spectrum Warrior and Looking Glass Technologies' Flight Unlimited.
“It was fascinating,” Rutberg said of the discussion. “This industry is so pervasive. The cutting-edge work produced by these developers is everywhere and the future is very bright.”