Game designer Erin Hoffman-John is the latest speaker to join the roster of game industry luminaries speaking at the 14th annual Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo (SIEGE) Nov. 13-15, 2020. Others include Will Wright, creator of Simcity and the Sims; Brad Merritt, director of game design for Cartoon Network; Dov Jacoboson, founder of GamesThatWork; and many more.
“Erin Hoffman-John’s keynote address at SIEGE 2015, titled ‘Games, Work and a Better Way of Life,’ inspired many of our attendees to look even more seriously at how they made games,” said SIEGE Director Andrew Greenberg. “We expect this year’s presentation – “A Quest for Meaning in the Dark of Age of Middle Information’ – to have an even greater impact.”
“Game developers are both technologists and artists,” says Hoffman-John. “We inhabit that liminal space between these two intense cultures. My presentation considers technology and entertainment through the lens of art and the humanities in an attempt to call out critical problems fueling the conflagration that is 2020, and suggest how to begin thinking — and acting — about them. Mathematics and technology can model and illustrate the current social crisis. This intersects with the rise of super-powerful AI, and game development has more to do with this than you think.”
Hoffman-John has been called the Upton Sinclair of the game industry. In 2004 she wrote a now-famous blog post critiquing industry working conditions. This post triggered sweeping changes in some of the industry’s largest studios. A game designer since 1999, Erin has worked on games and research at the leading edge of technology, including Kung Fu Panda World, SimCityEdu, Doki-Doki Universe, and recently on game research and development for Google’s Stadia. Her 2015 SIEGE presentation is at https://youtu.be/5E_ik-K7jwU.