Boston Festival of Indie Games announces featured keynote speakers

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          Tuesday, September 11---Cambridge, MA--- Boston Festival of Indie Games, presented by MIT Game Lab and Boston Indies, announced today their two featured keynote speakers Jason Scott, filmmaker of GET LAMP, an introspective view into interactive fiction, and Leigh Alexander, Kotaku columnist and established games journalist.

          Scheduled for Saturday, September 22 at MIT, the Boston Festival of Indie Games is a celebration of independent game development in a variety of media and genres.  The event is free, open to the public and held on the MIT campus, located at the EG&G Education Center, Building 34 and Compton Laboratories, Building 26, both on Vassar Street.  Fest sponsors include Adobe, Tapjoy, Stomp Games, Unity, Dell-Alienware, Wacom, Yelp!, DIGboston, MassDigi, The Tap Lab and Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton.

          Keynote speaker Leigh Alexander is a well-known games journalist, currently news director of industry trade site Gamasutra, and author of the Sexy Videogameland weblog. Her monthly column at Kotaku deals with the cultural issues surrounding games and gamers.  Alexander’s keynote topic is “ Preserving Genres in Indie Games,” an exploration of experimental design and innovation in indie games, scheduled from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on September 22.

          In the past, Alexander served as Kotaku's Associate News Editor, and prior to that, ran Gamasutra's sister site Worlds in Motion, covering the business of online games, social networks and virtual worlds. She writes reviews, features and cultural commentary for a variety of outlets, and her work has appeared in Variety, Wired, Slate, The Escapist and Paste Magazine, among others.

          Computer historian Jason Scott is the second keynote speaker for the fest, talking about his film GET LAMP, a documentary film about interactive fiction (also known as text adventures).  Scott is the creator, owner and maintainer of textfiles.com, a web site which archives files from historic bulletin board systems.  He is also the filmmaker of a 2005 documentary film about BBSes, BBS: The Documentary. 

          GET LAMP contains material from roughly 80 interviews of interactive fiction developers, designers, and players, including focus on Infocom, the best-known commercial publisher of interactive fiction.  Scott’s keynote, entitled “ A Look at GET LAMP,” is scheduled from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, immediately following the film screening.  Both keynote sessions will be held in the main theater on the first floor of the EG&G Education Center, Building 34 on the MIT campus.

Dan Silvers, a co-founder of the festival and steering committee member says, “We are more thrilled to have Leigh Alexander and Jason Scott as our keynote speakers. Their expertise offers insight into gaming culture that's going to be eye-opening to the general public attending the festival. Our hope is that when people sit down to listen, they'll learn that games are made up of more than code and pixels – it’s the people, culture, and history of the games industry that makes indie game development do so fascinating.”

          The Boston Festival of Indie Games offers the opportunity for festival attendees to play video games, live action games, tabletop games and interactive fiction in a casual environment.  Other fest features include a digital art exhibit, film screenings and special guest speakers from the national indie games space.  A special showcase will highlight games developed by the MIT Game Lab, which has created nearly fifty games over the last five years, a number of which have gone on to critical acclaim and commercial success. For complete details, please visit www.bostonfig.com

About the Boston Festival of Indie Games:

www.bostonfig.com.

The Boston Festival of Indie Games is a celebration of independent game development with emphasis on the New England region.  The Boston Festival of Indie Games seeks to support and showcase the efforts of independent game developers by providing a free public event that encourages attendees to share and interact with games in various media, including video games, location-based games, tabletop games and interactive fiction.  Produced under the non-profit auspices of BeEpic, a Boston location-based games production group, the Boston Festival of Indie Games is focused on creating an intersection between community, academic and independent interests in game play.

About MIT Game Lab:

www.gambit.mit.edu

The MIT Game Lab brings together scholars, creators and technologies to teach, conduct research and develop new approaches to applied game design and construction. Ranked by the Princeton review as the #2 Game Design Program in North America, the MIT Game Lab maintains MIT’s roles as leader in the study, design and development of games. The MIT Game Lab’s goal is to explore, educate and engage the public by creating groundbreaking games, interactive online courses and new applications to real world challenges.

About Boston Indies:

www.bostonindies.com

Boston Indies is a community of dedicated independent game developers in Massachusetts and the surrounding area.  Boston Indies works to foster a sense of community among Boston’s independent game developers, facilitate monthly meet-ups and other related community events, encourage developers to create games independent of large budgets and large company ties, provide a safe environment to obtain critical feedback on game development works in progress and serve as a brain trust for important information sharing among local independent developers.

To schedule an interview or for more festival info, please contact Caleb Garner, Boston Festival of Indie Games publicist, at press@bostonfig.com; or contact Andrew Whitacre, Communications Director at the MIT Game Lab, at awhit@mit.edu or (617) 324-0490.  More info is also available at www.bostonfig.com

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