PRGE is proud to host over 50 hours of panel programming at the 2016 expo. We are bringing in speakers from all over the country including notable figures from the early days of the gaming industry as well as current celebrities. Speakers and panels at PRGE will take place in auditoriums just outside the main show hall. Please visit our panel schedule for times and locations.
Takuya Aizu is the CEO of game maker Inti Creates. He is the producer of such games as Azure Strike Gunvolt, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures and is probably known best for producing many titles from the Mega Man series including Mega Man Zero, Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10.
Douglas Bogart is the Co-Founder and 1/2 of Limited Run Games. There, he and Josh Fairhurst take previously digital only games and help developers turn them into physical games. He is known for his involvement within the gaming community, including attendance at gaming events, talking with developers anc conducting live streams. His previous employers include Ubisoft and Mighty Rabbit Studios. Douglas is a passionate advocate for the game industry and for the preservation of the physical media format for video game distribution.
Ian, a.k.a BrutalMoose, is a very sarcastic Video Game Review show host who is a part of the video game reviewer guild "Hidden Block".
Kinsey hails from Seattle, WA and is the Public Relations manager for the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo as well as a regular contributor to the Metal Jesus Rocks YouTube channel.
Frank Cifaldi is Head of Restoration at Digital Eclipse and one of gaming's leading researchers and historians. His past credentials include being senior editor at 1UP.com, editorial director and community manager for Turner Broadcasting's GameTap games-on-demand service, and a contributing author to publications that include Edge, Wired, Nintendo Official Magazine UK and GamesIndustry.biz, among others.
Pat "The NES Punk" Contri Pat Contri is a video game player, collector, and historian known for his web shows Pat the NES Punk, Flea Market Madness, and The Completely Unnecessary Podcast. He is the author of Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library, runs thepunkeffect.com, and conducts the live annual NES Charity Marathon benefiting children's hospitals. In his spare time he enjoys eating numerous nachos, and hanging out with an old Jersey hippie named Frank.
Joe Decuir was one of the original engineers at Atari, who helped design, build, and produce the Atari 2600. He also wrote the game Video Olympics, a Pong collection that launched with the system. He later went on to help develop the Amiga, and the USB architecture.
Joey "Roo" DeSena - Once described as the "Alton Brown of video games" - his greatest compliment - Joey "Roo" DeSena co-founded the geek-centric website, clanofthegraywolf.com, in 2009. His flagship series, "16-Bit Gems", brings to light underappreciated classics from the 16-bit era of video gaming. While his other main series, "The Way Games Work", explains video game technology to the layman (with equal parts Bill Nye & G4).
Dan & Terry Diebold - The game collecting community lost their s**t last year when Terry and Dan Diebold found the only known prototype "Nintendo Playstation" console packed away in a box of junk Terry had bought in an auction for $75. Since then, Ben Heckendorn helped them restore the Super Nintendo part of the console, but was unable to read a game disk from the integrated CD-ROM drive. Dan and Terry are bringing this one-of-a-kind piece of video game history to PRGE where Ben will once again open it up to replace the CD unit and hopefully make the console fully operational! Be sure to check out Ben's panel where he will answer questions about the unit with Dan and Terry. The Nintendo Playstation will also be set up for viewing by the public in our video game museum.
Pete Dorr runs a popular YouTube channel that he's been creating gaming content on since 2008. He is most notable for being one of the very first YouTubers to start doing gaming pickups, or what he calls "Games I Bought Recently," and collection overview-style videos, inspiring countless others to follow suit. He is also co-host of the "All Gen Gamers" podcast, and can be found frequently streaming obscure consoles and games on his Twitch channel."
Marc Ericksen is a long time, well known, and still active San Francisco Illustrator who has created illustrations used Nationally and Internationally across a broad spectrum of applications from technical cutaways for Intel and Varian, to book covers for Zebra Press and Ballantine Publishing to packaging art for everyone from Hidden Valley, to Del Monte and Clorox and illustrations for teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Giants, and The San Jose Sharks. For 20 years, from 1982 through 2002, he also created box art for almost 100 beloved videogames, from Broderbund's original Choplifter, to Tengen's Tetris. He is responsible for such iconic covers as Data East's Bad Dudes, and Heavy Barrel, to SNK's P.O.W. and Guerrilla War. He did art for Sega Genesis, Atari (Galaga), Maxis, Tengen, 360 Pacific, Strategic Simulations, Avalon Hill, Tronix, Activision, Lucas Arts, Koei, HesWare, Data Age, Hudson Software, Infogrames, Electronic Arts, Data East, Broderbund, and of course, Capcom, and the controversial MegaMan2. Marc also created the original premiere cover art for volume 1 of GamePro Magazine, and 5 subsequent covers, as well as cover art for PC Games Magazine, and point of purchase art for games like Activision's Pitfall.
By day, Ian Ferguson is a mild-mannered game store clerk, but by night he is one-half of the popular Completely Unnecessary Podcast along with Pat "The NES Punk" Contri.
Alli Flanagan grew up in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. After spending the first few years of her life mastering the ability to use her thumbs, she grabbed a controller and the rest is history. Alli would then spend the next 20-something years attempting to finish Alex Kidd in Miracle World. It remains unbeaten. You may know Alli from such YouTube videos as: That One Time I Reviewed Altered Beast, or Hey, Let's Talk About Gunstar Heroes. Alli's not fooling anyone here. She's a massive nerd.
Ed Fries (pronounced "freeze") is the former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft during much of the Xbox's lifecycle. Fries fell in love with games while playing early arcade games like Frogger. He has both parents who are engineers, and he sees in his love for games something similar to his father's love for airplanes while working at Boeing. As a teen he programmed clones of popular arcade games on the Atari 800, and a publisher found him and offered him the chance to have his games published. In 2010, Fries created and released a version of Halo for the vintage Atari 2600 Video Computer System. Most recently, Ed has been restoring vintage arcade games including a rare yellow single-player Computer Space and Atari's prototype, Color Gotcha. In Ed's panel at PRGE he will recount his adventures bringing these iconic games back to life.
Tod Frye is a computer programmer once employed by Atari, and is most notable for being charged with the home adaptation of Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 video computer system. Other games designed by Tod include LCD Breakout Atari handheld, Asteroids for Atari 400/800, and the Swordquest series (Earthworld, Fireworld, Waterworld, and the uncompleted Airworld). Unreleased titles include Save Mary and Shooting Arcade and Xevious for the Atari 2600.
John "Gamester81" Lester operates the game review site, Gamester81.com and is one fourth of the popular All Gen Gamers podcast. Gamester resides in the Phoenix, AZ area. In early 2014, John released a homebrew called Gamester81: The Video Game on the Colecovision platform. He is also the co-creator of the Game On Expo in Mesa, Arizona.
Norman "The Gaming Historian" Caruso operates the Gaming Historian YouTube channel which he started in 2008 to create entertaining and educational videos on the history of video games.
Steve Golson is an experienced designer and engineer best known in the game industry for designing arcade game enhancement kits at General Computer of Cambridge. In his time at General Computer, Golson worked on a variety of notable projects, from the Super Missile Attack arcade enhancement kit to the Atari 7800 ProSystem's Maria graphics chip to Atari games like Food Fight. His remarkable work as part of the team developing the Pac-Man arcade enhancement kit Crazy Otto drove Midway to license the game and release it as Ms. Pac-Man, which became one of the best-selling and most influential arcade games in U.S. history. Golson currently runs his own integrated circuit consultancy, Trilobyte Systems, which he founded in 1986 after leaving General Computer.
Joe Granato is the creator of "The New 8-Bit Heroes", a documentary about the creation of a new 8-bit game for the NES that will be screened in the main arcade on Saturday evening at PRGE. After growing up in upstate New York, Joe spent thirteen years in Baltimore producing music, building a production company from the ground up, and piloting the video game development curriculum in the Baltimore City School system. He's currently a professional videographer at an art college on the west coast of Florida and still enjoys teaching game development.
"The Immortal" John Hancock is a mega-collector known for his comprehensive game collection and his comprehensive knowledge of all things video game. He is also the founder of the Cowlitz Gamers for Kids charity game expo in Kelso, Washington which has raised over $33,000 to date for the Children's Justice and Advocacy Center of Cowlitz County, WA which is currently planning its 8th annual show. He also is a regular guest on the MetalJesusRocks Youtube channel.
Wood Hawker - Since starting his channel over three years ago, Wood has crossed almost every state in the US and Australia, and has recently moved to Canada to continue his search for Retro Video Games. He captures it all on film and makes the documentary-style show 'The Game Quest' on his popular BeatEmUps Youtube channel. Now it's time for this Aussie to pack up his boomerangs and pet kangaroo, and make the big trip to America once again for PRGE!
Ben Heckendorn - Better known as "Ben Heck" on the Interwebs, Ben Heckendorn is an American console modder and star of element14's The Ben Heck Show, a popular online TV program celebrating maker culture. A typical episode has Ben creating a new product or hacking existing devices, such as an Xbox, for different uses, sometimes based on viewers' suggestions. Learn more about Ben Heckendorn at his website, BenHeck.com
Jason Heine is the head of Heine House Entertainment, a company that develops custom audio innovations and works on other creative projects. He's a musician and sound designer who produces a wide range of entertainment, from video game audio to original musical scores and soundtracks. Jason travels the convention scene to speak about retro video games, and to perform live video game drum cover songs. He's also known for his popular "Thrift Store Hopping" video series on YouTube and is co-host and producer of the pioneering video game podcast "All Gen Gamers." Jason is also a co-founder of Game On Expo in Arizona.
Rebecca Heineman is a long-time veteran of the computer game industry. She was a founding member of Interplay Productions, Logicware, Contraband Entertainment and has also been affiliated at various times with Barking Lizards Technologies, Electronic Arts, Bloomberg, Microsoft, MacPlay and Ubisoft. In the mid-1980s, Heineman programmed the cult classic graphic adventure games Tass Times in Tonetown and The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate. Heineman also programmed the Macintosh, Super Nintendo and Apple IIGS ports of Another World, as well as some other lesser-known games, such as Mindshadow, Borrowed Time, Battle Chess, and The Tracer Sanction.
Hoods Hellions 405th Infantry Halo Cosplayers Hood's Hellions are the Portland's own group of Halo cosplayers. They will be helping to keep the peace at PRGE and making sure the Covenant doesn't spoil the fun. Watch for spontaneous Spartan dance parties.
Steve Hendricks started with Atari in 1977 and worked in the Coin-Op group, working for George Opperman. There he designed entire game cabinet graphics for memorable games like Asteroids. He then moved into the Consumer group where he created cartridge box illustrations for games like Golf, Checkers, Steeple Chase, Night Driver, Haunted Mansion, Othello, Defender, Pole Position, and Warlords to name a few. His last year with Atari was in the Advanced Products group, (one of three such groups at the time), where he designed on a unique retail product demo cabinet for 2600 games. After Atari, Steve spend several years as a freelance illustrator creating video game illustrations for Activision, as well as illustrations for Warner Video, Bantam Books, Coors Brewing and Teledyne Semiconductor. He then moved on to Worlds of Wonder (WOW) where he became the assistant creative director, overseeing toy and plush package design, packaging illustration and Toy Fair show graphics. Laser Tag and Teddy Ruxpin were two of the most memorable products to come from WOW. Later Steve joined Sega where, as Assistant Creative Director, he oversaw all the creative for packaging, trade shows and licensed products. Steve is currently the Creative Director at FineLine Graphics & Design, Inc.
Barney Huang spent 9 years working for Atari in both the coin-op and consumer divisions. He is probably best known there for his iconic industrial design of the Atari 7800 game console. He graduated San Jose State University with Industrial Design degree and, in addition to Atari, has worked at Asyst Technology and Kawasaki Robotics where is is currently the Director of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
Jennell Jaquays is a game designer and artist of table-top role-playing games (RPGs) and video games. Some of her works include the Dungeons & Dragons modules "Dark Tower" and "Caverns of Thracia" for Judges Guild; development and design of conversions on games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong for Coleco's home arcade video game system; and more recent design work for various video games, including the Age of Empires series, Quake 2, and Quake III Arena. The most renowned of her many works as a fantasy artist is the cover illustration for TSR's Dragon Mountain game.
Jirard "The Completionist" Khalil - The Completionist is a weekly YouTube web series created by Jirard Khalil and Greg Wilmot. Nearly every week, Jirard chooses one game and completes every possible in-game task, 100%, in three to four days. In each episode, Jirard sequentially discusses several aspects of the spotlight game, hitting the story, presentation, gameplay, the final level, and the overall difficulty involved in 100% completion. All episodes end with a general score as to whether or not the game is worth 100% completing, ranging from "Complete it," "Finish it," "Play it," "Look at it," or "Donate it" (Formerly "Burn it").
Brian "The Unipiper" Kidd rolls two unusual hobbies into one character. As the Unipiper, Kidd rides a unicycle while playing the bagpipes. He performs in a variety of costumes - most notably Darth Vader, Link, and Gandalf - while performing character-appropriate tunes on the pipes. Brian will performing some videogame themed one-wheel piping for our PRGE attendees. Look for him throughout the show hall all weekend long!
Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer produces retro reviews, videos on the newest releases, comedic playthroughs and spotlights on overlooked indie games on his ProJared channel. His articulate monologues and professional editing make him one of the top game reviewers on YouTube.
Dennis Koble is 25 year veteran of the video game industry having done work for several companies including Atari, Imagic and Electronic Arts. Dennis designed or programmed many classic titles including Avalanche (coin-op), Trick Shot (Atari 2600), Shootin' Gallery (Atari 2600), Solar Storm (Atari 2600) and Hard Drivin' (Sega Genesis).
Chris Kohler is a WIRED contributing editor, game collector, and author of Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life. Chris has become recognized for his Retro Gaming Roadshow panel where he discusses and appraises rare video game memoribilia along with Collector Steve Lin at game expos across the country including PAX Prime, PAX East and the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo.
Tim Lapetino is a writer, creative director and author of the upcoming book, Art of Atari. His award-winning design and branding work has been published in more than a dozen books and magazines. He co-authored the design inspiration book Damn Good: Top Designers Discuss Their All-Time Favorite Projects and has written for HOW magazine, Geek Monthly, RETRO magazine, and others. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Museum of Video Game Art (MOVA), and is dedicated to chronicling the intersection of design and pop culture.
Kelsey Lewin - Frequent guest on Metal Jesus Rocks, Co-host of podcast Game Blitz Podcast and co-owner of Pink Gorilla Import and Retro Gaming store in Seattle.
Jason "Metal Jesus Rocks" Lindsey - The Metal Jesus is a long-haired rocker dude who runs a popular YouTube channel dedicated to Retro Gaming with a Heavy Metal soundtrack. With the help of the Seattle gaming community he covers Hidden Gems, Buying Guides as well as the popular I HATE U series, Gamer Eats and much more. He was also an employee at mega publisher Sierra On-Line in the 90s and he brings his love of big box PC gaming to his channel as well. New videos released every Tues & Friday!
Matt "Matt3756" Magnone, known as Matt3756 on YouTube, has been obsessed with those arcade claw machines his entire life. Those things are all rigged right? Wrong! Matt saved up money from his first job and bought a full size claw machine, studied it, and devised tips and tricks on how to improve your chances of snagging a prize! He now focuses his YouTube channel on videos of winning at claw machines, arcade ticket games, coin pushers, and more. He gives secrets on how some of these machines work, and how to get a slight advantage in your favor!
Nathan Martin - In addition to being one of the original creators of Seattle gaming expos (even before PRGE!), Nathan is the host of Seattle's popular Question Block Trivia Night.
David Murray is the creator of The 8-Bit Guy channel, a computer video series focusing mainly on retro technology from the 80's, 90's and 2000's. He makes educational content about retro technology and some of his most popular videos include detailed mini-documentaries on 8-bit computer graphics and sound.
Patrick Scott Patterson is a Video Game Advocate and Personality presently based in North Texas. Playing video games since 1981, Patterson's love for gaming led him to becoming interested in the stories and people behind the scenes. By the time he was in middle school, Scott was hitting every library and used book store he could get to in an effort to locate books and magazines that told the backstories of his favorite game titles and the top companies in the industry. Today, he appears at a wide variety of events across the United States such as E3, San Diego Comic-Con and SXSW to speak about various video game topics and has appeared in a number of films and television programs. He also produces video game content for a variety of outlets including NBCUniversal.
PeanutButterGamer (PBG), whose real name is Austin Hargrave, rocks the YouTube channel PeanutButterGamer. He makes video game reviews and top 10 videos. Probably most known for his Legend of Zelda videos during Normalboot's Zelda month, he also has a Let's play channel called PBGGameplay where he does walkthroughs and hardcore gameplays with the other members of Normalboots.com.
John Riggs is a master at modifying NES game ROMs to do new and interesting things. You can learn more about what he does on his YouTube channel, RIGG'd Games.
James Rolfe - The Angry Video Game Nerd is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, film and video game critic, and internet personality, best known for starring in the web television series The Angry Video Game Nerd. Rolfe began filming Nintendo video game reviews as a child in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He has created more than 270 films during his career. His career fully took off in 2004 with the beginning of the Angry Video Game Nerd. The series centers on Rolfe's nameless character, referred to simply as "The Nerd", who is a short-tempered and foul-mouthed video game fanatic who delivers commentary and sketches on retro video games he considers to be of poor quality. The show would later encompass reviews of gaming consoles, peripherals, and short lectures about video game history and culture. Two years later, Rolfe gained mainstream attention when one of his videos went viral after friend and collaborator Mike Matei persuaded him to publish them on the Internet. Between this time, he filmed videos he created on his own and most of them have been released on his website Cinemassacre. He also performed briefly in music playing on the drums.
Ed Rotberg was a key member of Atari's coin-op division, back when the staples of action gaming were introduced with each new Atari arcade game: "Missile Command," "Asteroids," "Centipede," "Tempest"; the list goes on. During his first stint at Atari in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ed was the primary force behind the 3-D tank game, "Battlezone." He worked for Atari Games again a few years later, having a guiding hand in "Blasteroids" (a 1987 update to "Asteroids"), "S.T.U.N. Runner," and, with Ed Logg, "Steel Talons." During most of the years between tours of duty at Atari, 1981-1986, Ed was Vice President of Software at Sente, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's new coin-op company. Later, he worked for Apple Computer and 3DO.
Bob Smith is a 20-year veteran game programmer and one of the founders of Imagic. In addition to Imagic, he has worked for Atari and Accolade writing such noteworthy games as Video Pinball and Star Wars for the Atari 2600. His best known work is probably 1982's Dragonfire, although he also wrote Riddle of the Sphinx. He continued working on games through the 1980s and 1990s for a variety of companies.
Pamela Smith worked for Atari in the Promotion Design department for Consumer Electronics from 1982 - 1984. She designed the holiday packaging for the 5200 game console, and the retail point-of-purchase and sales support materials for the Ms. Pac Man, DigDug, Pengo and Phoenix games. She worked with the team that designed and produced the 1983 sales catalogs, including the 2600 and 5200 video game consoles and the entire line up of games. Pamela has worked as a graphic designer for over 30 years. Her previous employers include Landor Associates, Maxtor Corporation and Medtronic Inc. She has consulted for Apple Computer, Borland International, Brocade, Hewlett-Packard, and VMWare. Her work has received awards from Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club of New York, Creativity Magazine and POPAI.
Jeff, a.k.a. SpaceHamster operates a popular YouTube channel where he does Top Tens, Commentary and Video Game Review-ish videos.
Brad Stewart joined Atari in May of 1977. During his time there he was responsible for programming seminal Atari 2600 titles such as Asteroids and Breakout. In 1981 he moved to Imagic where he wrote Fire Fighter and Sky Patrol.
Jeff "Switch" Sorensen provides the soundtrack for the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. As our loyal house DJ, he provides just the right atmosphere for a 60,000 square foot hall filled with classic gaming goodness, which is no small task. Switch also operates the popular Dangerous Kids podcast that covers video gaming culture among other topics.
Chris Tang grew up as a competitive gamer, succeeding with many high-profile victories including Nintendo and Sega World Championships - a side effect of which helped him to fulfill his dream of becoming a creator in the game industry. Contributing to top franchises such as "Street Fighter", "Marvel Vs. Capcom", "Transformers", "Primal Rage" and "Tetris", he's done everything from game design, game play implementation and story writing, to voice directing and voice acting. Chris has been the finals announcer of the Classic Tetris World Championships since 2010, and he is the co-creator and design lead of "STRIKE HARBINGER", a spiritual successor to classic sci fi action-RPGs and rail shooters. The game is currently on demo tour before its release on PC, console and in arcades next year - check it out at www.strikeharbinger.com.
Howard Scott Warshaw, MA, ME, LMFT was the sole designer and programmer of one of the greatest flops in video gaming. He will discuss all the behind the scenes machinations and shenanigans which led to turning one of the most coveted licenses in video game history into a dynasty crushing disaster and ultimately the sub-flooring of the New Mexico desert. He will also discuss his experience carrying the moniker "maker of the worst game ever" for three decades. It's a tale of hubris, triumph, blind ambition and in the end... resiliency. Artist, technologist, creator and healer, Howard Scott Warshaw is first and foremost a communicator. His career accomplishments include video game pioneer, MoMA artist, award winning film producer, celebrated software developer, author and columnist. Howard enlists this eclectic skill set to serve others as a psychotherapist in California's Silicon Valley, where he specializes in the issues of hi-tech leaders and the super-intelligent. Check out his blog at hswarshaw.com.
Watch Out for Fireballs! is a retro games club podcast curated by Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross. They ran a successful Kickstarter to fund their live broadcast at PRGE in 2013. How cool is that?
"Radical" Reggie Williams is a beloved video game enthusiast, collecter and frequent guest on the the Metal Jesus Rocks YouTube channel.
Jeffrey Wittenhagen has been an avid NES fan since he could walk. He is a community award-winning author of multiple books, with several in the works, and has been featured in gaming publications such as Nintendo Force (Issue 8!) and the online-only Retrogaming Times Monthly. Weekly, he is also a member of the VGBS Gaming Podcast where they talk about all things gaming, in a unique and analytical fashion. He frequently posts on his blog, Hagen's Alley, with Homebrew NES reviews, "Single Credit" Reviews and Top Tens.
Rob Zdybel has been a developer of console games since the early days of Atari where he made games for both the 2600 and the Atari 800 computer. He made several games under the Atari and Sega labels before moving on to work for 3DO. During his days at 3DO, Rob has worked on one tank game after another, first for the Nintendo 64 console and more recently for the Playstation 2.