ARGFest-o-Con attracts some of the most innovative and creative minds who are thinking about and working with transmedia and Alternate Reality Gaming. Our speakers and attendees have worked on notable campaigns such as The Blair Witch Project, I Love Bees, LonelyGirl15, ReGenesis, Perplex City, and World Without Oil. Each year, our team strives to present a line up that will appeal to a diverse audience from professional developers to casual players.

We are delighted to begin announcing another captivating cast for ARGFest-o-Con 2014. Keep checking back, new presenters are being added frequently!

Jim Stewartson, RIDES.tv

Keynote Speaker
Jim Stewartson
Google Niantic Labs

Jim Stewartson is an entrepreneur and executive with 20 years of leadership experience combining technology and entertainment to create groundbreaking companies, products and platforms.

Jim is Senior Producer for Niantic Labs at Google, leading design and development of an alternate reality game for ENDGAME, a major entertainment franchise by best-selling author, James Frey.

Previously, as Co-Founder and CEO of Fourth Wall Studios, Jim built a world-class team that created the entertainment platform, RIDES.tv, and a dozen original content series for it. Shows on RIDES.tv reach out to the viewer on multiple devices, synchronizing text, calls and email, second screen video, interactive components, and gamification elements into a seamless, immersive experience. The first major production by the company, DIRTY WORK, won the first-ever Primetime Emmy® for Original Interactive Content.

Prior to Fourth Wall, Jim was a founder of 42 Entertainment where he designed, developed and delivered solutions for massive branded entertainment projects including the pioneering alternate reality games, I Love Bees for Halo 2, Year Zero for Nine Inch Nails and Why So Serious? For The Dark Knight. His direction on these projects garnered him a number of prestigious awards including the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an Innovation Award at the Game Developers Conference, as well as two Webbys.

Formerly, as the Founder, President and CTO of Shout Interactive, Jim developed the first virtual reality game to be delivered over the Web for Star Trek: First Contact in 1996, and subsequently headed numerous award-winning online experiences for notable brands and properties including, Titanic, Lost in Space, Starship Troopers, CNN, Intel, Sony, IBM, France Telecom, NBC and the Olympics.

Jim has appeared in many articles for publications such as Wired, LA Times, New York Times, Fast Company, and Variety. Jim speaks regularly around the world at venues such as Cannes Lions, MIPTV, AppsWorld and Digital Hollywood, and is a frequent guest speaker at USC and UCLA. He’s a member of the Interactive Media Group of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a member of the New Media Council at the Producers Guild of America.

Find him on Twitter.

Mike Selinker, Lone Shark Games

IDEA Symposium Featured Speaker
Mike Selinker
Lone Shark Games

Mike Selinker is the president of the Seattle game studio Lone Shark Games. An award-winning game and puzzle designer, Mike is best known to ARG fans for co-creating Citizens of Virtue and the non-alternate reality games Vanish and Repo Men, which pitted a handful of “runners” against the rest of the United States.

His puzzles regularly appear in Wired, Games magazine, and the New York Times. Both at Wizards of the Coast and Lone Shark, he has co-created such tabletop games as Risk Godstorm, Unspeakable Words, Lords of Vegas, Axis & Allies Revised, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and the live-action Disney World card game Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom; he also writes for video games such as Marvel Heroes.

His books include Puzzlecraft: The Ultimate Guide on How to Construct Every Kind of Puzzle, Dealer’s Choice: The Complete Handbook of Saturday Night Poker, and The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, and the interactive puzzle novel The Maze of Games

Find him at Lone Shark Games and on Twitter as well as Lone Shark Game’s Twitter.


Michael Andersen, ARGN

Michael Andersen

Michael Andersen is the owner and senior editor of ARGNet. For the past seven years, he has written about alternate reality games, transmedia storytelling projects, and a host of other projects that challenge conventions in storytelling.

An enthusiastic advocate for the genre, Michael is a frequent guest on the StoryForward Podcast, taught courses that drew heavily on transmedia storytelling projects at Villanova University, and wrote a chapter-by-chapter review of the 50 Shades trilogy on a dare. At past ARGFests, he served as Master of Ceremonies and Grand Inquisitor.

Find him at ARGN and on Twitter.



Ariock® learned about the Beast and Majestic a little too late to participate in them. He started reading ilovebees.com fairly early on, but was stuck at the weirdly formatted text. When the coordinates appeared, his interest surged. Since Ender-ing the Sleeping Princess, he’s played a number of other ARGs. His credits include being featured in Jonathan Coulton’s “Best. Concert. Ever,” appearing in the first PAX Boston Keynote Address, holding a megaphone for Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra, and appearing in the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival Selected movie, “The Institute” (Now on Netflix!).

Find him on Twitter.

Linda Besh, Google Niantic Labs

Linda Besh
Google Niantic Labs

Linda Besh is a player in Google’s Niantic Labs game Ingress who was recognized by Niantic Labs as one of 5 winners of their EliteV Player contest, the only EliteV player chosen in the United States and Western Hemisphere. She is a Mother of two, Financial Analyst, Accountant, and Event Planner. She holds a degree in Management from Northwood University and has previously worked as a Financial Analyst for Yazaki Management Company, Inc. and Treasurer on the Board of Governors at the Schoolcraft College Foundation. She recently was hired to work for Google Niantic Labs. She has spent the last two years on many Ingress adventures, following the ARG and playing the game in regional competitions, writing a blog of all her adventures, and building communities on Google Plus around the game.

Ken Eklund

Ken Eklund
Writer Guy

Game and experience designer Ken Eklund creates authentic fiction, “immersive stories that want to write themselves,” and explores real-world issues through collaborative play. In his games people immerse themselves in exploring “what if?” and have fun working together to imagine positive solutions and action.

Ken is known for creating the award-winning WORLD WITHOUT OIL, the groundbreaking collective imagining of our next oil shock; GISKIN ANOMALY, the cellphone adventure for museums in Balboa Park; and other games exploring education reform, world peace as an unstoppable meme, and “thoughtful flashmobbing.” He was Community Lead for EVOKE, the innovative social entrepreneurship initiative that won the Games For Change Direct Impact Award in 2011.

Ken works on socially relevant games for museums, educational and cultural institutions, and public media. He has made games professionally since 1988. His current project is FUTURE COAST, a game exploring climate-changed futures, for the PoLAR Partnership at Columbia University.

Find him at Writer Guy and on Twitter.

John Greg Gomez

John Greg Gomez

John Greg Gomez began his career working in, then running the research department for Fox-TV’s flagship television station in Los Angeles. Following Fox, John Greg was manager of corporate media research for Warner Bros.

John Greg developed and produced the cult indie feature film Atomic Blue: Mexican Wrestler, which anticipated popular interest in Mexican wrestling & culture in the decade that followed (Nacho Libre, Mucha Lucha!, Lucha Va Voom!). He also created, developed and produced the comedy television pilot I Can’t Believe It’s Cinema, which anticipated today’s YouTube-driven mashup craze (The Parody Factory, The Fine Bros).

With a grant from television legend Norman Lear, John Greg co-founded the non-profit Movida Filmmaker Project, which organized retreats to The Sundance Film Festival, and other important film festivals. While running Movida, John Greg was tapped to become the youngest founding-board member of The National Association of Latino Independent Producers, a non-profit that continues to serve the community to this day.

John Greg most recently served as community outreach organizer for the $19 billion Los Angeles Unified School District new schools building program, as well as outreach point person on school reform efforts involving Loyola Marymount University. In 2013 John Greg was appointed to the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for the Whittier City School District construction program, serving as secretary on the committee.

A graduate of Harvard University, John Greg is currently wrapping up an MFA at the Producers Program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

The world of alternate reality games first came to John Greg’s attention when he attended the Futures of Entertainment conference at MIT in late 2007. He has not missed an ARGFest-o-Con since then!

Find him on Twitter and on his film The Age of Play’s Twitter.



Lenore Henry is theoretically a human being, though that assertion is thrown into question when she observes so much human behavior that she doesn’t understand.

Her credits include answering a plethora of pay phones, freeing a Sleeping Princess, and singing too loudly in Rock Band.

Find her on Twitter.

Dr. Rob Jagnow, Lazy 8 Studios

Dr. Rob Jagnow
Lazy 8 Studios

Dr. Rob Jagnow is the founder and CEO of Lazy 8 Studios in San Francisco, CA. The company’s flagship independent title, Cogs, won several awards and played a role in the ARG that coincided with the launch of Portal 2. This success gave Lazy 8 the freedom to pursue more risky creative endeavors. The studio’s newest project, Extrasolar, blends aspects of ARGs and traditional game design to create a new genre that blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Extrasolar launched in early 2014 and has been nominated for awards at IndieCade, SXSW, and the Independent Games Festival.

Find him at Lazy 8 Studios and on Twitter as well as Lazy 8 Studio’s Twitter.

Elan Lee, Lazy 8 Studios

Elan Lee
Microsoft/Xbox Entertainment Studios

Elan Lee is a professional technologist and storyteller. His pioneering work in entertainment has spanned everything from multiple startups raising millions of dollars to creating the Alternate Reality Game genre. Elan started his career at the Microsoft Games Studio where he was a Lead Designer on the original Xbox. He next co-founded and served as the Vice President of 42 Entertainment (the company behind I Love Bees, Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero, and The Dark Knight). Elan was also the Co-Founder of EDOC Laundry, a company that embeds secret narratives in clothing, and the Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Fourth Wall Studios in Los Angeles. He is currently the Chief Design Officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios.

Elan has spoken all over the world on the future of gaming. He has won a Primetime Emmy for the series Dirty Work and the 2012 IndieCade Trailblazer Award for a Distinguished Career in Interactive Entertainment. He has been featured in WIRED Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal. He has also won awards for Best Web Game of the Year, Best Advertising Campaign of the Year, and Best Idea of the Year.

Find him on Twitter.

Patrick Moeller

Patrick Moeller

Patrick Moeller is one of the creators and experience designers at imaginary friends, a Berlin (Germany) based agency for storytelling and user experiences. He recently became a publisher at if eBooks as well, where he helps authors to publish their stories as eBooks and PoDs. In 2011 he also founded Transmedia Storytelling Berlin, a community of creatives of various competences to exchange their skills and knowhow by networking. He is also known for being theARGReporter, a website founded in the end of 2005 where he informs about ongoing ARGs, games and experiences. The website helped to spread the word about Alternate Reality Games to Germany since ARGs where not very well known there before that time.

Find him at Patmo.de and on Twitter.

Ryan Omark, Immersive Fiction

Ryan Omark
Immersive Fiction

Ryan is a co-creator at Immersive Fiction, an indie studio based in New Jersey. He’s co-piloted three immersive storytelling projects including Veil Nanoscience Inc, We Are Earthborne, and most recently Blackhollow Project. Ryan has made a deliberate effort to approach the design of these three experiences in different ways in order to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding what works well and what fails to ignite an audience. At Immersive Fiction, Ryan is responsible for story development and writing, audio engineering, as well as most web development duties.

Find him at Immersive Fiction and on the team’s Twitter.

Stephen Omark, Immersive Fiction

Stephen Omark
Immersive Fiction

Stephen is a co-creator at Immersive Fiction, focusing on high-level story development, audio engineering, as well as all things visual. He is responsible for all of the graphic design work for both print and web and is the go-to person for all of the tangible story-based objects used in Immersive Fiction projects such as Veil Nanoscience, We Are Earthborne, and Blackhollow Project. He once ate 28 cans of tuna in a week.

Find him at Immersive Fiction and on the team’s Twitter.

Steve Peters, No Mimes Media

Steve Peters
No Mimes Media

An Emmy®-winning experience designer, Steve is Founder/CCO of No Mimes Media and host of the StoryForward Podcast. A pioneering force in Alternate Reality Games and Transmedia Entertainment, he has worked on some of the biggest and most innovative interactive experiences to date.

Previously, Steve was VP of Experience Design at Fourth Wall Studios, where he worked on projects like the interactive web series Dirty Work and 6 Minutes to Midnight (for the feature film Watchmen). Prior to that, he was Experience Designer at 42 Entertainment on projects like Why So Serious?(for the feature film The Dark Knight).

Steve founded the Alternate Reality Gaming Network in 2002, has guest-lectured at schools including USC, Georgia Tech and Cal Arts, spoken at media conferences around the world, and prefers to open mystery boxes.

Find him at No Mimes Media and on Twitter.

Jenni Powell, New Media Rockstars

Jenni Powell
New Media Rockstars

Jenni Powell has been deeply involved in innovative online communities, dating back to the cult internet series Nobody’s Watching and lonelygirl15. She has since worked on many popular web series such as The Guild, Streamy Award-nominated With the Angels, Poor Paul, The Crew, and The Legend of Neil. Recently, she produced The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (Emmy Award Winner), Welcome to Sanditon, Emma Approved, and The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy.

For two years she was Director of Content and Social Media for VidCon, the world’s largest online video conference, and was a producer at Felicia Day’s YouTube Premium Channel Geek & Sundry. Currently, she is Head of Production for New Media Rockstars. She doesn’t have a lot of free time.

Find her at JenniPowell.com and on Twitter.

Robert Pratten, Transmedia Storyteller Ltd

Robert Pratten
Transmedia Storyteller Ltd

Robert Pratten is CEO and Founder of Transmedia Storyteller Ltd, creators of Conducttr – the pervasive entertainment platform.

Robert’s experience uniquely places him at the intersection of entertainment, marketing and technology: he brings more than 20 years’ experience as a marketing consultant and expertise in Intelligent Networks having formally advised clients such as Ericsson and Telcordia on international pricing, positioning and market entry strategies.

In 2000, he left Europe’s leading telecoms consultancy firm to attend the London Film School and since wrote, produced and directed two award-winning, critically acclaimed feature films – London Voodoo (2004) and Mindflesh (2008). He also produced and the original transmedia proof-of-concept project for Conducttr, Lowlifes.

Today he is an internationally recognized thought-leader in transmedia storytelling – regularly speaking at numerous conferences including the World Innovation Conference and SXSW Interactive and also to transmedia meetup groups to encourage and inspire a new era of independent creative thinking. Recent clients include broadcaster Canal+ and publisher Harlequin

He plays an active role in the continuing development of Conducttr and advising clients on how best to engage audiences using multiplatform interactive storytelling.

He is author of the book Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling: A Practical Guide for Beginners.

Find him at Transmedia Storyteller Ltd and on Twitter.

Kristen Rutherford

Kristen Rutherford

Kristen Rutherford is a writer, producer, and actress best known as the Head Writer/Creative Producer of The Nerdist on BBC America and co-host of the #parent show on Felicia Day’s Geek And Sundry network. She gained a cult following for playing the voice of “Melissa” in the alternate reality game ilovebees.

Writing credits include Pop Up Video, Attack of The Show!, Ninja Warrior, Kevin & Olivia’s Attack on Tokyo, The Star Wars Fan Film Challenge. She has been a Content Editor for GeekMom, contributor to the official Star Wars Blog for Lucasfilm, and is currently covering the family nerd beat for Nerdist.com. She likes anything to do with Tokyo, The Wizard of Oz books, and Legend of Zelda (except Twilight Princess) and hates talking about herself in the third person.

Find her at KristenRutherford.com and on Twitter.

Liz Smith, Dammit Liz Productions

Liz Smith
Dammit Liz Productions

Liz is the creator of Dammit Liz Productions, an event production company with a focus on clientele in the “gaming” space. She’s created and produced live shows, parties, panels, exhibits, pop-up shops, ARGs, and more for clients including w00tstock, JoCoCruiseCrazy, Desert Bus For Hope, Cards Against Humanity, Microsoft, LoneShark, and Wizards of the Coast.

Past experience includes working for GenCon and ReedPop, cementing her love for attending (and running) cons. She loves gaming and making new friends and looks forward to chatting with ARG creators on how to take their game’s associated events to the next level.

Find her at Dammit Liz Productions and on Twitter.

Sean Stewart

Sean Stewart
Xbox Studios

Sean Stewart is one of the most influential digital storytellers in the world, as well as an accomplished sci-fi and fantasy novelist.

As the lead writer on projects such as The Beast for Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Halo 2’s I Love Bees and Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero, he co-created the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) genre, and was instrumental in exploring what “web-native” story can be.

Named by WIRED magazine as “the world’s most wired TV creator,” he helped develop the Rides.TV multimedia platform as a Founder and Head Writer at Fourth Wall Studios. Fourth Wall’s first show, Dirty Work, won a Primetime Emmy for Online Programming.

Stewart’s novels of real people in extraordinary situations have garnered multiple Nebula nominations, two New York Times Notable Book awards, a New York Times best seller, and the World Fantasy Award for Galveston.

His two careers came together with the New York Times and internationally best-selling Cathy’s Book transmedia novels, now published in more than twenty countries around the world.

He is currently the Creative Director for Xbox Studios in Santa Monica, California

Find him on Twitter.

Sara Thacher

Sara Thacher

Sara Thacher creates interactive stories that connect physical and digital spaces and the people who inhabit them. She makes transmedia experiences and adventures that turn audiences into participants, putting them in the center of the action. Recent projects include Walt Disney Imagineering’s The Optimist, an ARG about midcentury futurism embedded in Disneyland and beyond, and FutureCoast, a collaborative-storytelling exploration of climate change for the PoLAR Partnership at Columbia University.

Previously, Sara was the Head of Production for Nonchalance. There she worked on the ‘Jejune Institute‘, a narrative game of real world exploration that encouraged participants to explore their neighborhood and in doing so, unravel the threads of a mystery embedded in the city of San Francisco. The game received an IndieCade award and numerous press accolades from publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. It is now the subject of feature documentary.

Sara is also a professionally trained glassblower and has delivered letters by horseback.

Find her at thachr.com or on Twitter.



Geoff May was introduced to Alternate Reality Gaming in 2004 with the launch of I Love Bees. As an avid Halo fan, he caught wind of the hacked apiary website through the Halo 2 launch trailer posted to an Xbox fan website. That led him to the Unfiction forums and player community, and he hasn’t looked back since. During I Love Bees, he aided a few other players with a wiki called the “Fireflies” wiki. Over the years he’s launched a number of websites in the ARG community. Primarily, he began hosting other ARG player wikis from which eventually spawned Wikibruce.com, an ARG news blog. In its early years, Geoff also participated as periodic guest on the ARG netcast. Then, interested in the creative process of launching and running ARGs and transmedia campaigns, he soon launched 4DFiction.com. Most recently, he took under his wing a traditional ARGFest component – the ARG Museum, and the soon to be released website ARGMuseum.com. During his ARGing career, he has helped in various capacities with PM teams, from general consulting, to wiki creation, to web asset programming.

Geoff is now also an avid geocacher, which mitigates his love for ARG deaddrops; but as a demonstration of Geoff’s undying, fanatical love for all things Halo and I Love Bees, in 2007 he adopted two kittens and named them Jersey and Durga. Alarmingly, this year puts Durga past her 7 year life expectancy, and into rampancy!

Find him on Twitter.

Nick Tierce

Nick Tierce

Nick Tierce, an ARGfest virgin, moonlights as a writer and filmmaker. By day, his award-winning graphic design has been celebrated by such illustrious organizations as the California Park & Recreation Society. Not speaking for anyone else, he considers himself an equal-opportunity overthinker, pop proselytizer, Mary Poppins scholar, amateur transmedia theorist, and ARG devotee since 2007

Find him on Twitter.

Mike Vogel

Mike Vogel

Mike Vogel is the writer and director of Phrenic, a transmedia thriller about cloning that you watch, read, and play. Combining episodes, interactive fiction, games, and social media storytelling, Phrenic is designed to adapt to emerging technology platforms and span multiple narrative genres.

Mike also blogs at This Is Transmedia blog and started the transmedia program for the Portland Film Festival. Find him at PhrenicWorld and on Twitter.

Find him at PhrenicWorld and on Twitter.


Amazon Games

Preston Thorne is best known in the world of alternate reality gaming for his role as “Lt. weephun”, an active ilovebees player character and betrayer of the Sleeping Princess.

Preston is a geeky costuming father of 4, married to the sexiest science teacher ever, and is currently a QA Manager at Amazon Games. Previously, Preston was the Unreal Engine QA Manager and Technical Support Manager at Epic Games releasing and supporting the Unreal Engine 3 and 4 as well as the Unreal Development Kit. Prior to that he was a Product and Test Engineer at Micron Technologies, producing memory chips used anywhere from space stations to your own hotel room door.

Find him on Twitter.

Jonathan Waite, Digital Trail

Jonathan Waite
Digital Trail

Once upon a time, Jonathan Waite was a quiet, unassuming newlywed in an ancient land, and it was during that time that he stumbled upon a murder victim named Evan Chan. Twelve years later, after countless campaigns involving poisoned apples, bees, the Dharma Initiative and more, he still calls the Unfiction forums home and still calls mysterious phone numbers hoping for someone cool to be on the other end, opening up yet another alternate reality to have fun in.

Jonathan began his ARG ‘career’ as a parody website owner (and co-owner), a member of the Jadedmedia eXperience development team, an Unfiction forum administrator, the Senior Editor and Owner of ARGN/ARGNet, a co-founder and co-host of the ARG Netcast, an ARGFest-o-Con Project Manager, and a transmedia designer as owner of Digital Trail. He is a husband, father, uncle, teacher, coach and active participant in many organizations in the Manitoba region.

Jordan Weisman, Harebrained-Schemes

Jordan Weisman

Jordan Weisman has been the creative force behind several interactive entertainment companies, including his latest venture, Harebrained-Schemes LLC. Along the way, he created MechWarrior, Shadowrun and Crimson Skies, three of the longest running franchises in the game industry.

Weisman got his start in the paper game industry founding FASA Corporation in 1980, where he created BattleTech/MechWarrior and Shadowrun. He pioneered publicly accessible virtual reality at his second company, Virtual World Entertainment, which he sold to the Disney family in 1992.

Jordan founded FASA Interactive to develop his properties for PC and sold the company to Microsoft in 1998. After the acquisition, Jordan became the Creative Director for Microsoft’s Games Division where he oversaw the first two years of all Xbox titles, including the launch of the Halo franchise.

In 2000 Weisman founded Wizkids when he invented the collectible miniature figure game format for MageKnight, MechWarrior and HeroClix. Wizkids grew quickly and was acquired by Topps Inc. in 2003.

After Wizkids, Jordan co-founded 42 Entertainment to build upon the pioneering transmedia experience he created with Steven Spielberg for the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence which spawned the new genre of Alternate Reality Games. As Chief Creative Officer of 42 Entertainment, Jordan oversaw the creation of “I Love Bees,” for the launch of Halo 2, “Why So Serious” for Dark Knight, “Year Zero” for Nine Inch Nails, along with many other landmark ARGs.

In 2011, Jordan founded Harebrained Schemes and, partnering with Bungie, released the critically-acclaimed and best-selling mobile title, Crimson Steam Pirates. Their second game, Strikefleet Omega was named one of Google Play’s Best Games of 2012 placing Harebrained Schemes firmly on the list of studios to watch.

In July 2013, Harebrained Schemes made history when they released Shadowrun Returns, the first seven figure Kickstarter campaign to be successfully delivered to excited backers and positive reviews. In October 2013 Harebrained successfully crowd funded a pioneering tabletop digital hybrid game called Golem Arcana which will release in August of 2014. Most recently Weisman’s Harebrained Schemes released Shadowrun: Dragonfall a new campaign set in the dystopia of Berlin 2054.

Weisman is a New York Times bestselling fiction author, winner of the Northwest E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award, Time Magazines Ten Best Ideas, and dozens of design awards. He is an adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and co-founder of the Center for Serious Play at the University of Washington.

Find him at Harebrained Schemes.

Hastin Zylstra

Hastin Zylstra

Hastin Zylstra is a 27 year old geek from Orange County, California. During the week, he does IT for a major internet search company, but on the weekends he’s out playing in and over-analyzing the Southern California theme parks. His life has been powered by how these themed physical worlds and online social experiences meet – ARGs piqued his interest after Disney’s The Optimist in 2013.

Find him on Twitter.


Lucas J.W. Johnson, Silverstring Media

Grand Inquisitor
Lucas J.W. Johnson
Silverstring Media

The Grand Inquisitor is a pompous term for a simple concept; sometimes a Q&A session will need a bit of a kickstart. This lucky individual has the first question for each speaker, presenter, or panel. Every year the Grand Inquisitor brings his or her own special comic twist to the proceedings to break the ice and foster discussion.

Lucas J.W. Johnson is the founder of Silverstring Media, a narrative design and game production studio out of Vancouver, BC. He’s published short stories, produced transmedia projects like The Time Tribe and Azrael’s Stop, and was the writer and narrative designer on IGF and IndieCade nominated games Crypt of the NecroDancer and Extrasolar — the latter of which he got involved with through ARGFest 2011! Lucas founded the Transmedia Vancouver meetup group and has spoken at conferences across North America.

Find him at Silverstring Media and on Twitter and Tumblr.

Dave Walker, Synth-Bio Productions

Master of Ceremonies
Dave Walker
Synth-Bio Productions

David Walker has been hooked on interactive games ever since he played Zork on a Trash-80 back in the day. That first tangible experience with a combination of new technology, storytelling and game design made an impression that drives his work today.

In 2009, he founded Synth-Bio Productions in Portland, Oregon to focus on live, interactive games and events. Since then over 45,000 people have played one of the over 1500 live games and events that Synth-Bio Productions has produced. A professional MC and host, Dave brings his effervescent personality to every event he is a part of and is really excited to be joining ARGFest-o-Con 2014 as its Master of Ceremonies.

Alternate reality games are Dave’s true love. As a live event coordinator, he helped introduce folks to the alternate reality game Socks Inc. at such international events as ARGfest, Indiecade and the 01SJ! festival. In 2012 Synth-Bio Productions produced the much loved alternate reality game ‘Boom The Moon!’, a two week interactive adventure that had it’s players fighting to stop an evil corporation from blowing up the moon. They followed up that success with ‘The Sawtooth Circus’, an interactive puzzle hunt that took place across the city of Seattle for the attendees of ARGFest-o-Con 2013.

Find him at Synth-Bio Productions or on Twitter.

The Doubleclicks

Special Guests
Angela And Aubrey Webber
The Doubleclicks

The Doubleclicks are a pair of sisters — Angela Webber and Aubrey Webber — who sing about Dungeons & Dragons, dinosaurs, and Mr. Darcy. They play cello and ukulele. They have been called snarky, geeky, and sweet. Their latest album, Lasers & Feelings, includes songs about Mars Curiosity, meeting people on the Twitter, and Geek Girl pride, and debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard comedy charts. Their single for that album, a geek girl anthem called “Nothing to Prove” has been viewed over 1 million times on YouTube. The Doubleclicks tour the country regularly, playing at game stores, comic shops, and conventions, and have shared bills with nerd and comedy superstars including Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm and Wil Wheaton. In early 2014, the Doubleclicks raised over $80,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new album and a music video project.

Find Angela on Twitter. Find Aubrey at AubreyWebb.com.
Find them together at The Doubleclicks as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.