“Not Your Grandson’s Playstation”

Rodney Gibbs
AMAZE Entertainment

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

The stereotypical game player is a teenage boy, but it may not be for long. The fastest growing game player demographic is women 35 – 50; retirement homes are dumping bingo for Nintendo Wiis; large, traditional corporations want gamers for employees because of the way they think and learn; even the military is embracing games whole-hog as tactical and cultural training tools for soldiers. We’ll discuss the evolution of games from fringe to mainstream, and how its growth mirrors similar new media over the last several decades. We’ll also look at examples of how games are reaching far beyond teenage boys to more mature and unexpected audiences.

Rodney is executive studio director of Amaze Entertainment, a Foundation 9 Entertainment company. Developing video games on all handheld and console platforms, Amaze specializes in prominent mass-market properties, including X-Men, WWE, Spider-Man and Ice Age. Rodney co-founded his studio, which was later acquired by Amaze, in 2001 and has grown it from four to 42 employees. Prior to making games, Rodney wrote animated and live-action television programs for WB, Fox and Showtime.

Rodney chairs the Digital Media Council, a workforce development group that employs video games and other forms of digital media to excite students about math, science and careers in technology. He co-founded Dorkbot-Austin, a bi-monthly salon featuring people doing strange things with electricity. He has a long history with Big Brothers Big Sisters, first as a volunteer mentor to a little boy and now as board member.

A graduate of Leadership Austin, Rodney serves on the advisory boards of Skillpoint Alliance, ACC’s video game development program, the International Game Developers Association of Austin, SXSW ScreenBurn, GACC’s AusTech Alliance, the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture’s 2007 conference, and the Texas Motion Picture Alliance.