Keynote Speakers

John Szczepaniak

Born in South Africa and of Polish descent, John Szczepaniak grew up in the UK and studied Japanese.

He started documenting games in 2004, in issue 27 of GamesTM, writing about games from other countries. From there he would freelance for numerous places, including: Retro Gamer, Hardcore Gaming 101, Official PlayStation Magazine, Game Developer, and The Escapist. In 2006 he became staff writer on Retro Gamer, but after six months he moved to Practical Boat Owner magazine, published by Time Inc.

In 2013, through Kickstarter, John embarked on his most ambitious project: living in Japan for three months and interviewing over 80 people, to produce The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers trilogy of books. It took five years to complete, and afterwards would be condensed into Japansoft, published by Thames & Hudson. It has since been translated and published in France, Russia, and China.

After 20 years documenting the industry John has interviewed over 150 people. He’s also given academic talks in Canada and Germany.

Fun fact: John is licensed by the UK’s Royal Yachting Association as a Day Skipper!

Dr Regina Seiwald

Regina bio

Dr Tom Apperley

Tom Apperley is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies and the Tampere Institute for Advanced Studies at Tampere University. He is a Docent in Media Studies at the University of Turku. He is the author of the open-access book Gaming Rhythms: Play and Counterplay from the Local to the Global (Institute of Network Cultures 2010) and is the author or co-author of more than seventy peer reviewed publications in the areas of digital games and cultures.

His research focuses on the material cultures of gaming—the interfaces of digital games, and the platforms and infrastructures of gaming culture—in relation to issues of gender, sexuality, and inclusion.