Speakers 2016


Alex Christie

Panel #4: Art as Games & the Playable City: 3:30-4:15 pm

Alex Christie is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Victoria. His dissertation traces experiments in rule-based literary expression across modernist manuscripts, recovering experimental novels as videogame narratives. He conducts research with Implementing New Knowledge Environments and the Modernist Versions Project in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab. He also leads the Pedagogy Toolkit project with grant funding from the Association for Computers and the Humanities and serves on the executive board of the Modernist Studies Association as webmaster. Find his research forthcoming in Digital Literary Studies, Modernism/Modernity, Reading Modernism with Machines, and elsewhere.
Bernadette Perry

Panel #2: The Future of Virtual & Augmented Reality, 1:30-2:15 pm


I am a PhD student at the University of Victoria, co-supervised by Dr. Daniela Damian and Dr. Catherine Caws. I hold a BA with a French major and an MA in French, focusing on applied linguistics. I joined SEGAL labs in September 2015, and I am also a research assistant in the UVic Digital Second Language Learning Lab.

My research is focused on the gamification of second language acquisition, and includes the development and implementation of a mobile learning-tool, entitled Explorez. I created Explorez for first-year University French students in order to bridge the gap between gaming and education through quest-based learning and augmented reality. A first iteration of the tool was analyzed for my MA. My PhD research will focus on CSCL and its impact on language learning via the gamified tool.

David Parfit

Panel #4: Art as Games & the Playable City: 3:30-4:15 pm

Is a composer, sound designer, and software engineer who spends his time composing music for films like The Whale and Two4One, producing albums for artists such as The Carlines and Rachael Cardiello, and designing and coding interactive sound and light installations with Monkey C Interactive. Since earning a Master of Music degree from NYU in 2005, he has been combining visual imagery, sound, and music to create deep emotional connections with viewers and listeners, and has earned a reputation in Victoria’s film and music communities as an artisan of all things audible.
Gord Holden

Panel #1: Games and Education, 12:30-1:15 pm

began his work in education at 22 working as an Aide. Working with Trainable Mentally Handicapped students at John Oliver High School he used AppleGS computers and digital phonic games to teach these students to read. Gord subsequently obtained his teaching degree at SFU, earning the Apex Award as the top Pre-service Teacher, and both The Claude E. Lewis Award and The Maxwell A. Cameron Award.

Between 1991–2007 Gord taught at Lake Trail Middle School and Courtenay Elementary, and was active in providing workshops across the province regarding the role of games as a teaching tool, and educational issues pertaining to boys. He obtained his M.Ed at UVic in 1998 and moved to the Distributive Learning at North Island Distributed Education School (now NAVIGATE) in 2008. At NIDES, seeking to reclaim both the personal magic of the classroom and the pedagogical advantage of immediate feedback, Gord began working with his student in 3D interactive worlds. His success led to Heritage Christian Online School (HCOS) recruiting his in 2011 to become the director of an Immersive Technology (IMT) Division at HCOS, a program which doubled in each of the last 5 years. Gord now has a staff of 10 teachers working with him and approximately 150 students from grades 5-8. The IMT courses includes Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Bible, Health & Careers, and French. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BS9BytA7Ik  The success of the French program has led to plans to not only expand it, but to add Spanish as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0si-k2V3f9Q

Gord’s a featured speaker at educational conferences around the world. (ISTE, VWBPE, Spain, Australia, Brussels, San Diego, University of Eugene, to name just a few), and was named “Edovator of the Year” by the Virtual Education Journal for 2014. https://issuu.com/edovation/docs/vej_december_2014_doc

Gord has hopes of seeing this methodology grow to include ESL and international education programs. His goal is to one day ensure that every girl with access to the internet will also have access to an education.

Jamie Burren

Panel #1: Games and Education, 12:30-1:15 pm

 My life is blessed in that I am able to be part of numerous exciting research projects, and have opportunities to work as a teacher within the Greater Victoria School District. Currently, I am working on my graduate thesis, within the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria. My thesis is focused on the ways in which video games can be incorporated into the classroom in order to facilitate student engagement, the creation of classroom community, and foster student success. In addition to this I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Kathy Sanford, on her longitudinal study which focuses on Youth Video Games and Civic engagement. Underlying all of my work is a conviction that the voice of youth is often underappreciated, and that by paying close attention to their interests and their passions we can discover ways to improve the educational experiences for both students and teachers.
Jillian Wedel

Panel #4: Art as Games & the Playable City: 3:30-4:15 pm

Being an inherently passionate person, I have worn many hats in my academic and professional life: student, educator, musician, audio engineer, activist, facilitator, and the list goes on. While I have juggled many different projects and activities in my life, ultimately, I strive to synthesize all of my interests as I move forward in my life’s work.

In 2006, I graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver with a diploma in Professional Recording Arts. I spent three years at Camosun College, and currently, I am in my fourth year of an Undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Victoria. I like to take an active role in my education which has led me to various opportunities, including becoming a feature writer for the Nexus Newspaper, helping 0rganize Victoria’s first queer film festival with Camosun Pride, and winning a LOUD (Leadership, Opportunity, Unity, Diversity) Scholarship in 2014.

In addition to studying at UVic, I also work as a piano teacher for Larsen School of Music and as a workshop facilitator for the non-profit organization Out in Schools. The artist and activist in me love using creative tools like music and film in order to engage youth to help create positive change within their own lives as well as the communities they belong to. I have had the privilege of speaking to high school class rooms throughout Vancouver Island about creating safer and more diverse learning environments, and last summer I was hired by Girls Rock Camp Victoria to be their keyboard instructor and a workshop presenter on using music as therapy. I have also been involved with the Oaklands Community Centre, taking on the role of Sound Technician and Stage Coordinator for their summer sunset market.

Jon Bowen

Panel #3: Games for Health, 2:30-3:15 pm

Jon Bowen is a software developer with the Centre for Autism Research, Technology and Education (CARTE). He graduated with a BSc in psychology and computer science from the University of Victoria in November, and recently helped launch Let’s Face It! Scrapbook, a game and tool to train facial expression recognition skills for children on the Autism spectrum. Jon plans to continue development of the Let’s Face It! platform and extend it to new domains of perceptual expertise training, and to further investigate the human capacity for visual category learning.
Kathy Sanford

Panel #1: Games and Education, 12:30-1:15 pm

Kathy Sanford is a Professor in the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include gender, new literacies and technologies, learning through videogames, ePortfolios, non-formal education, and teacher education. Recent publications include an edited book entitled Youth Literacies in New Times: Everyday Everywhere. Recent articles include: Understanding the Power of New Literacies through Video Game Play and Design; Critical Literacy Learning through Video Games: adolescent boys’ perspectives; Gendered Literacy Experiences: The Effects of expectation and opportunity for boys’ and girls’ learning. Recent SSHRC-funded research projects include Youth Civic Engagement: Real Life Learning through Virtual Games Environments, ePortfolio Development in Three Professional Programs, and Community first: impacts of community engagement CF:ICE. The current videogame research project is a continuation of two earlier studies, involving the same participants for over 10 years in a longditudinal investigation of youth learning through videogames.
Lauren Fox

Panel #3: Games for Health, 2:30-3:15 pm

Lauren Fox is an occupational therapist with Island Health in Victoria, BC. She is a front-line rehabilitation clinician in the Psychiatric Day Hospital and the clinical lead for the BoosterBuddy mobile app project She earned her BSc(OT) from UBC and has sixteen years experience working as a mental health clinician with particular interest in cognitive behavioural therapy and cognitive remediation. She has been exploring the use of game-like approaches to improve motivation and engagement, an approach utilized by the BoosterBuddy app.
Mike Wozniewski

Panel #2: The Future of Virtual & Augmented Reality, 1:30-2:15 pm

is a developer of interactive media, with a focus on playful experiences that combine elements of real and virtual environments. His Master’s degree (at the Centre for Intelligent Machines at McGill University) included research in human-computer interaction, motion tracking, virtual reality, and immersive environments. Later with the Society for Arts and Technology, he developed tools to enable the construction of large-scale virtual environments, with spatial audio controls, distributed rendering across networks, multi-screen projection, curved and dome displays, as well as several types of input and tracking devices. In 2010, Mike launched his own company, Hololabs, and began to create augmented reality applications for mobile devices, as well as multimedia installations and mobile games.
Nicholas Zaparyniuk

Panel #2: The Future of Virtual & Augmented Reality, 1:30-2:15 pm


Dr. Nick Zap is an assistant professor in Education who’s research is in the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality as a Cognitive tool for learning.  He has designed and developed simulations and virtual environments for the U.S. and Canadian Military, Simon Fraser University, the University of Alberta, and recently designed and developed 3 large scale virtual environments for Harvard University.  His current work is in designing virtual environments for measuring complex problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Paul Green

Panel #3: Games for Health, 2:30-3:15 pm

As the Product Manager I am charged with understanding the needs of the marketplace and assessment and articulation of the value to key stakeholders associated with projects that are undertaken by CanAssist.  Previous to joining CanAssist full time in 2011, my prior work was in the field of power electronics research and development for the pulp and paper industry.

Before taking on my new role as Product Manager I worked as electrical design specialist with CanAssist’s engineering team. Being part of the design team of several highly customized video game interfaces for individuals with complex physical and cognitive challenges including 2 bicycle interfaces deployed to clients in Northern BC as part of the CanFitt BC initiative are among my more rewarding projects undertaken at CanAssist.

Reese Giroux

 MacLaurin D114

Reese Giroux, 22 y/o been playing and have had interest in competitive videogames since I was 16.

My interest in E-sports began in 2009 with the release of Call of duty Modern Warfare 2 where I eventually wound up in one of the best North American teams in the PC circuit. From that point forward I have always had a big interest in the growing wold of e-sports. I actively research and keep up to date with a variety of game genres from mobas to fighters and have competed at high levels in both MMO’s and FPS games.

In my time I have learned about how valuable and exciting competitive videogames can be and want to promote the culture. Come see me to talk about the pros and cons of competitive gaming. What it is like to compete and to learn some of the processes it takes to push yourself, and the game to its limits

Scott Amos

Panel #4: Art as Games & the Playable City: 3:30-4:15 pm

is an internationally screened award-winning filmmaker and media artist living and working in Victoria, BC. While earning an MFA from UVic’s Department of Writing, his fascination with technology, both current and antiquated, led him from 16mm experimental film, to digital video production, to using electronics and machinery to create interactive sound and light installations and kinetic sculptures. Sometimes likened to a mad scientist, the work he creates is whimsical, thoughtful, and often a little strange.