Brenda Romero is an award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright scholar who entered the video game industry in 1981. As a designer, she has contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series and titles in the Ghost Recon and Dungeons & Dragons franchises. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Síochán Leat (The Irish Game) which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play. In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador’s Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland’s game industry, academic and government policies. In 2013, she was named one of the top 10 game developers by Gamasutra.com and Develop magazine listed her among the 25 people who changed games in 2013. Romero co-owns Romero Games based in Galway and is Course Director at the upcoming MSc in Game Design & Development at the University of Limerick.
Inside the game industry, we praise the outsiders and applaud their tremendous innovation, whimsy and creativity. We crave the freedom we perceive they have. Yet, outside the game industry, those who push the boundaries often feel quite alone, not certain if their ideas are worthwhile or worthless. They have neither parallel nor peer and crave the validation that comes from being inside. Inside wants out, outside wants in. In this talk, Romero explores this paradox, the struggle for self-validation and acceptance, and considers an inside/out outside/in path that works for all.