Left Arrow Resources

Chicago: The (W)Indie City for Games

Illinois – Chicago

| 12 Sep 2020

Panel on the Chicago games community at ValorCon (valorcon.com) on October 1, 2016.

Chicago: beneath the well-kept, shiny veneer of city life lives a darkness…a corruption…of GAMES. Follow us on a journey into the seediest of Chicago’s various, seedy underbellies; learn about Chicago’s game communities from various sketchy individuals allegedly involved in them; and perhaps even be drawn in yourself!!! [in the distance, you hear a high-pitched scream]


  • Craig Stern Craig is an indie game developer, known for developing RPGs and strategy games such as Telepath Tactics and True Messiah at his studio, Sinister Design. Craig runs Indie City Games, Chicago’s indie game developer meetup group; Craig also founded and runs the web site IndieRPGs.com.
  • Keisha Howard (Sugar Gamers) Keisha is the founder of The BlazeBreakers, a small boutique marketing agency, and The Sugar Gamers, a passionate organization of trendsetters who are on a mission to make the worlds of tech, geek culture, and gaming accessible to like-minded women and other underserved demographics.
  • Kevin Fair I Play Games! was founded in 2009 by experienced video game promoter, and tournament organizer Kevin Fair. Playing video games at home with friends and family was a favorite hobby for Kevin, and so bringing the joy of video game entertainment to greater video game community was a natural fit. Since 2009 I Play Games! has branched out into to several different areas growing their brand and presence in the video gaming community, with charitable events, group trips across the country, and supporting media blogs and gaming discussion shows.
  • Ross Hersemann (Loading Law) Ross is an attorney, author, and avid gamer. He received his J.D. and LL.M. in intellectual property from the John Marshall Law School. Ross is the founding partner of Loading Law, a Chicago-based video game law firm, and the organizer of the annual Chicago Video Game Law Summit. His first book on video game law will be published in early 2017. Ross also serves as Board President of the VGA Gallery, Board Member of IGDA Chicago, and Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Creative Arts Committee. Sarah Sexton (Voxelles)
  • Sarah Sexton is a dedicated advocate for technology, committed to highlighting strengths and seeing more women and minorities get involved in video game development. She is a co-founder of Voxelles, a group for women developers in Chicago. She is most passionate about diversity, inclusion, and communicating clearly. Her responsibilities at Microsoft include speaking to user groups, writing code, blogging and tweeting about Microsoft services, and reaching out to the development community and students. She helps student, community, and startup developers find success on Windows. She works with them via local user groups and speaking at conferences and universities about anything ranging from Unity 3D, BizSpark, to coding advice for apps and games.
  • Moderator Heather M Decker (IGDA Chicago) Heather is a Lead Producer at Zynga in Chicago where she manages the development of games for Facebook and mobile, helps coordinate studio involvement with Women at Zynga and Zynga.org, and drinks a lot of tea. She proudly serves her local game development community as Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), in addition to volunteering and collaborating with awesome game groups both within the Windy City and beyond.
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