The Advisory Council is a collection of professionals and interested parties that lend their vision, ideas and efforts towards the success of The Game Academy in its mission. We appreciate their contributions deeply.
Ethan Gilsdorf is a journalist, memoirist, essayist, critic, poet, teacher, performer and nerd. He is the author of the travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. He writes on arts (with a focus on books and film); pop, gaming and geek culture; and media and technology, for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Wired, Salon, Psychology Today, USA Today and elsewhere. He reviews movies for the Boston Globe and Art New England magazine, and reviews books for the New York Times Book Review and Boston Globe. A longtime gamer and D&D player, he lectures at schools, festivals, conventions, conferences worldwide (such as PAX and GenCon), and frequently appears on TV, radio and podcasts. He also gave this TEDx talk "Why Dungeons & Dragons is Good for You (In Real Life)." Gilsdorf is co-founder of GrubStreet's Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), and teaches creative writing at GrubStreet in Boston, where he serves on the Board of Directors. Follow Ethan’s Ethan’s adventures at ethangilsdorf.com; Facebook facebook.com/fantasyfreaksbook; and Twitter @ethanfreak.
Angela Hockabout is the Marketing Manager for The Game Academy, bringing three years of experience working for educational nonprofits. She is also the founder of the Alameda Renters Coalition, building up the organization to pass two ordinances and putting a rent control measure on the 2016 ballot. She is also on the board of the Nea PTSA, and The Alameda Home Team. She started playing tabletop role playing games in 2006 and has found it a valuable resource for teaching leadership, self reflection, collaboration and empathy.
Jay Little is a professional geek with more than 20 years of experience in hobby gaming. He is the award-winning game designer who shares his insights on game design and the gaming industry at conventions and workshops across the country. In addition to his freelance work, Jay also teaches video game and tabletop game design, critical thinking, and board game production at University-Wisconsin Stout. He's also been described as a medical oddity by his doctors, somehow surviving two heart attacks, a stroke, complete organ failure, sepsis, a coma, and paralysis.
Jay's board game credits include X-Wing Miniatures, Blood Bowl: Team Manager and expansions for classics like Wiz War and Cosmic Encounter as well as upcoming titles Zero Hour, Wrath of Vesuvius, and Three Years of War. He has also designed numerous roleplaying games, including the Narrative Dice Systems featured in the Star Wars Roleplay line and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay by Fantasy Flight Games and the 2d20 system driving the Star Trek and Mutant Chronicles lines by Modiphius Games. And he's always working on a zillion other projects at any given time. To learn more about Jay, visit his website PaintedThumb.com
Andrew Peterson has focused on Game-Based Learning for most of his academic life. He is an instructor for the Digital Animation & Game Design program at Ferris State University. He is also the coordinator for the Game-Based Learning Institute in the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Ferris. There, he helps faculty introduce Game-Based Learning and Gamification to their traditional pedagogy. He is currently working on his doctorate in community college leadership where he is creating a board game to help increase student success and retention. It is his hope that giving students a safe opportunity to fail at college will transfer into meaningful conversation about what it takes to succeed.
Rebecca (Becky) Thomas, a former teacher at Archway School in Oakland, is the developer of the Abantey System and the Founder and Director of The Roleplay Workshop, created in 1989 to use the strengths of tabletop role play gaming to work with adolescents, older teens as well as an adult program. The older teen and adult games focus on creating a rich worlds and character development, and provide an escape from everyday stresses, creating a place to relax with friends, and exercise minds, imaginations, and creativity.
Becky received a Bachelors of Sciences in Zoology in 1982 from the University of Michigan. She spent most of the next year in the Philippines as a research assistant studying the reproductive ecology of fruit bats, as well as general jungle ecology. In 1983, Becky moved to the Bay Area for graduate work in Ecology and Systematics at San Francisco State University, examining the evolutionary relationships of dolphins and whales. During that time, Becky also taught courses in Mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences, and ultimately decided to pursue a teaching career. She earned teaching credentials from SFSU in Life Sciences, Psychology, as well as General and Physical Sciences, in 1988.
She is a lifelong, avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, police procedural, and tactical military fiction. She is a dedicated table top rpg player and her favorite games are CyberPunk and Serenity. She studies martial arts and has a black belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.