Our panelists are almost all professional journalists and writers, who’ve worked in the industry for several years. We’re still recruiting our judges, but this is who we’ve got so far.
Ben Abraham is a PhD student from Sydney Australia, writing about videogame criticism communities. In 2009 he started Critical Distance in order to highlight excellent videogame blogging, writing and criticism being done online outside the mainstream. He has written the occasional piece for Gamasutra, KillScreen, Kotaku Australia, and received notoriety for his “Permadeath” novelization of a single life play-through of Far Cry 2.
Naomi Alderman is a novelist, journalist and games writer. Her novels, published by Penguin in the UK, have won several awards and been translated into 10 languages. She’s written about games for the Guardian and for BBC radio and presented a Front Row special on video games earlier this year. Her latest game, Zombies, Run! – co-created with Six to Start – is an indie hit, which briefly knocked Nike off the top spot in Health & Fitness and has been shortlisted for five Develop Awards.
Leigh Alexander is editor-at-large for Gamasutra. Her regular pieces at Kotaku deals with cultural issues surrounding games and gamers, while her monthly column in Edge Magazine provides perspective on issues of greatest concern to the games industry. Her work has regularly appeared in publications including Variety, GamePro, Thought Catalog, Slate, the Los Angeles Times and The Onion’s AV Club, among others.
Keith Andrew is the current Deputy Editor of mobile-focused B2B website PocketGamer.biz, having worked within the Pocket Gamer fold for the last five years. Though mainly tracking the rise of the smartphone industry – regular stints at GameZebo and Slide to Play also racked up – Keith has also contributed to the likes of Games TM and VG247.
Guy is currently the Editor of GameSpot UK. He regularly comments in The Telegraph newspaper on gaming and digital issues. He has also written for outlets such as Virgin, Hotdog and The Guinness World Records Gamers’ Edition and regularly appears on networks such as the BBC, CNBC, CNN and Sky News.
Rob Fahey has been writing professionally about videogames for 15 years. He founded the GamesIndustry.biz website in 2002 and edited it for around five years – ten years on, he continues to write popular weekly columns for the site, as well as working for publications ranging from The Times to Eurogamer and VG247. He has often appeared on BBC TV and radio to discuss the games business.
Emily Gera is Senior UK Reporter for Polygon. She has written internationally for numerous print and digital publications on the topic of MMOs, digital communities, and social construction in gaming. She is currently in the process of writing a novelisation of the ZX Spectrum game Horace Goes Skiing, god help her.
In Kieron Gillen’s 15 years of professional games writing he won awards, accidentally started movements, regularly rendered himself unemployable and co-founded the worryingly successful PC site Rock Paper Shotgun. Kotaku said he invented games journalism, which even someone as despicably arrogant as Kieron admits is a bit over the top. He now writes comics.
Jon Hicks has been writing about video games for ten years, mostly for Future Publishing where his work has appeared in everything from long-dead GameBoy magazines to Edge, PC Gamer and Total Film. For the last five years he’s been Editor of Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine, in which capacity he’s served as a overly-rambly gaming expert for various TV and radio broadcasts.
Helen Lewis is the deputy editor of the New Statesman magazine, and blogs for its website about games, feminism and tech. She tweets as @helenlewis
Kris Ligman is the current senior curator of Critical Distance, dedicated to showcasing the brightest minds and most compelling topics in game criticism today. She holds a BA from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and a MA from USC School of Cinematic Arts, and she has served as a contributor for The Hathor Legacy, PopMatters, The Border House, CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT, and several other publications. Kris also currently serves as a community advocate for Gamasutra, working to bring lesser-known talents into the community spotlight.
Keza MacDonald has been writing about games and gaming culture for more than seven years, for everyone from The Guardian to Edge to VG247 and Eurogamer. She is currently UK Games Editor at IGN.com, and received a Games Media Award for Best Online Writer in 2011.
Alec has spent the vast majority of his adult life writing about videogames. Well, some of it was spent writing about graphics cards and printers, but by Christ no-one wants to hear about that. Nowadays he’s one of the founders and editors of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a jolly nice site about PC games, and one that tries hard to bring promising new writers to the audience they deserve. While seeing all these fresh-faced, super-enthusiastic youngsters does make Alec feel old and tired, he’s convinced it’s very important anyway.
Rick is Editor-in-Chief at Imagine Publishing, where he oversees publications including Games TM.
Paul Presley has been writing about all forms of gaming since 1988, starting in the so-called halcyon days of The One alongside industry legend Gary Penn, through the rise of PC gaming with PC Review, and throughout most of the life of games magazine phenomenon PC Zone. He has also freelanced for almost all major UK games magazines and websites. Today he is Editorial Director at Continue Magazine, a long-form features-led digital magazine promoting gaming culture in all its forms.
Oli Welsh is the Deputy Editor of Eurogamer.net, and edits the reviews section of the leading UK games website. He’s been writing about games for eight years; before joining Eurogamer in 2008, he contributed freelance to a number of publications, including a long stint as a journalist and critic for Edge magazine.
Alex Wiltshire is editor of Edge. He developed his journalism and writing career on the launch editorial team of design and architecture magazine Icon and as a web editor for Channel 4. He has also written about videogames, design and architecture for publications including New Statesman, PC Gamer, Official Xbox Magazine, Design Week, Gamesmaster and The Architects’ Journal. He lives in Bath with his wife and two children.