Kate is a multi-award winning game designer, innovation facilitator and explainer of the future. She has spoken at top academic and industry conferences, including SXSW (Austin), NXNE (Toronto) and TEDxPerth where has also worked a speaker coach, and has been featured on MTV, NPR and in the pages of ELLE and the Australian Financial Review. She recently completed an Australia-wide speaking tour, hosted by the Australian Computer Society, where she spoke about the importance of playfulness, compassion and diversity in preparing for the future.
Kate has written for a variety of publications in Canada and Australia, including the Conversation and Kotaku, a top game industry news site. Kate has a technology and innovation column for the WA Business News and is a regular contributor to Scitech’s Particle, where she covers everything from the future of work and education to the latest video game console. Her ability to identify and explain key trends in an accessible way are rewarded by her articles being among some of those most read and shared. Her PhD on Facebook has also been in Curtin Library’s top 10 most downloaded (of all time!) list since it was published in 2012.
Kate’s award-winning mixed and augmented reality (MR/AR) games have been played all over the world, including at the National Theatre (London), Toronto International Film Festival and IndieCade (San Francisco). She is also the Founder of Playup Perth, a social night hosted by Spacecubed (Perth’s largest coworking hub) which connects the public with the local latest games and creative innovations. Running since 2013, the event has been instrumental in building and activating WA’s games industry.
Kate has worked with a wide variety of clients from different industries, including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Deakin University, Bankwest, RAC WA, Knowledge Week and Health Canada. She also recently advised the Western Australian government on their new STEM strategy and games industry funding pilot.
Kate has won multiple international awards for her work, including WAITTA Incite’s Achiever of the Year (2015/2016); the Australian Computer Society’s Digital Disruptor Professional Achiever of the Year (2016); and one of MCV Pacific’s 30 most influential women in games for three years running. This year she was named as one of the 40 under 40 in Western Australia.
She holds a PhD from Curtin University’s Department of Internet Studies, where she is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s New Media Lab, where she previously taught. Kate is a Member of Professional Speakers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as an Honorary Member of the Australian Computer Society.
Kate's Session: Why Games Are The Future
Games and play are kind of a big deal. This year it is estimated that the games industry will be worth $140 billion USD, which is bigger than both the film and music industry combined. And this is just games for entertainment, and does not include gamification, serious games or other adjacent industries or technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality (now being called XR).
At the same time, schools are finding that children no longer know how to play. All the while, we're struggling to keep up with the massive changes happening in all aspects of society, education and business thanks to disruptive technologies.
This talk will show how understanding and leveraging games as a culture, a mindset and as a process are critical to preparing for the future of work and education. Overall, we’ll uncover why we need playfulness now more than ever.