I’m Simon Carless – pleased to meet you. I’m a former editor/writer & video game designer, and a current event organizer and biz guy in the video game, app, and infosec spaces. I originally hail from South London, England, but am nowadays working and living in the Bay Area – San Francisco & Alameda, California.
I’m currently the EVP of UBM Tech’s Game Network and Black Hat, meaning that I oversee the Game Developers Conference – the San Francisco mothership and satellite shows in Los Angeles, Germany, and China – plus the double Webby award-winning Gamasutra website and the Maggie award-winning Game Developer magazine, as well as the GAO ad network and now the Black Hat set of security events and the App Developers Conference.
I’m also Chairman Emeritus of the yearly ‘Sundance Festival for games’, the Independent Games Festival, which holds its awards at Game Developers Conference yearly. I also co-founded and ran the Indie Royale independent game bundle site (over 500,000 bundles and more than 2.5 million games sold!) from 2011 to 2013.
In addition, I’ve spoken on video games, indie game opportunities and digital distribution at venues including Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Digital Distribution Summit in Melbourne, and Ars Electronica in Austria.
what i did before?
Previously to that, I was an editor at techgeek site Slashdot from under the moniker of, uhh, Simoniker, working on both the main page and the Slashdot Games section, which I originated. I’ve also contributed to Wired magazine and Official Xbox Magazine, and also wrote/edited a book, Gaming Hacks, for leading technical publishers O’Reilly & Associates.
Up to 2003, I spent most of my time as a full-time video game designer in the UK and Silicon Valley. I started out at Kuju Entertainment on ‘Terracide’, a ‘Descent’-style shooter for the PC that was one of the first 3D hardware-accelerated games, and on ‘Tank Racer’ for the original PlayStation. I then moved to the U.S. and worked on two titles for Infogrames/Atari, including my favorite, ‘Looney Tunes Racing’ for the Playstation.
Finally, I ran the now dormant net.music.label Monotonik from 1996 to 2009. We put out more than 500 geektronica releases over the 13 years we were running, with millions of our freely distributable tracks downloaded. (I helped out the netlabel community in general by setting up the Internet Archive Netlabels collection at the Internet Archive.)