Advisory Board

The BGI’s Board consists of the following stakeholders from across the sector:

Malath Abbas, Biome Collective
Malath Abbas is a game designer, artist and creative producer working on experimental and meaningful games. Malath is establishing Scotland’s first game collective and co-working space Biome Collective, a diverse, inclusive melting pot of technology, art and culture for people who want to create, collaborate and explore games, digital art and technology. Games include the BAFTA Scotland nominated Killbox, an online game and interactive installation that critically explores the nature of drone warfare, its complexities and consequences, and Garden, a beautiful and mindful music VR experience currently in development. Malath serves as vice chair of IGDA Scotland and is the founder of Arcadia Festival which explores and celebrates independent game making.
Korina Abbott, Kinetic Atom
Korina Abbott, went from a 10-year long career in AAA game publishing (Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft) to freelance marketing consultancy in 2016. She subsequently founded Kinetic Atom, a video game marketing agency, in 2017 with the aim to help independent developers and publishers bring their games to market.
Shahid Ahmad
In his 37th year in the video games industry, Shahid has come full circle back to his roots as a game developer, founding Ultimatum Games and specialising in VR. He podcasts on “Remaster” at Relay FM, mentors developers for PlayStation Iberia and Creative England, is on the board of Double 11, the steering committee for Games London and is a MOBO Trustee. Shahid has been named one of Games Industry International’s Top 10 Persons of the Year and 100 Top Influencers in the British Games Industry, Develop’s 25 People that Changed Games, one of MCV’s Brit List 100 and received Develop’s Publishing Hero award for his team’s role in opening PlayStation up to developers and for commissioning over 100 titles, including No Man’s Sky, Hellblade and Velocity 2X.
Samira Ahmed
Samira is a journalist, broadcaster and visiting professor of media at Kingston University with a special interest in popular culture and social change. She presents the flagship BBC arts programme Front Row on Radio 4 and Newswatch on BBC1 and a range of documentaries on Radio 3 and 4. Samira works extensively with cultural institutions including the BFI and the Science Museum Group and has been a judge for the Game City Prize.  Samira won a Stonewall Broadcast of the year award while a presenter at Channel 4 News and has been a reporter on Newsnight, the Today programme, the BBC’s Los Angeles Correspondent and news anchor for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin.
Katherine Bidwell
Katherine is the co-founder and producer at State of Play Games. State of Play makes lovingly crafted games and animations. Established in 2008, State of Play’s work has won a number of international awards including a BAFTA for Artistic Achievement for its handmade puzzle adventure game Lumino City and an Apple Design Award for its iOS game INKS. State of Play also made the puzzle game KAMI, winner of Mac App Store Best of 2013, and Headspin: Storybook for iOS platforms, one of Apple’s ‘Best iPad Apps of 2010’.
Claire Boissiere, Harbee Studios
Claire has been at the forefront of games development for nearly 20 years, working across production, design and narrative to deliver innovative and award-winning games. Before joining Kuju Entertainment in 2000, Claire spent 10 years in the construction industry, where she gained a foundation in project management. After releasing Microsoft Train Simulator and EA’s Rail Simulator, Claire went on to work at Media Molecule on Little Big Planet before joining PlayStation’s London Studio in 2009. Here, Claire was Production Manager on the seminal Augmented Reality games EyePet Move and PSP, the BAFTA nominated Wonderbook: Book of Spells and its sequel Book of Potions. During Wonderbook, Claire led the creative relationship with J. K. Rowling. Since PlayStation, Claire has taken time out to concentrate on her writing, as well as completing a proof of concept demo for an AR location based mobile game. Most recently, Claire co-founded Harbee Studios, which aims to create inclusive games through a combination of immersive narrative and the latest technologies.
Carl Cavers
Carl is the CEO of Sumo Group plc. A co-founder of Sumo Digital in 2003, which followed a successful career with Gremlin Interactive and Infogrames, the business quickly became a multi-project, multi-genre solution provider, developing award winning titles for every gaming platform. Having steered the business through a trade sale to Foundation 9 in 2007, Carl led an MBO with NorthEdge Capital in 2014, followed by a secondary MBO backed by Perwyn LLP in 2016 and the acquisition of multi award winning Atomhawk, a visual design company, in June 2017.  Sumo Group plc floated on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in December 2017.  Working in partnership with some of the world’s leading videogames publishers, including SEGA, Microsoft and Sony, the company has become an award winning, independent provider of creative and development services to the AAA games and entertainment industries.  The Group now has studios in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Vancouver and Pune (India) and employs over 500 people.  Carl received TIGA’s coveted Most Outstanding Individual Award in 2015 (TIGA is the trade association representing the video games industry) and he holds an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
Marcia Deakin
Marcia is Games Partnership Director at NextGen Skills Academy,  an organisation dedicated to working with employers and education to address skills shortages in Games, Animation and VFX.  She has worked in the Games Industry since the days of the PS1, at great companies including  Eidos, THQ and even a spell at PlayStation in Australia! She is passionate about creating opportunities for the best UK talent to work in our industry.
Iain Dodgeon
Iain works at global charitable foundation, Wellcome. A former medical doctor and producer with over fifteen years’ experience with the entertainment industries, he has led the charity’s work in broadcast, film and games. He pioneered its work with the games industry, supporting the creation of many multi-award winning games engaging audiences with ideas in health, science and research, including Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and David O’Reilly’s Everything. A champion of cross-industry ideas exchange, he has worked with industry partners to create a number of initiatives for creative collaboration, including The Big Data VR Challenge and Developing Beyond with Epic Games. Prior to Wellcome he worked at companies including Endemol, BBC and STV.
Hannah Flynn, Failbetter Games
Hannah Flynn is Communications Director for London-based indie Failbetter Games, who have been making boutique, text-driven narrative games since 2009, including Fallen London, Sunless Sea and upcoming Sunless Skies. Her communications background covers leading British arts and culture organisations including Penguin Books, Tate and the NSPCC
Paul Gardner
Paul is a partner at Wiggin LLP, a law firm focusing exclusively on media, technology and intellectual property. An early adopter of the Atari 2600, Paul specialises in commercial transactions and regulatory issues relating to the games industry.
Katie Goode
Katie is owner and creative director of Cornish game studio, Triangular Pixels. She has worked for studios great and small since 2008 and on a wide range of platforms and has been at the forefront of Virtual reality and Augmented Reality since 2012. Katie has a unique approach to both games design and business, leading her award-winning studio to their recent successes. She has a passion for getting the best user experience for all players, and is always sharing what she and Triangular Pixels has learnt among developers all around the world.
Karen Hedger, AIM
A creative industries education specialist with extensive experience of curriculum and qualification design and development, teaching, learning, and assessment, Karen has a specialist interest in the games industry. As consultant for the NextGen Skills Academy, she facilitated the Industry design of the AIM Awards L3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills and is working closely with esports industry stakeholders on the first national qualification for FE students. Karen is currently Creative Industries Manager for AIM Awards, leading their development as a specialist End Point Assessment Organisation for the Creative Industries Apprenticeship Standards. Beyond the day job, Karen is a storyteller of traditional, and not so traditional, tales and this is at the heart of all that she does.
Ian Hetherington
Ian is a co-founder of WRLD3D and serves as its Chairman. He served as Chairman of Real Time Worlds and Evolution Studios. Ian has been involved in the video game industry since 1982. He founded Psygnosis Limited and served as its Managing Director from 1985 to 1998, which became one of the most successful UK based publishers. Psygnosis was sold to Sony in 1993 and he was the Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe from 1994 to 1997, where he was instrumental in the design and implementation of the hardware and software for Sony’s new Playstation console, and oversaw the development of the European launch catalogue.  Ian also served as Chairman of Evolution Studios.
Marie-Claire Isaaman
Marie-Claire is CEO of Women in Games (WIGJ) a not for profit organisation working to address Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Game Industries. WIGJ were winners of the 2017 TIGA Games Industry, Diversity Award. She is a Consultant, Trustee, Researcher, Advisor and External Examiner across a range of UK & European Universities and Colleges. Currently a Consultant at Ukie where she is leading a research project Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI): Enhancing Competitiveness in the UK Game Industries and Educational Pipeline and Chairing Ukie’s recently launched EDI Brains Trust. She was inducted into EA’s sponsored 2014 ‘European Women in Games Hall of Fame’ and named in The Market for Computer and Video Games (MCV) 2014 & 2015 Annual Top 100 UK Women in Video Games list and in the GamesIndustry.Biz 100 most influential people in Video Games list 2017.
Gina Jackson, Imaginarium
Gina Jackson is currently Head of Games at The Imaginarium, who develop films, TV programmes as well as games. She started her career in the videogames industry in 1992, working in production on a wide variety of games for different developers and publishers, and then moved into business development roles at Nokia, Kuju and Eidos.Passionate about education and diversity, Gina took on roles including Chief Executive of Women in Games and Managing Director of NextGen Skills Academy, which saw her transform the curriculum of games, animation and VFX in FE Colleges, the development of new higher level apprenticeships and an award winning women’s mentoring programme. Gina is currently a board member of NextGen and Visiting Professor in games industry and business at Norwich University of the Arts.
Melissa Jo Knox, Blazing Griffin
Melissa Knox is a Producer at Blazing Griffin, managing the development of the
company’s PC, console, and mobile titles since 2013, including the studio’s
BAFTA award-winning Distant Star: Revenant Fleet; and Murderous Pursuits, a
spiritual successor to The Ship: Murder Party.Melissa is an active member of the Scottish games industry and was featured
in Develop’s 30 Under 30 for 2017. She gives talks to everyone from primary
school children and their parents, to university students, to industry peers. She
reviews grant applications for the UK Games Fund and judges competitions like
the BAFTA Awards and Dare to be Digital. Volunteering as a Video Game
Ambassador, she prepares people of all ages for careers in the creative
industries by encouraging the study of STEM subjects and raising awareness of
game development career paths.
Paul Kilduff-Taylor
Paul is the co-founder of Mode 7, an indie development studio and publisher based in Oxford, UK. He has a multifaceted role, encompassing a wide range of disciplines from business development to music production and design.  Paul has made substantial contributions to Mode 7’s award-winning 2011 game Frozen Synapse, its acclaimed 2015 strategy title Frozen Cortex and the forthcoming sequel Frozen Synapse 2.  He also signed and oversaw the release of SMAC Games’ Tokyo 42 (2017), Mode 7’s debut title as a publisher. In the past, Paul has been a BAFTA Juror, an Independent Games Festival Juror, and a judge and mentor for UK Games Fund’s Tranzfuser program.  He has also contributed to a variety of industry events including GDC, Develop, London Games Festival, Gamesforum, Pocket Gamer Connects and Gamecity.
Tanya Laird
Tanya has been at the forefront of emerging creative technology spanning games, film, TV, comics, music, immersive theatre, Transmedia VR, AR and AI. She is the creator of the the VR Writers Room;  the co-organiser for the VR & AR focused meetup group “Augmenting Reality”, Immersive Technology Ambassador for ESL UK and co-chair of the Immerse UK content sub group. She is also a former Trustee for both the World Youth Organisation and UN Influx, the winner of a Women in Games Award for her contributions to the games industry and the vice chair of BAME in Games
Ian Livingstone, CBE (Chair)
Ian is one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry and has a long track record of working to support the growth of the sector. He co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop in 1975, and co-created the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks in 1982 which have sold over 17 million copies to date. He designed Eureka, the first computer game published by Domark in 1984, and joined the company in 1992 as a major investor and director, overseeing a merger that created Eidos plc in 1995, where he served as Executive Chairman until 2002. At Eidos he launched major franchises including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He co-authored the Next Gen review in 2011 published by Nesta, recommending changes in ICT education policy to bring computer science into the national curriculum as an essential discipline. He is a serial angel investor in multiple UK games studios, chair of Playdemic and PlayMob, and Member of the Creative Industries Council and Creative Industries Federation. He was appointed OBE in 2006, and has also received a BAFTA Special Award, a British Inspiration Award, the Develop Legend Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Bournemouth University and an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Abertay University, Dundee for his contribution to the UK computer and video games industry. He was appointed CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list.
Andy Payne, OBE
Andy is an experienced video games entrepreneur of 33 years and has worked with many of the world’s top studios & publishers, running Mastertronic from 1988 – 2015.  He chaired trade body Ukie from 2005-2015 and is still a board member.  He is a board advisor at games developer Bossa Studios and a founder of games industry charity, GamesAid, where he is now a Patron, as well as working closely with BAFTA to develop their presence in games.  Andy founded mobile & tablet specialist AppyNation and Gambitious, now renamed Good Shepherd, which is the world’s first equity based crowdfunding platform for games and movies.  Andy was founder of simulation specialists Just Flight and a VP of games charity, Special Effect. Andy also sits on the Creative Industries Council, which reports directly to DCMS and BEIS, as well as being a founder of the UK Crowdfunding Association.  Andy is chair of The British Esports Association and a board adviser to the world’s  biggest esports company, ESL.
Phoenix Perry, Goldsmiths
Phoenix Perry creates physical games and embodied experiences. Her work looks for opportunities to bring people together to raise awareness of our collective interconnectivity. As an advocate for women in game development, she founded Code Liberation Foundation. In her role at Goldsmiths, University of London, she lecturers on Physical Computing and games and leads an MA in Independent Games and Experience Design.
Chella Ramanan
Chella Ramanan is a freelance video games journalist and diversity advocate, contributing to The Guardian, and others. She also co-hosts geek culture podcast, Argue the Toss, currently in its fourth season. In 2016, Chella co-founded 3-Fold Games, a team of three women who make games. She is the writer on the narrative exploration game, Before I Forget, which is the first title from 3-Fold Games and focuses on a woman living with dementia. Chella is also on the board of Women in Games and a vice chair for BAME in Games, both organisations that play an active role in driving positive change in the industry.
One of the following three Rebellion representatives attends as a voting member.
Jason Kingsley, OBE (Rebellion)
Jason is the co-founder, Creative Director and CEO of the Rebellion group of companies. One of Europe’s largest independent game developers and publishers. Rebellion also publishes comics (2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine) and graphic novels, and also novels under the Solaris and Abaddon Books imprints. Rebellion owns a significant library of comics and other Intellectual property, and is branching out into TV and feature film production.

Chris Kingsley (Rebellion)
Chris is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of multi-award-winning Rebellion, one of the top independent video game developer-publishers in Europe. Rebellion was founded in 1992 and has grown to over 300 talented full-time staff in three UK studios in Oxford, Runcorn and Leamington Spa. Over the years, using its own in-house engine and tools technology, Rebellion has created over 30 worldwide Number One hit games including Sniper Elite, Zombie Army Trilogy, Aliens Vs Predator and The Simpsons Game. Rebellion has also released a Number One movie, Dredd 3D. Rebellion owns and publishes the UK’s number one sci-fi comic 2000 AD featuring Judge Dredd, and also publishes books through its Abaddon and Solaris imprints. Chris is TIGA Director of Education and Professional Development, and is the Chair of Creative Skillset’s Video Games Council.
Philip Oliver (Rebellion)
Philip was the co-founder and CEO of Blitz Games, Radiant Worlds and now runs Rebellion’s Warwick studio. Together with his twin brother Andrew Oliver, they rose to fame in the 1980s as ‘The Oliver Twins’ when they developed several hugely successful franchises, including the ‘Dizzy’ adventures and the ‘Simulator’ series on 8 bits computers. Over 35 Years in the games industry. Founder member of TIGA, founder of Made in Creative UK and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Coventry University in 2008.
Sitara Shefta, Dream Reality Interactive
Sitara’s 6+ years in the industry started at EA, working on the Need for Speed franchise. Her production skills saw her move to Sumo Digital where she progressed her career on titles such as LittleBigPlanet 3, Sonic Dash and Snake Pass. In 2017, she joined Dream Reality Interactive as Senior Producer and has already worked on immersive VR and AR experiences, including Hold the World and Orbu.Her work outside development is just as impressive. In 2016, she was awarded the Women in Games Hall of Fame award, in 2017 she was featured in Develop’s 30 under 30 and this year she has been featured in UK 100 Future Talent. She is an advocate of diversity in gaming and earlier this year was appointed as a Vice Chair of BAME in Games. She has also contributed as part of the judging panels for both BAFTA’s Young Game Designer awards and the BAFTA Games awards.
Timea Tabori
Timea is an Engine Programmer at Rockstar North and the Chair of IGDA Scotland, an organisation serving the game development community across Scotland. Timea is the Lead Ambassador and National Coordinator for Women in Games in Scotland. She is passionate about bringing diversity and new voices to the games industry, building a supportive community and advocating for nuanced and critical discourse about games and the culture around them.
Mark Turpin
Mark, known to many as Turps, is the Chief Executive Officer of The Yogscast – “The UK’s Kings of YouTube” who have amassed over 7 billion views across their channels on YouTube. Mark is also a director of Keymailer, a video game marketing platform, and Fourth Floor Creative, an influencer marketing agency.
Chris White (Chair of Policy Committee)
Chris is Director of the Institute for Industrial Strategy at Kings College London. Chris served as the Member of Parliament for Warwick and Leamington between 2010 and 2017.  His Private Member’s Bill, now the Public Services (Social Value) Act, received Royal Assent in March 2012. Chris was a member of the International Development and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committees.  He chaired a number of APPGs including those on Manufacturing, Social Enterprise and Video Games. Chris lives in Warwick, and still plays an active role in his community, from being the President of the Warwickshire College Group to having recently being appointed to the Board of Art in the Park, a local cultural festival.  His review of the Social Value Act, ‘Our Money, Our Future’, was published at the end of last year by Social Enterprise UK.
Dr Richard Wilson
Dr Richard Wilson is the CEO of TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry in the UK and in Europe. At TIGA, Richard has played a crucial role in developing ideas and campaigning for policies that are driving growth in the video games industry, in particular, Video Games Tax Relief. At TIGA, Richard has delivered ten years of profitable growth, dramatically raised the profile of the industry
in media and political circles and won 25 business awards and commendations. Prior to joining TIGA, Richard served as Director of Communications at the Royal Academy of Engineering and was Head of Business Policy at the Institute of Directors. Richard has also served on numerous boards including the Adult Learning Inspectorate; Improve; the Better Payment Practice Group; the Video Games Skills Council; and the European Game Developers’ Federation.Richard was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year 2018 Honours List, for services for the video games industry.