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Workshops, Panels, & Speakers


Otronicon is intended to not only entertain guests, but to showcase career opportunities right in our own backyard.

Students seeking out the best path for their future or adults seeking a career change will find Otronicon to be the place to come for more information and direction on careers in interactive technology.

Workshops, Panels, even Career Bytes all serve the same purpose, to shed light in one of Central Florida’s most productive industries.

So, have fun at Otronicon… play some videogames, ride a flight simulator, even test a robot. But know that behind all the fun is an exciting, energizing career path that’s yours for the taking and know that Otronicon can be that first step in an amazing journey!

Here's a look at some of the career opportunities available at Otronicon:



Focusing on the world of technology and digital media, our workshops cover topics from game design to cyberforensics. Featuring partners from our local industry and educational institutions, join us to discover exciting career pathways and hands-on experiences in these fields. Designed for young men and women, ages 12-18.


Panels & Speakers

Hear from local industry leaders and get their expert advice. In these moderated discussions, you'll learn how people working in the industry today got their start and keep their edge. Designed for young women and men exploring a career path or for those looking to make a change.


Friday, January 15 at 1:00 p.m.

Do Angry Birds Make For Angry Children: Where's the Video Game Debate At Now?
Chris Ferguson, Stetson
It seems like society has been debating violent video games (or action games, less emotionally) for decades.  Once, scholars and policy makers seemed sure action games were bad for kids.  Now we don't seem so certain.  Although debate remains, more studies have come out suggesting action games don't promote aggression in children after all.  And some studies suggest they may actually have some benefits, such as stress reduction and improved learning.  What happened?  Dr. Ferguson discusses how and why the conversation on violent/action games changed... and how we can learn from it when considering new media in the future.  


Ferguson labDr. Ferguson is an associate professor of psychology at Stetson University.  He has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Central Florida.  He has published dozens of scientific studies on the effects of video games and other technology and media.  His work has been cited by the US Supreme Court, the Centers for Disease Control, the governments of Australia and Sweden, and he has appeared numerous times in media including TIME, CNN, the BBC and Washington Post.  He also has written a mystery novel, Suicide Kings.  He lives in Casselberry with his wife and son.

Craig Ferguson

Saturday, January 16 at 1:00 p.m.

How to Design and Storyboard Video Games’
Joey Monaco – KPMG
Have you ever wanted to make a game? Every great game begins with an idea, but what do you do next? Joey Lynn Monaco builds learning games for KPMG. Join her as she describes one way to transform your big idea into a to ready-to-build game concept. 


Monaco Joey jpg

Joey Lynn Monaco has designed, developed and delivered training of all kinds since 1996. She’s especially focused on creating compelling learning games and immersive learning simulations. As a member of KPMG’s HR Technology & Learning Services group in Montvale, New Jersey, Joey consults with internal clients to transform non-interactive lectures into interactive learning experiences. Outside of the office, Joey is an award-winning published poet and black belt swordswoman.

Craig Ferguson

Friday, January 15 at 8:00 p.m.

The Illusion of Intelligence: Crafting AI Behavior for Games
Kevin Dill, Lockheed Martin


Have you ever looked at a video game and wondered how the computer makes its decisions? How do the characters decide where to go, what to do, what to say? How does an opposing player decide where to move its pieces, where to build, where to scout, where to attack or defend? How does a computer, which has no feelings, create a character that appears to be happy, or sad, or angry?

In this talk Kevin Dill, a veteran of the game and training simulation industries and expert on game AI, will talk about artificial intelligence for games. What is it good at, what is it bad at, and, most importantly, what sorts of tricks are used to craft the illusion of intelligence and to bring to life the characters that power modern video games?


KevinDillKevin Dill is a member of the Group Technical Staff at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Training and an expert on game AI. He is a veteran of the game industry with seven published games (including two Zoo Tycoon 2 expansions, Iron Man, and Red Dead Redemption). Kevin was the technical editor for Introduction to Game AI and Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI, and a section editor for AI Game Programming Wisdom 4 and the Game AI Pro series. He is a prolific author and speaker, and has taught at Harvard University, Boston University, and Northeastern University.

Saturday, January 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Development
Dr. Michael Gourlay, Microsoft


Developers, get ready. Augmented reality platforms will enable people to interact with computers, the environment and each other, in more, better and surprising ways.

Obviously augmented reality (AR) platforms will let people see and hear virtual things in the real world, but surprisingly AR will also accelerate machine learning and make computers more personal. Augmented reality platforms will include additional exotic sensors that gather an immense amount of information about users’ environments. Platforms will process that data to understand what users do and how they do it.

The most exciting challenge and biggest benefit will be for machines to understand WHY users act, anticipate their needs and help them achieve more. Augmented reality platforms will give people new ways to interact with computers, the environment and each other.
This talk will describe the future of augmented reality and how developers can build code and content for these platforms.


Dr. Michael GourlayDr. Michael J. Gourlay works as a Principal Lead Software Development Engineer at Microsoft on HoloLens in the Environmental Understanding Group, where he leads head tracking, surface reconstruction and calibration teams.

He previously worked at Electronic Arts (EA Sports) as the Software Architect for the Football Sports Business Unit, as a senior lead engineer on Madden NFL, on character physics and the procedural animation system used by EA, on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and as a lead programmer on NASCAR. He wrote Lynx, the visual effects system used in EA games worldwide and patented algorithms for interactive, high-bandwidth online applications. He also architected FranTk, the game engine behind Connected Career and Connected Franchise.

He also developed curricula for and taught at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), an interdisciplinary graduate program that teaches programmers, producers and artists how to make video games and training simulations, is a Subject Matter Expert for Studio B Productions, and writes articles for Intel on parallelized computational fluid dynamics simulations for video games.

Prior to joining EA, he performed scientific research in atmospheric and quantum physics.

Twitter:  @mijagourlay

Saturday, January 16 at 3:00 p.m.

Nanotechnology in Virtual reality and simulations
Will Nevins, Herculean Technologies
WillCircleWill Nevins is a seasoned entrepreneur with deep roots in the Video Game Industry that stems back to 1999. He has worked on such AAA titles such as Deus Ex, Unreal Tournament 2003, 2004, 3 and Gears of War. Will has worked in the capacity of Director of Marketing for Multi-Million dollar international corporations in the fields of Health and Software Development. He has also served in the United States Air Force in a CSAR role with multiple tours in the Middle East and other areas of operations around the world.
Will is the Chariman and COO of Herculean Technologies with a focus to facilitate the transfer of nanotechnology applications from the research lab into the commercial space by working with top researchers and institutions in the field to improve existing products and push technological advancements into the next age.  



Craig Ferguson
Orlando Science Center • 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • Email:
The Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts. This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.