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About

Gold Bug Interactive is a Montreal based studio with over 15 years experience creating games and multimedia at the intersections of learning, culture, and social justice. Our international team is passionate about making a positive difference in the world. To that end, we are driven to leverage interactive technology to teach, learn, and positively impact attitudes and behaviors for prosocial ends.

Elisa Navarro

Elisa Navarro

Founder of Gold Bug Interactive and Gargamel Estudio, Elisa is an experienced digital game developer who has developed dozens of games for companies and organizations around the world. She has worked with the United Nations, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (“FES”), MUAC, the National University’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Televisa, McGill University, and the Papalote Children’s Museum, among others. Convinced by the power of games for collaborative learning and to serve unprivileged communities, she has received numerous national grants to create educational experiences and workshops at the intersections of making, production, education, and technology. Her game Chuka: Break the Silence, developed for the Education for Justice initiative at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), leverages social and emotional learning to prevent violence against women. Elisa’s current projects include consulting for FES’s Project 21 to help develop a game for youth participation, governance and citizenship in the MENA region, as well as producing a short interactive VR film to create awareness on health risks for waste pickers. She makes games that challenge players to solve problems, stimulate critical thinking, and develop transferable skills. She has a history of designing context-appropriate material with low connectivity and old equipment with a view to engage to make uses of technology more equitable. Elisa holds an MA from the Institute of Education at University College London.

Dr. Paul Darvasi

Dr. Paul Darvasi

Paul Darvasi, PhD, is an educator, game designer, speaker, and writer who works at the intersection of games, culture, and learning. His efforts directly or indirectly aim to envision and implement better ways to teach and learn. He is a passionate advocate of media and digital literacy, design thinking, experiential learning, virtual simulations and digital games for learning, and locative experiences. He has designed pervasive games that include The Ward Game; Blind Protocol, a cyber warfare simulation that instructs on online security, privacy and surveillance, and series of archival and library orientation games for McGill University. He lectures at the University of Toronto, where he is a founding member of the Play Lab. Paul writes for a variety of publications about progressive and innovative education models, and his research explores how commercial video games can be leveraged for instruction. He wrote a widely circulated white paper for UNESCO about how digital games can support peace education and conflict resolution, and helped global youth develop games to prevent violent extremism in the Digital Games for Peace initiative run by UNCCT, UNESCO, and UNAOC. Paul is a frequently invited keynote speaker and panelist, who has lectured and presented at conferences and universities around the world. He has shared his expertise with the US Department of Education, UNESCO, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Epic Games, US presidential libraries, foundry10, Consumers International, iThrive, and Connected Camps, among others. His work has been featured on PBS, NPR, CBC, the Huffington Post, Polygon, Killscreen, Gamasutra, Sterne, Endgadget, Edsurge, Edutopia, and MindShift.

Francois

François Pesant

François Pesant is a director of photography and photographer. After studying sociology, he turned to image, first still and then in motion. He has worked on several film projects, short and feature films, fiction and documentaries. His latest feature film Gods of Mexico, which is currently in post-production, won the Work in Progress award at the Los Cabos Film Festival and his film Jack, Vietnam Veteran won the award for best short documentary at the Regard Festival. As a photographer, his work has been published in media such as M - Le magazine du Monde, The New York Times, Marie-Claire, Le Devoir, La Presse and many others. He has received numerous awards and distinctions including a selection for the Mexican Photo Biennale, an NPPA Best of Photojournalism Award and a Grand Prix Lux. His work can be found in many private and museum collections including the McCord Museum in Montreal, the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico City and the Museum of the City of New York.

Diana Bethzabe Blanquet Trujano

Diana Bethzabe Blanquet Trujano

Diana is a producer who is the beating heart of Gold Bug Interactive. She manages all aspects of production, including personnel, timing, and resources. She oversees management, promotion and testing, and spearhead dissemination, communication and events planning. She is passionate about the intersections of technology and education, and has significant experience coordinating various ventures and events with schools and educational institutions.

Dr. Sean Clybor

Dr. Shawn Clybor

Dr. Clybor is a game designer, instructional designer, and educator with expertise in learning theory, game-based learning, and game studies. He started his career as a historian of Modern Eastern Europe (Ph.D. Northwestern U) with a minor in Intellectual History. After three years as a Visiting Assistant Professor, he spent over a decade innovating approaches to teaching history, game design, and media literacy. Since 2013 he’s worked as a game designer and translator at Charles Games in Prague, where he helped develop two educational serious games that have won numerous awards, including best learning game at Games for Change, most amazing game at A MAZE, and it received a nomination for excellence in narrative at IGF. He has also written and published on a range of topics, including game-based curriculum design, video game design, Socialist Realism, and political satire. Dr. Clybor has received numerous grants from the US Department of Education (Fulbright-Hays), American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), Woodrow Wilson Institute, and Roberta Buffett Center at Northwestern.

Chris “Wombat” Crowell

Chris “Wombat” Crowell

Chris ‘Wombat’ Crowell is a Game Designer and Creative Director with 20+ years experience creating a wide range of globally known brands such as NASCAR, Tiger Woods, SimCity, The Sims, Indiana Jones, and Kung Fu Panda. In 2013, Chris launched Crowell Interactive to focus on working with educators to create engaging and effective game-based learning and gamified digital education experiences. He has worked with leaders in this field such as Glass Labs, Pearson, Prodigy Game, TVO, and UNESCO’s MGIEP to develop cutting edge projects such as TVO’s mPower suite of classroom games and UNESCO’s Chi learning portal.

Chris is a past member of the Board of Directors for the International Game Developers Association, and is a founder of the Positive Impact Games SIG. In 2014, he was honoured to participate in President Obama’s White House Educational Game Jam. He frequently speaks and runs workshops at Digital Education conferences around the globe. He currently teaches game design at Sheridan College in Toronto, Canada.

Jorge Luiz Chavez Herrera

Jorge Luis Chávez Herrera

Jorge is an accomplished game engineer and game development consultant, pushing the limits of the Unity 3D engine for the last 13+ years, preceded by an award-winning 20-year career as a CGI artist and technical director for film and TV. Offering a broad understanding of gaming trends and expertise in the development pipeline, Jorge is a talented programmer with a cinematically trained eye and a proven track record delivering dozens of games and applications for a wide variety of markets. He is proficient in C#, C++, Objective C, JavaScript, Python, Lua, CG, GLSL, HLSL, Shaderlab, OpenGL, .Net, FireBase, AWS, CloudFront, Microsoft Azure, Git, Plastic, SVN, and Agile methodologies. Jorge is driven by a passion to contribute to the evolution of AR/VR, mobile gaming, and simulation technologies, he designs and implements full development pipelines while specifying every single technical detail, from overall application architecture and art asset creation guidelines to the smartest optimizations in shaders.

Edgar Chávez

Edgar Chávez

Edgar is an experienced web developer and interface designer who has created countless interactive websites, applications, and game components. He is passionate about interface design, optimizing function and aesthetic, which he delivers with his proficiency creating HTML sites with Bootstrap and his knowledge of CSS, including LESS, STYLUS and SASS preprocessors. He is skilled at conveying a clear, attractive and efficient online solution for any web concept or idea.

Helios Figueroa

Helios Figueroa

Helios designs systems that manipulate and control data optimally and effectively, and uses diverse technologies to create and innovate. He is passionate about portability and is skilled at developing solutions to logical problems, which he likes to tackle from the ground up. His technical skills include knowledge and experience with: CSS, HTML, Java, Java Server Pages, Javascript, JDBC, MySQL, Oracle PL/SQL, PHP, PostgreSQL, Servlets, SQL, Apache Struts, Swing, XHTML, and XML.

Mónica Marcela Rodriguéz Nieves

Mónica Marcela Rodriguéz Nieves

Chuka “La Vulgarcita”

CMónica is a concept artist whose distinctive work has appeared in video games, films and comics. Her art has been featured in two individual and twenty group exhibitions. She was the graphic artist for the Zorbs animated series, the animated features film KOATI, the Pinatize.me project, the Dokki 2017 anthology, Behind the Scenes, and the superheroes anthology, amongst others. She has also created art for a number of digital games, including UNODC’s Chuka: Break the Silence, UNODC’s Peluconas, and Inspector Pok. Her graphic design work is regularly featured in magazines such as QUO, Gotica, Flesh, Illustrated girls, Neuroblasto, and ETEL.

Rick Ruiz Dana

Rick Ruiz Dana

Rick has worked as a cartoonist and digital illustrator for nearly 15 years, from storyboards and 2D animation to comic books and character designs. He specializes and is experienced in character design, storyboard, concept art, cartoons, illustrations, and comics. He aim to adapt his art to the specific needs of his clients’ and users, and brings his creative passion to all his projects. Rick is also passionate about teaching and helping others to discover the great art of cartooning.

Victor José Palacios Serrano

Víctor José Palacios Serrano

(Vicman)

Victor is a season animator with experience in animation, graphic design, and cartoons. He has worked as an independent consultant for several animation and post-production studios, as well as developed independent projects in various disciplines such as comic, animation, videomapping, interactive design, and video games. He is also the author of three augmented reality children's books written in the Indiginous language of Nahuatl for Resistencia Publishers.

Alejandro Gerber Bicecci

Alejandro Gerber Bicecci

Alejandro is a Mexican filmmaker, writer and cinematographer with a degree in cinematography from the Film Training Center (CCC, Mexico). He has written, directed and produced two feature films: Vaho (Becloud, 2009) and Viento Aparte (A Separate Wind, 2014), collectively featured in more than 40 international festivals. In addition to features, he produced six short films that were also widely distributed in national and international festivals. He has directed several historical documentaries for television; and has been a screenwriter for numerous television series. He is currently developing two feature film projects: You Will Not Kill / You Will Not Die and Dead Man’s Ring. Alejandro is a member of the National System of Artistic Creators of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (2018 - 2021), a fellow of the Proa Foundation (Argentina), and a member of the Mexican Institute of Cinematography. He has collaborated with the Alejandro Galindo script workshop, and contributed to PADID, the Mexican government’s arts development program. He currently writes and contributes to several series on Netflix and HBO, among others.

Nicholas Vassos

Nicholas Vassos

Nicholas Vassos studies film at Queens University and nourishes his passion for filmmaking and design in an array of multimedia projects. He has directed, shot, and produced a multitude of short films and videos, and has recently turned his creative energies towards game development. He co-directed, designed levels, and produced film and audio for The Circle 1964, an archival alternate reality game (ARG), and he produced the various cutscenes and short films for Raising Spirits and Quiz That So?, two online orientation games for the McGill University Library. He also crafted promotional videos and narrative voice-overs for Laverna Park, an upcoming StoryGame Studios narrative game.