Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 will take place on January 21st to 22nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
For more details on PGC London and to book a ticket, head to the website here.
In today's Speaker Spotlight we're speaking to Resonance House LLC producer and writer Rosemary Lokhorst, who will present a talk on how a game could change the life of a teen facing a chronic or serious illness.
PocketGamer.biz: What topics will your session cover?
Rosemary Lokhorst: 'Can a game change the life of a teen?' This presentation is about how our game helps build resilience for teens and young adults facing chronic or serious illnesses.
Can you tell us a bit about the company?
Resonance House LLC is a non-profit, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Silicon Valley Community foundation focused on creating and distributing products and services that support the emotional needs of children, teens and young adults. We are a small and international team.
What does your role entail?
I am the producer of the game, meaning I manage the overall game development, marketing and distribution.
I am also the writer of the game's dialogue and story, while our psychological content comes from experts in the field.
I am also the overall executive director of the non-profit and as such manage the overall funding and efforts of the team that relate to our other products such as the book, both websites and social media.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I never thought that I would work in the games industry. While my background is in technology, the reason I got involved in this game is the non-profit side of the project - wanting to do something good and using technology to do that.
Compared to a few years ago, I am starting to see many games that are being applied to education, simulation and distraction, especially in the health space.Rosemary Lokhorst
In our case, we deemed the game to be the best way to reach our audience with our content. Our impact studies show that our game has an impact on players' lives, which is the most rewarding as a game producer.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Start early in your career. Find a company that is open enough to let you experience all aspects of gaming and game development, even the business side, before you pick your role. And never give up on yourself, tenacity will get you far.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
My observations are limited to the serious gaming side, or at least applying games to serious topics, since I am quite new to the overall games industry.
I feel that, compared to a few years ago, I am starting to see many games that are being applied to education, simulation and distraction, especially in the health space.
What is lacking is games that are specifically designed for certain causes that we want to create awareness about and, even better, to use those games to actually help influence human behaviour, such as strengthening patients emotionally that are facing chronic illnesses.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
I believe that over the next 12 months, we will start to see more independent games become known for their purpose and story. I believe that storytelling will become even more important in gaming and games.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
I have been in the industry for about three years and I have seen more and more indie games arise to get noticed, especially in Europe.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
The networking. I believe that these events are great for learning, but even better to then connect to people in the industry.