2023 PRGE Panel Descriptions

We have some returning favorites and lots of new presenters and topics! The descriptions below are subject to updates, so please check back often!

Metal Jesus Rocks at PRGE 2015
John Hancock, Reggie Williams, Kinsey Burke and Jason Lindsey at the Metal Jesus Rocks panel in 2015.

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Saturday Oct 14, 2023 - Room 1

Panel Room: 1
Time: 10:30 AM–11:15 AM
Panel Title: Prototype Consoles & Obscure Histories
Panelist(s): Adam Koralik
Panel Description: Join Adam Koralik and guests as they discuss and show off legendary prototypes like the Sega Pluto and Atari Jaguar Hot Rod Dental Unit. Learn about their histories, funny stories, and who knows what else may show up?

Panel Room: 1
Time: 11:30 AM–12:15 PM
Panel Title: The Angry Video Game Nerd talks HALLOWEEN
Panelist(s): James Rolfe, moderated by Bradley Conklin
Panel Description: You already know he's going to take you back to the past... BUT, this time, since it's October, the Nerd is here to talk about Halloween. The holiday. (Though, you can safely assume the films of the same name will come up.) James Rolfe will chat about his spooky childhood memories, hellish haunts, horror films, TV specials, and, of course, your favorite AVGN Halloween moments!

Panel Room: 1
Time: 12:30 PM–1:15 PM
Panel Title: Atari Jaguar 30th Anniversary Panel
Panelist(s): Faran Thomason, Stephen Mitchell, James Hampton, Ted Tahquechi. Moderated by Frank Cifaldi
Panel Description: They were there. And are at the PRGE to tell the tales from behind the scenes at the Atari Corporation in Sunnyvale California circa 1993. Bring your burning questions for the panel Q&A. As part of the 30th anniversary of the release of the Atari Jaguar game console, PRGE has assembled four former producers who worked with Atari to build games for the Jaguar.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 1:30 PM–2:15 PM
Panel Title: Troma & Retroware present "Toxic Crusaders: The Game”: The Panel
Panelist(s): Lloyd Kaufman, Justin Silverman, and TOXIE himself!
Panel Description: Are you serious?? They're making a Toxic Crusaders video game?? YES! The '90s cartoon based on the '80s R-Rated, gore-filed B-movie IS becoming a video game. The cartoon never got a second season, but this new game plans on re-writing that wrong, literally. Join the president of Troma Lloyd Kaufman and Retroware's Creative Director Justin Silverman go over the ins-and-outs of the new game. PLUS, the real Toxie will do a Q&A.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 2:30 PM–3:15 PM
Panel Title: Kit & Krysta Podcast LIVE!
Panelist(s): Kit Ellis, Krysta Yang
Panel Description: Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang worked at Nintendo of America for a combined 25+ years where they worked with legendary developers, helped to launch beloved games and created the hit YouTube show Nintendo Minute which aired for over eight years. Join them for a live installment of the Kit & Krysta Podcast where they will be sharing never-before told stories about their time at Nintendo, breaking down the latest industry happenings and answering your questions!

Panel Room: 1
Time: 3:30 PM–4:15 PM
Panel Title: Evercade: The Classic Physical Gaming Experience
Panelist(s): Sean Cleaver, MetalJesusRocks, John Hancock, John Riggs
Panel Description: A panel discussion with three prominent retro gaming YouTubers discussing Evercade, its launch and its continued growth in the four years since. Including Marketing Manager Sean Cleaver, MetalJesusRocks, John Hancock and John Riggs, the panel will look at the variety of games, the rebirth of classic cartridge gaming, bringing back arcades and home computers, and the future of the ecosystem.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 4:30 PM–5:15 PM
Panel Title: Sega Genesis All Stars
Panelist(s): Randel Reiss, Scott Haile, Lasse Faabeng, Tony Ramos, Desmond Crisis
Panel Description: Experience the voices behind the games you love. Dive deep into the minds of developers, artists, designers, and programmers who pour their passion into creating unforgettable gaming experiences. "The Sega Genesis was like having an Apple Macintosh in the living room." The 16-bit gaming revolution that marked an abundance of levels, formidable foes, captivating music, and a gaming experience that surpassed its console predecessors.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 5:30 PM–6:15 PM
Panel Title: The Toxic Avenger VERSUS Portland (The Ultimate Troma Panel)
Panelist(s): Lloyd Kaufman, and TOXIE himself, moderated by Justin Silverman
Panel Description: It's the 50th anniversary of Troma Entertainment! The producers of the Toxic Avenger series, Class of Nuke 'Em High, and hundreds of other films. The President of Troma, Lloyd Kaufman is here (with Toxie) to do a Q&A and chat about his history in the business creating the "movies of the future."

Panel Room: 1
Time: 6:30 PM–7:15 PM
Panel Title: Creating the Perfect Modern-Retro Indie Game (with Retroware)
Panelist(s): Justin Silverman, and potentially Frank Cifaldi and John Riggs
Panel Description: Contra-clones, mock Mega Mans, duplicate Donkey Kongs... it seems like everyone is making retro-inspired games nowadays. Some get it right, some get it very very wrong. This panel by Retroware (creators of Prison City, Iron Meat, and Toxic Crusaders) goes over the hits, the duds, and their references. OH, and you'll also learn (dramatically) why a modern pixel game CAN'T fit on an NES cartridge! (Note: Panelists are not final)

Panel Room: 1
Time: 8:30 PM–9:30 PM
Panel Title: Extra Lives: The Live Experience
Panelist(s): Michael Kohl
Panel Description: Extra Lives is the world’s first Audience RPG: a fully narrated choose-your-own-adventure game where YOU are the main character. Plunge into an exciting story with visuals, music, sound effects and footage drawn from legendary console games and a live score provided by the lovable nerds of Extra Lives. At key junctures you'll get to vote on how the character proceeds, leading to special story branches. This story with multiple endings and over 60 possible variations (depending on audience choices!) will transport you back to your childhood. To the next level!

Saturday Oct 14, 2023 - Room 2

Panel Room: 2
Time: 10 AM–10:45 AM
Panel Title: Storytime with the Voice of NBA JAM , Mr. BOOMSHAKALAKA
Panelist(s): Tim Kitzrow
Panel Description: Tim discusses how he began his career doing voice work with Williams/Bally/Midway on over 15 classic pinball titles including The Twilight Zone, Elvira's Scared Stiff, Attack From Mars and many more. Followed by a brief history of MIDWAY GAMES in the 90's and his role as the iconic sports announcer for all of their titles including NBA JAM ! NBA JAM quickly became the the most popular and highest grossing sports arcade title of all time grossing 1 billion dollars in quarters in its first year.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 11:00 AM–11:45 AM
Panel Title: SHIRO! SHOW LIVE: Sega Saturn Homebrew & Fan Translations
Panelist(s): SHIRO! Podcast
Panel Description: Over the past decade, Saturn has seen a steady "retro resurgence", and this increased interest in the console has led to several amazing community projects, including impressive homebrew games and mind blowing English translations & voice dubs! The SHIRO! crew will bring you up to speed on all the great projects out there and how you can enjoy them, even on a budget! We'll even take a look at some big projects currently in the works and soon to be released... We'll also have a round of Q & A at the end to help answer all those Saturn-related questions folks might have.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 12:00 PM–12:45 PM
Panel Title: Once Upon ATARI
Panelist(s): Howard Scott Warshaw
Panel Description: This is a classic take on gaming issues both then and now. As a pioneer of the video game industry and now a psychotherapist, Howard is uniquely qualified to answer questions about what video gaming means to players, and what video game playing means to our society today. This session is about answers to all manner of questions and exploration of innovative ideas.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 1:00 PM–1:45 PM
Panel Title: Atari 2600 Homebrew Then and Now
Panelist(s): Garry Kitchen, John Champeau, moderated by Tim Lapetino
Panel Description:The Atari 2600 is one of the most iconic and enduring consoles in video game history. While Atari released its last official game for the 1977 console in 1990, a generation of talented programmers, fans, and creators have picked up the baton to keep the console alive. The 2600’s fans have nurtured a healthy “homebrew” development scene, which has led to many new and innovative games released for the system long after its expiration date. Author Tim Lapetino will interview Garry Kitchen (Activision alum and CEO of Audacity Games) and John Champeau (of publisher Champ Games) to discuss their various games, tools, and approaches to making 2600 games in the modern era.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 2:00 PM–2:45 PM
Panel Title: Everybody Wins: Opening Up Gaming Through Accessibility
Panelist(s): Ryan Niemiller, Brannon Zahand
Panel Description: Comedian and gamer Ryan Niemiller aka “The Cripple Threat” and Xbox Accessibility Manager Brannon Zahand discuss the challenges and rewards of making video games more accessible to everybody. Expect an eye-opening panel with lots of humor and some “hands”-on examples.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 3:00 PM–3:45 PM
Panel Title: Completely Unnecessary Podcast: Celebrating 10 Years
Panelist(s): Pat Contri, Ian Ferguson
Panel Description: The #CUPodcast is live! Join Pat and Ian as they discuss the latest and craziest retro gaming news, discuss what doing the podcast for 10 years means, and take Q&A from the audience.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 4:00 PM–4:45 PM
Panel Title: 8-Bit Terrors: Friday the 13th on NES
Panelist(s): Andrea Subissati
Panel Description: As punishing as it is pixelated, 1989's Friday the 13th on NES has endured as an iconic early horror title for console gaming. Join superfan Andrea Subissati (Rue Morgue Magazine/The Faculty of Horror podcast) for a retrospective on the game's enduring legacy.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 5:00 PM–5:45 PM
Panel Title: Retronauts Podcast: The Many Adaptations of Mario
Panelist(s): Bob Mackey
Panel Description: It took 30 years, but at long last we finally have another Mario movie. And while Illumination's take on this beloved Nintendo property doesn't stray far from the source material, the last 40 years' worth of adaptations weren't so lucky. Between the East and the West, there's more of these than you'd think, and the recent relevancy of Mario media raises the question: Hey, why don't we talk about them all? On this panel, join your friends on the Retronauts podcast as they explore the vast and troubled world of Super Mario Bros. adaptations.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 6:00 PM–6:45 PM
Panel Title: 35 years of Nintendo Power
Panelist(s): Stephan Reese, Gail Tilden, Kim Logan, Scott Douwes
Panel Description: It's the 35th anniversary of Nintendo Power Magazine! Join Stephan Reese (Executive Director of the Interactive Art Collection), Gail Tilden (NP Editor -In-Chief), Kim Logan (NP Design Manager), and Scott Douwes (NP Illustrator) as we discuss Nintendo Power's rich history!

Panel Room: 2
Time: 7:00 PM–8:30 PM
Panel Title: Double NintenDare!! A Retro-Fueled Nintendo Game Show!
Panelist(s): Curtis Bonds
Panel Description: On your mark... get set... GO!! Double NintenDare is a Nintendo-themed throwback to the classic kids' game show of a similar name. Put your knowledge and skill of classic and current Nintendo games to the test by answering tricky trivia questions or taking on our special 'Digital Challenges' and finishing the dreaded Mario Maker Obstacle Course! Each player will receive fabulous prizes whether you win or lose, and we'll take you back in time with classic commercials in between rounds.

Sunday Oct 15, 2023 - Room 1

Panel Room: 1
Time: 10:15 AM–11:00 AM
Panel Title: Game Collecting and YouTube in 2023 Q & A
Panelist(s): John Hancock
Panel Description: All around Q&A panel with collectors and YouTubers about the struggles and triumphs of collecting (crazy tales, hits, misses, dos & don'ts) and social media.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 11:15 AM–12:00 PM
Panel Title: Growing Up Genesis with G to the Next Level
Panelist(s): "G" Gracin III
Panel Description: Is it true that Genesis DOES what Ninten-DON'T? YouTube/Twitch creator and Sega enthusiast, G to the Next Level, invites you to discuss how Sega's iconic 16-bit console changed their life, showcasing the necessities and forgotten gems of the console, talking YouTube/Twitch life, their Growing Up Genesis project, show an exclusive sneak preview of their newest video, Q&A, and have some trivia about the Mega Drive. Cause To Be this Fun Takes AGES!

Panel Room: 1
Time: 12:15 PM–1:00 PM
Panel Title: The Digital Eclipse Panel!
Panelist(s): Chris Kohler
Panel Description: The developers of last year's critically acclaimed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection and Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration are changing the way classic game compilations are made and played. Meet the developers from Digital Eclipse as they discuss their new approach to reviving gaming's most iconic titles.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 1:15 PM–2:00 PM
Panel Title: Adventures in Saving Video Game History
Panelist(s): Frank Cifaldi
Panel Description: We all know that preserving video game history is important, but what does that MEAN, exactly? What's being done about it, and more importantly, what isn't? Are we in danger of losing our past? Video Game History Foundation founder Frank Cifaldi draws on nearly 25 years of game preservation in this intimate discussion. Audience participation is encouraged, come with your burning questions!

Panel Room: 1
Time: 2:15 PM–3:00 PM
Panel Title: In the Trenches: Fond and Funny Memories Working in Xbox and Microsoft Game Studios
Panelist(s): Chris Chamberlain
Panel Description: You always hear from the big named VP’s and Directors from game companies, but how about the people in the trenches making the consoles, operating systems, and games that delight millions of players around the world? Hear from a handful of testers, producers, designers, and engineers that worked on some amazing titles for Nintendo 64, PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Kinect, Xbox One, and Mobile. Hear stories about working on some fantastic AAA titles, some AA titles, and some that didn’t make it to release.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 3:15 PM–4:00 PM
Panel Title: Finally Emulating the Atari Jaguar
Panelist(s): Rich Whitehouse
Panel Description: For nearly 20 years after the console's release, attempts to emulate the Atari Jaguar struggled with accuracy, compatibility, and performance. For the development of Atari 50, Rich Whitehouse wrote a new Atari Jaguar emulator. Rich talks about the technical and personal challenges faced, why the Atari Jaguar has been such a difficult beast to tame, how this effort transformed into a free emulation project, new developments, and much more.

Panel Room: 1
Time: 4:15 PM–5:00 PM
Panel Title: The GameSurge!: Ultimate Video Game Trivia
Panelist(s): Mark Dalton-Bowers
Panel Description: Welcome to The GameSurge! Do you have the video game knowledge to win it all or will you falter? Be selected as a contestant or play along in the audience as we test your video game trivia knowledge in all sorts of fun/unique ways! Who will win? Only one way to find out!

Sunday Oct 15, 2023 - Room 1

Panel Room: 2
Time: 10:15 AM–11:00 AM
Panel Title: 1982–1984: Inside the Bally/Midway Art Department and Beyond
Panelist(s): Paul E. Niemeyer
Panel Description: Paul will regale the crowd with tales from behind the scenes of the enigmatic art department in the Bally/Midway Golden years, right up to the Video Game Cash of late 1983, and beyond...

Panel Room: 2
Time: 11:15 AM–12:00 PM
Panel Title: How I Made an NES Game without Knowing How to Code
Panelist(s): John Riggs
Panel Description: John Riggs has released 7 video games, but he had a lot of help along the way. In this panel you'll hear how he was able to brainstorm, facilitate, and even release new video games on multiple platforms without previously knowing how to code.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 12:15 PM–1:00 PM
Panel Title: Based on the Hit Game: The First Decade of Films Adapted from Video Games
Panelist(s): Dylan Reiff
Panel Description: Since the 1980s, film and video games have powerfully influenced each other in terms of content, structure, pacing, and more. In this panel we’ll examine this relationship by exploring the first wave of game-to-film adaptations. We’ll revisit the era when the 8-bit industry boomed, and we saw the birth of a notorious new cinematic genre: “Films adapted from hit games”! We’ll dig into video game history as we chart their journey to your local multiplex, via four infamous films defined by bold ideas, technological innovation, and good old-fashioned greed.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 1:15 PM–2:00 PM
Panel Title: A Flower and A Kiss: Tropes and Romance in Games
Panelist(s): Two Girls One Ship Podcast featuring Jennasis and Virvada
Panel Description: Are you a chronic romancer of the broody elf in your party? Or perhaps you prefer the defrosting ice queen as your love interest? Join Jennasis and Virvada from the Two Girls One Ship podcast as they cover popular tropes and narrative devices used to craft the most loved and lusted after romance options in video game history.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 2:15 PM–3:00 PM
Panel Title: Indie Arcade Wave: The Next Generation Of Arcade Games
Panelist(s): Joe Wagner, Kelly Pangburn, Tony Hauber, Dan Fessler, Rob Howland
Panel Description: What is the Indie Arcade Wave? We dive into independent development teams that are dedicated to creating engaging and unique arcade games for arcade bars. Hear from the developers of Galactic Battleground, DeathBall, Nidhogg II, Switch N Shoot, and Armed and Gelatinous about what it takes to make these games from idea to cabinet and everything in between. Come learn more about this rapidly growing community of developers and players. Hosted by Joe Wagner from Indie Arcade Wave the #1 podcast covering indie arcade development and arcade bars.

Panel Room: 2
Time: 3:15 PM–4:00 PM
Panel Title: Atari 2600 Cage Match
Panelist(s): Garry Kitchen and Tod Frye, moderated by Tim Lapetino
Panel Description: Everyone has their favorite Atari 2600 games, but what do the programmers behind the games think? Tim Lapetino invites a pair of original Atari game designers to discuss and debate their favorite games and why! What did they learn from each other? Great programming? Great gameplay? Who were the people responsible for the tricks and methods that kept the Atari 2600 relevant for many years. Come explore what makes a great Atari 2600 game from the minds who made them! Hear about the very best 2600 games from the programmers themselves, including Tod Frye (Pac-Man, Swordquest: Fireworld) and Garry Kitchen (Donkey Kong, Keystone Kapers, Pressure Cooker, Space Jockey).

Panel Room: 2
Time: 4:15 PM–5:00 PM
Panel Title: Remastering the Worst Game Ever Made: Plumbers Don't Wear Ties Definitive Edition
Panelist(s): Audi Sorlie
Panel Description: How do you go about bringing back the worst game ever made in 2023? You give it the greatest remaster ever seen! Audi Sorlie and Joe Modzeleski from Limited Run Games chronicles and showcases the multiyear development to bring Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, the worst game ever made, back in a new definitive edition for the first time ever. From the technical challenges to the memes, this journey took as many twists and turns as John and Jane's story in the game!