Jeannie Novak is the Lead Author & Series Editor of the widely acclaimed Game Development Essentials series (with more than 15 published titles), co-author of Play the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Video Games, and co-author of three pioneering books on the interactive entertainment industry—including Creating Internet Entertainment.She is also Co-Founder of Novy Unlimited and CEO of Kaleidospace, LLC (d/b/a Indiespace, founded in 1994)—where she provides services for corporations, educators, and creative professionals in games, music, film, education, and technology. Jeannie oversees one of the first web sites to promote and distribute interactive entertainment and a game education consulting division that focuses on curriculum development, instructional design, and professional development. As Online Program Director for the Game Art & Design and Media Arts & Animation programs at the Art Institute Online, Jeannie produced and designed an educational business simulation game that was built within the Second Life environment—leading a virtual team of more than 50 educators, students, and industry professionals.She was a game instructor and curriculum development expert at UCLA Extension, Art Center College of Design, Academy of Entertainment & Technology at Santa Monica College, DeVry University, Westwood College, and ITT Technical Institute—and she has consulted for several educational institutions and developers such as UC Berkeley Center for New Media, Alelo, and GameSalad. Jeannie has also worked on projects funded by the National Science Foundation and Google for Lehigh Carbon Community College and the University of Southern California (USC) Information Sciences Institute.
An active member of the game industry, Jeannie has served as Vice Chair of the International Game Developers Association-Los Angeles (IGDA-LA) and Vice President at Women in Games International (WIGI). She has participated in the Online Gameplay and Connectivity selection committees for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ DICE awards since 2003 and has developed game workshops, panels, and breakout sessions for events and organizations such as the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), GDC Next, Macworld Expo, Digital Hollywood, USC’s Teaching Learning & Technology Conference, and the Los Angeles Games Conference. Jeannie has been profiled by CNN, Billboard Magazine, Sundance Channel, Daily Variety, and The Los Angeles Times.
Jeannie received an M.A.in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School (where her thesis focused on using massively multiplayer online games as online distance learning applications) and a B.A.in Mass Communication/Business Administration from UCLA (where she graduated summa cum laude/Phi Beta Kappa and completed an honors thesis focusing on gender role relationships in toy commercials). A native of Southern California, Jeannie grew up in San Diego and currently resides in Santa Monica with her husband, Luis Levy. She is also an accomplished composer, recording artist, performer, and music instructor (piano/voice).