The DICE Summit and The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences

GANG members are certainly familiar with GDC, E3, PAX and several other game industry conventions, events and organizations, but this month we wanted to shine a little light on the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences! The Academy is a fantastic organization dedicated to the advnacement and recognition of the interactive arts (VIDEO GAMES!)

They also put on a great convention each year called the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. DICE is sort of a micro version of GDC, and we asked Debby Chen, Communications Manager for the Academy a whole bunch of questions about the Academy, DICE and what GANG members might have to gain from getting involved and checking out the DICE Summit. Check out the interview here…

Can you tell us a bit about DICE, and what a game audio professional might get from attending the show?

2012 will mark the 11th anniversary of the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, a high-level conference that brings together C-level publishers and developers to discuss the state of the interactive entertainment industry, and its future. We have an amazing line-up of speakers from across all areas of the interactive entertainment spectrum, and fun and competitive networking opportunities at our annual poker, golf and go-karting tournaments. Our conference culminates with our Interactive Achievement Awards, a night of celebration for the best in video games.

The focus of the conference is split between the artistic and business side of things. On the artistic side, creative directors and designers will discuss their influences, challenges and choices on a broad perspective; on the business side, leaders from the industry will provide frank discussions on future trends they foresee combined with a retrospective look on successes/failures from their past.

What game audio professional can look forward to at D.I.C.E. are the unparalleled networking opportunities from our conference, a “TED”-like atmosphere for our speaker line-up to inspire/provoke and an evening to celebrate the best in games. In question #2 you can check out some of or past speakers from the music genre.

If there have been audio panels/discussions at DICE in previous years, could you tell us who showed up and spoke or what sort of topics were covered?

Yes, there has been several audio/music focused speakers in the past and currently announced for 2012 D.I.C.E. Some fantastic game makers who are responsible for some of the most successful music genre games have come out to D.I.C.E. to speak.

The 2008 D.I.C.E. Summit we had Masaya Matsuura, NanaOn-Sha President who is credited for creating one of the modern rhythm games, PaRappa The Rappa. The 2007 D.I.C.E. Summit featured Alex Rigopulous, Harmonix CEO and co-founder who is responsible for addictively fun Rockband series.

We’ve already announced that for 2012’s D.I.C.E. Summit that we will have six-time Grammy award winner and one of popular music’s most accomplished producers/songwriters and arrangers, Glen Ballard, president of Augury. He’s worked closely with music industry luminaries such as Aretha Franklin, Van Halen, Alanis Morissette, just to name a few. At our conference, he will be speaking on “Greater Than The Sum: The Miracle of Collaboration” – you can check out our Q&A with him on his session here

Other notable speakers from the past include Jesse Schell, the Bioware Doctors, Activision’s Bobby Kotick, the founders of 5th Cell, and many, many more.

And for those who aren’t familiar with the Academy, can you tell us a bit about what IAA is, how it began, it’s history and what the goals of the organization might be?

Sure. The IAAs stand for the Interactive Achievement Awards. This year marks the 15th anniversary of our Awards ceremony, which takes place at the Red Rock Resort on February 9, 2012. For the seventh year, Jay Mohr will be hosting our show. This show will be live-streamed in its entirety, so make sure you check back on our website for where you can view it online. Or better yet, come out to the Awards show so you can see it live!

A little background on the IAAs – it was post_date so that the industry can come together for an evening to celebrate excellence in games for that particular year. The Academy’s mission is to recognize the men and women responsible for the creativity and craft that goes into a game.

We are the preeminent Awards show for the video game industry. Finalists and winners are voted by the Academy’s 20,000+ membership base, all of whom are qualified, active members of the video games industry.

Is IAA largely focused on console titles? Or is there equal focus across all platforms (online, mobile, social games etc)?

There is no focus on a platform. We honor the best games regardless of what platform they were released. Console games go up against PC, mobile, handheld, and social games in various categories and we have specific awards that highlight online, mobile, and social games.

For the audio-specific categories, we have “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design,” which is presented to the individual or team whose work represents the highest level of achievement in creating a unified audio environment, integrating both music and audio effects, in an interactive title. Additionally, we have “Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition,” which is presented to the individual or team whose work represents the highest level of achievement in original musical composition for an interactive title.

I’m assuming there are a lot of folks that come to DICE from many development studios; do you think you could put a percentage on how many folks showing up are ‘producers’, or ‘artists’ or ‘animators’ or ‘game designers’ etc? What sort of industry folks would GANG members be rubbing elbows with at DICE?

The majority of our DICE attendees are high level executives from development + publisher studios. GANG members would have the opportunity to “rub elbows” with some of the industry’s luminaries. There’s an opportunity to play poker at our annual DICE poker tournament with Dr. Ray Muzyka of Bioware, play golf with Jay Cohen from Bruckheimer Games, race against Ted Price of Insomniac Games at our go-kart tournament. There is really no comparison to the level of exposure you’d get with our D.I.C.E. Summit attendees.

Can you compare the size of DICE to other game industry conventions, such as E3 or GDC SF? And maybe compare the content? What is different about DICE as compared to the other shows?

The D.I.C.E. Summit is a completely different type of industry gathering in terms of size and experience than E3 or GDC. In terms of size, we cut the number of attendees at 800 maximum to keep the intimate atmosphere that set our conference apart from the others. In terms of experience, we have a track of amazing speakers that you are able to check out, attendees get an opportunity to network with C-level executives and enjoy an evening at the IAAs to celebrate the best in games.

If you have audio talks/panels etc, is it possible for GANG members to submit proposals for DICE? If so, how?

I’m afraid that our speaking slots are now completely full for our 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit conference. However, we are open to taking speaking proposals for 2013. You can submit your bio, abstract and list of past/future speaking engagements to Debby Chen, our Communications Manager at [email protected].


First time GANG member registrants will receive an introductory 30% discount off the full, advertised rate for their D.I.C.E. Summit pass. First time registrants need to contact Event Director, Lindsey Weinstein directly ([email protected]) to receive their 30% discount on the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit Pass. When claiming your discount, please ask for the first-time attendee discount.