Friday, October 18, 2002

GameLab One-Year Anniversary Party ~ by Danielle Cyr

I recently attended Gamelab's ( one-year anniversary party at the Gamelab offices on Broadway. Our hosts and the co-founders of Gamelab, the irrepressible Eric Zimmerman and charming Peter Lee, held court with the diverse game crowd of oldsters and newcomers. Many countries were represented at the party. I first happened upon Andy Dong who was born in New York City but who is running his own game company in China. His company, Sosgrp, is working on Playstation 3 games and doing quite well, he said. Andy and I then met up with Ann-Marie Huurre of Women Wise ( who had flown in from her home town of Toronto to moderate the game panel the previous evening, and Jonas Nilsson, a native of Sweden and founder of his own game company, Cointeractive ( All three were extremely knowledgable about the videogame industry in general, and the NYC industry in particular. It was a pleasure hearing their points of view on where the industry is headed and how business is going these days. I then bumped into Matthew Schlanger, President of Black Hammer Productions ( over the hors d'oeuvres table where he proceeded to ask me a legal question several times which I could not hear over the loud music (I gave up). His colleague, Nikita Mikros joined us for a few minutes as did Angela Taormino of Prefer Network ( We wandered to the other end of the long, narrow office, whose walls were lined with about a hundred old board games from Eric Zimmerman's extensive personal collection (anyone for a game of "The Jetsons" or "The Incredible Hulk"?) and met up with Joe Plotkin of and John Rabasa, Director, Product Marketing for AOL. I played famous 80s videogame, Asteroids, with the help of Matt Sapero (he got in the Top Ten Higher Scorers three times; even with Matt's help working the "thruster" - no jokes, please - I, however, did not come anywhere near the Top Ten). Matt said that he is trying to raise money for a game idea along with working in business development for Larry Gardner of Cyberexruder ( I also spoke with Barbara Anglisz, who works with Gotham Games, an offshoot of Rockstar Games, and producer of the game panel the evening prior, as she promoted Gotham's first game, and Brian Loube, Interactive Executive Producer at Imaginary Forces ( I said my thanks and goodbyes to my hosts and went off into the beautiful Fall evening.