Ben Sawyer Game Developer & Co-Founder Digitalmill
Ben Sawyer is the co-founder of Digitalmill, a games consulting firm based in Portland, Maine. Since beginning his career in game development over ten years ago, Sawyer has pioneered major initiatives in the field of serious games and has become a nationally recognized leader within the games community.
For the past seven years, Sawyer has dedicated his professional life to discovering new ways to expand the use of games beyond entertainment. In 2002, he co-founded the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the U.S. Government's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The following year, Sawyer organized the first-ever Serious Games Summit Ð a conference which now attracts 300-500 attendees annually, who meet to share best practices in the development of serious games. The Serious Games Initiative continues to serve as one of the leading organizations in the field of serious games.
In 2004, Sawyer also co-founded the Games for Health project, an initiative which has built the primary social and professional networks of the health games industry. Through on-line resources and regular regional and national events, Games for Health connects health professionals, researchers, and game developers in order to advance the development of health games and game technologies. The Games for Health project receives major funding from the Pioneer Portfolio, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
As a game developer, Sawyer has worked on over two dozen major serious game projects. In 2000, Sawyer began producing the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's university simulation game, "Virtual U," which was an award finalist at that yearÕs Independent Games Festival. Sawyer has also served as a designer, producer, advisor, and/or manager on projects for Cisco, DARPA, ONR, Leimandt Foundation, Cadbury, USAID, Lockheed Martin, and several other Fortune 500 organizations.
An avid and sought-after speaker, Sawyer presents at numerous conferences and events each year. Prior to founding Digitalmill, Sawyer was a technical book author, writing about emerging consumer technologies and game development. His written work has been recognized by both Game Developer Magazine and the Independent Publishing Association. A lifelong gamer, Sawyer often draws his professional inspiration from his extensive personal knowledge of games - including those developed since the original Pong.
Prior to pursuing his professional career, Sawyer graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and studied at Baruch College. He currently resides in Freeport, Maine with his wife Olivia and their two sons (and active gamers), ages 8 and 6.