2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Big Brother Is Watching: Tracking Today's Gamer

#sxsw #BigBro

Today's gamers generate enormous amounts of information every time they launch a game. That time you blew yourself up accidentally? Publishers and developers saw it. Those 20 minutes you wandered around lost with no idea what to do next? It was noted.
That information can be used to better tailor the gaming experience and to make better games, though. It can also help companies better hone their recommendations and marketing plans. And it can tell publishers and developers a lot about their customers that they didn't already know. But should game owners be worried about their privacy? Join us as we look at how and why companies sift through this flood of data - and the upsides and potential pitfalls for both game makers and players.

This SXSW Gaming Session at the Long Center is FREE and open to the public. However SXSW Interactive, Film, Gold and Platinum badges gain priority seating.



Chris Morris

Contributing Writer


Chris Morris is an acclaimed writer and editor specializing in the consumer electronics and video game industries. He regularly writes for national outlets including CNBC.com, Yahoo!, Variety and Common Sense Media and contributes to dozens of other major publications. In addition, he hosts two nationally syndicated radio shows focusing on consumer technology and apps, heard in nearly 200 markets. He also contributes frequently to GamesIndustry.biz, Official Xbox Magazine and Ozy.com.

Chris is also a veteran financial journalist with more than 25 years of experience, 16 of which were spent with some of the Internet’s biggest sites. As Director of Content Development, he was a key part of the senior management team that helped grow CNNMoney.com to one of the most prominent financial sites online. (He also served a weekly columnist). Later, he served as Managing Editor of Yahoo! Finance.

He has appeared on The CBS Evening News, CNN, CNBC, CNN Headline News, CNN International, CNNfn, G4 and Spike TV. He is a frequent radio commentator, having been asked to discuss technology trends and news on a plethora of stations around the country, including KNEW (San Francisco), KOGO (San Diego), and WREC (Memphis). Chris has also served as a judge for the E3 Critics Awards and sat on the Board of Advisors for Spike TV’s Video Game Awards Show.

In addition to his activities as a broadcaster, writer, reporter and editor, Chris is also a frequent panel moderator and speaker at major conferences, including the Consumer Electronics Show, South by Southwest, Digital Hollywood and the Ziff Davis Electronic Gaming Summit.


Jeremy Ballenger

Dir of Game Analytics


Jeremy Ballenger is the Director of Game Analytics for Wargaming.net, an award-winning online game developer and publisher, and one of the leaders in the free-to-play MMO market. Based out of Wargaming’s Global Services office in Austin, Jeremy oversees the development and foundation of Wargaming’s Global Analytics Network, and can share knowledgeable insights on informing design, development and management with actionable insights and business intelligence; including a look into the kind of player data Wargaming takes into consideration for game updates and enhancements.

Prior to Wargaming, Ballenger held senior management positions as the Senior Manager of Analytics for BioWare in Austin and Senior Business Analyst for Wizards of the Coast. In these roles, he managed the analytics and reporting teams to inform data-driven design and executive decisions for global AAA computer and console software titles, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Magic the Gathering, MTG: Online, Duels of the Planeswalkers and Dungeons & Dragons.

Ballenger holds a degree in Economics, specializing in Statistical Analytics and Industrial Planning Forecasting from Seattle Pacific University’s School of Business and Economics.


Lenin Gali

Sr Dir Game Analytics Svcs



Tom Hess



Tom Hess is a Senior Producer at DeNA, a global leader in developing and publishing social mobile games. At DeNA, Tom oversees the creation of free-to-play mobile games from inception through live management. Currently Tom is working on TRANSFORMERS: LEGENDS, a mobile game that consistently appears on the App Store and Google Play top grossing charts.

Prior to joining DeNA, Tom was a Producer at Electronic Arts where he led teams on production of both single player and multiplayer cross platform console games. Tom also held roles as a Game Design lead at both Electronic Arts and Activision. He has worked on a variety of well-known triple A franchises including Medal of Honor and Gun, Eliminate:Gun Range and Skyfall mobile games.

Tom holds a degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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