Meet the VGA 2011 Advisory Council

November 3, 2011

SPIKE TV is pleased to announce the 2011 VGA Advisory Council! It's the Council's job to vote on the VGA nominees and winners.

Andy McNamara (Editor in Chief, Game Informer Magazine)

McNamara's 20-year career in journalism has been with one company – Game Informer. From the magazine's meager beginnings as a 16-page quarterly publication to its current place as the 4th largest consumer magazine in the country with over 5.9 million subscribers, McNamara and the magazine have grown together. Game Informer now boasts leading international publications in Italy and Australia, an award-winning website, and a digital edition that already has amassed over 600,000 subscribers.

Brian Crecente (Editor in Chief, Kotaku)

Brian Crecente is a video game journalist and syndicated columnist based in Denver, Colorado. Editor in chief of and writer for video gaming blog Kotaku, Crecente also writes Well Played, a weekly gaming column, for McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Crecente has written about video games since 2000. His work has appeared in Playboy Magazine, Paste, Variety, Stuff, Wired, NPR and MSNBC, as well as several U.S. newspapers and publications in the UK and Portugal. He has also appeared on national TV and radio and has been quoted in newspapers both in the U.S. and abroad. Crecente was named one of the 20 most influential people in the video game industry over the past 20 years by GamePro in 2009 and one of gaming's Top 50 journalists by Edge in 2006. He also sits as a judge on several national and international video game award panels and frequently attends conferences in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

With a team of writers located throughout the U.S. and in Japan and Australia, Kotaku currently has about 5.4 million readers who view about 90 million pages a month.

Chris Baker (Senior Editor, Wired Magazine)

Chris Baker edits and writes features and articles for the magazine. He has also contributed to Slate, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Kill Screen, EGM, Giant Robot, and the 1-Up zine.

Chris Kohler (Games Editor,

Chris Kohler has been writing, talking and generally thinking too hard about videogames for the past couple of decades.

He has written about games for and Wired magazine since 2002 and is the editor of's videogames blog Game|Life, author of two books on games: Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life (Brady) and Retro Gaming Hacks(O'Reilly). He can often be found talking about classic games on's Retronauts podcast. Chris began his foray into writing about games with Video Zone, a fanzine that he self-published during high school and college. Since then, his writing has appeared in publications such as Wired, Animerica, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine and around the web on, IGN, Gamespot,, Gamasutra, GameSpy, and way too many others.

Chris Slate (Editor-In-Chief, Nintendo Power Magazine)

Chris joined Game Player's magazine 22 years ago, before going on to become editor in chief of the revamped Ultra Game Players and later launching PSM: Independent PlayStation Magazine. He currently heads up Nintendo Power, Nintendo's 23 year-old official magazine, at Future US in South San Francisco.

Christopher Grant (Editor in Chief, Joystiq)

Motivated by either an unhealthy Messianic complex or a dearth of career opportunities (he never could decide which), Chris put his college education to good use as a carpenter before becoming editor-in-chief of Joystiq and editorial director of Joystiq's own Massively and WoW Insider. In those roles, he's served as an IGF judge, an E3 judge, a VGA judge, and a podcast host; interviewed many of the industry's familiar faces, from Bill Gates to John Carmack; spoken at plenty of places from MIT to GDC; and appeared in or on CNN, The New York Times, BBC, all while reporting on the video game industry for Joystiq.

Dale North (Editor in Chief, Destructoid)

Dale North is Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief and a founding editor. When he is not pouring blogs of cute corgi pictures, Dale spends his days playing and writing about video games, as well as traveling to industry trade shows and events. That, and trying to keep the Internet's largest community gaming blog oiled and running. Outside of gaming, Dale is a singer/songwriter, a frequent traveler, a decent cook and a terrible photographer.

Francesca Reyes (Editor in Chief, Official Xbox Magazine)

If anyone's surprised that they can make a sustainable living writing and editing articles about games, it's Francesca. After weathering the academic malaise of an English Lit graduate program, she decided that writing articles about sneakered hedgehogs was much more fun than writing papers about books penned by long-dead British dudes. Sixteen years, several magazines (including Ultra Gameplayers, Next Generation, and Official Dreamcast Magazine), and hundreds of games later, she still thinks that. Ask her why and she'll blame Zork. Or LandStalker. Or that creaky TRS-80 her parents brought home in the early '80s. Thankfully, after all this time, she's still getting paid to do it all, too.

Gary Steinman (Editor in Chief, GamesRadar)

Before taking the helm of GamesRadar, Gary Steinman has held senior positions on several gaming publications, including a tenure as editor in chief for both PlayStation: The Official Magazine and PC Gamer magazine. Steinman also served as editor in chief for anime/pop culture magazine Newtype USA, as well as editorial director for ADV Manga.

Geoff Keighley (Host, SPIKE)

Geoff Keighley has been covering the video game industry as a journalist for almost 20 years. He currently serves as the host and executive producer of GTTV, Spike's weekly video game series, and The Bonus Round on

Jeff Gerstmann (Editor in Chief, Giant Bomb)

Jeff Gerstmann is the founder and Editor-in-chief of He's been covering the game industry for 15 years, which sure seems like a pretty long time. Over that time, Jeff has reviewed thousands of games, but if you ask him which one is his favorite, he'll probably just sigh, roll his eyes in your direction, and either say Smash TV or explain to you why being able to narrow your tastes down to just one favorite game is completely insane.

Jeff Jensen (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly)

Jerry Holkins (Writer / Co-Creator, Penny Arcade) & Mike Krahulik (Artist / Co-Creator, Penny Arcade)

Penny Arcade itself began in 1998 when high school friends and life-long gamers Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik began to pen the webcomic, which featured two semi-autobiographical gamers who joked, argued and swooned over all things gaming. As well as drawing over 100,000 game-positive geeks to the events in Seattle, Washington and now Boston, Mass. every year, the duo created the Child's Play charity in 2003, leveraging their 3.5 million reader fanbase to help support children's hospitals with games, toys and cash.

John Davison (VP of Programming, GameSpot & Metacritic)

John Davison is VP of programming at CBS Interactive for GameSpot and Metacritic. Davison comes to CBS' gaming properties from IDG's Gamepro, where he served as Executive Vice President of Content. Davison's career in game journalism spans 20 years and includes high-ranking positions at outlets including 1UP, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official PlayStation Magazine, and What They Play, a family-focused consumer site which he founded and later sold to IGN Entertainment.

Logan Decker (Editor in Chief, PC Gamer Magazine)

Logan Decker is the Editor-in-Chief of PC Gamer Magazine and PC Gamer Digital on Steam, the inevitable result of receiving, as a child, an Apple II+ personal computer from his parents with the expectations that he'd become a computer programmer.

Lou Kesten (Reviewer/Editor, The Associated Press)

Lou Kesten is a game reviewer and editor at The Associated Press. Before joining the AP, he reviewed games for such publications as the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Games Magazine and Video Magazine. His first console was an Atari 2600; his first published review was of the original "Super Mario Bros." He lives in Alexandria, Va.

Mike Snider (Technology Reporter, USA Today)

Mike Snider, 49, has been a digital entertainment and technology writer at USA TODAY since 1990 covering video games, Internet and Web content, as well as digital video and audio. He co-founded and co-manages the Game Hunters blog on

Rich Greenhill (Director of Content and Programming, Yahoo Games)

Rich Greenhill has been with Yahoo!'s gaming business for six years and is currently director of content and programming for its games destination at He has been working in commercial online media and web games products for over 12 years. Yahoo! Games offers instantly playable web games, downloadable games, and gaming news and opinion content. The site's "Plugged In" blog serves over 8MM readers a month, highlighting the hottest trending stories in the area of gaming lifestyle and core gaming news.

Sam Kennedy (Director of Audience Generation,

Sam Kennedy has been a pioneer in the videogame media since the mid-90s. He started by launching and then went on to work at such publications as GameFan, GameSpot, EGM, and the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. In 2003 he launched, the first community and content destination for gamers, and later its two associated sites and He oversaw the 1UP Network until its acquisition by IGN in 2011, after which he took on a broader role of Audience Generation Director for IGN, building audiences and community for,, and

Scott Alexander (Freelance Writer, Playboy & Family Circle)

Scott Alexander has been playing videogames since 1979 when he discovered a Space Invaders cabinet at a local swimming pool. Though this meant he never mastered the butterfly, his saving the world abilities improved dramatically. Based in New York City, he has covered the games industry professionally since 1997 as an editor at publications including Yahoo! Internet Life, Popular Science and Playboy. Currently the editor in chief of American Photo magazine, he continues to write about games as a freelancer for Playboy, Family Circle and others and can be heard talking about games every Tuesday on Sirius/XM 102 as part of the Playboy Radio Morning Show. His favorite games are Zork, Psychonauts and Portal, and he harbors a long-standing compulsion to shoot anything that invades from space.

Shane Satterfield (VP of Content, SPIKE Digital Entertainment)

Shane has been covering video games as a professional journalist for over 14 years. He founded his own game-related web site in the mid-'90s before eventually moving on to GameSpot later in the decade. He then made the move to television to work at the now-defunct TechTV network where he was one of the co-creators of the world's longest-running video game television show, X-Play. He ultimately moved to G4 when the channels were merged to serve as the network's editorial director for several years. In 2006 a shift was made to MTV Networks to become the Editor in Chief of He was eventually promoted to his current position as vice president of content for Spike Digital Entertainment.

Stephen Totilo (Deputy Editor, Kotaku)

Stephen Totilo is a reporter based in Brooklyn, New York. He's the deputy editor for video gaming blog Kotaku. He is aware of the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is the best video game ever made. Besides Tetris, of course. But Tetris isn't as fun.

Tal Blevins (VP Games Content, IGN Entertainment)

Tal Blevins is a founding member of IGN Entertainment. As the VP of Games Content, he oversees content production for IGN's entire suite of gaming sites, including IGN, GameSpy, 1UP and TeamXbox. Tal has covered the video game industry for over 15 years, and loved every minute of it.

Tina Amini (Assistant Editor / Video Games Channel Manager, Complex Magazine)

Tina is Assistant Editor at Complex Magazine and manages the Complex Video Games channel. Prior to this, she covered the video game world for Gaming Nexus and Examiner, and has previously worked for Conde Nast Traveler and Austin-local Tribeza Magazine. She was born and raised in NYC and received her degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. An avid gamer since childhood, Tina is partial to RPGs, FPS' and survival horror games, but will play just about anything.

For more on the 2011 Video Game Awards, airing LIVE on December 10th at 8 PM ET, visit