Kenneth Versaw - Board Member\CTO
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, and attended UNL where I earned a Bachelors Degree in Management, Information Systems. While my career took me towards software development I have always been a big believer in the importance of community and creating opportunities for people to create social bonds with like-minded individuals. This is what brought me to the Great Plains Gaming Project. In an increasingly digital world, it is exciting to witness the power of physical cardboard to bring people together.
I currently work as a Technical Lead for Xpanxion. I am a founder and organizer of Lincoln.Code(), a local software developer Meetup. I also organize Nebraska.Code(), Indy.Code(), Prairie.Code(), and Detroit.Code(), which are Software Development conferences.How did you get into tabletop gaming?
I don't really remember a time when I wasn't into tabletop games. At 6 I was trying to talk my father into playing chess. When I would visit friends houses I would look around for any boxes of board games, Monopoly, Risk, Life, Checkers, whatever, didn't matter. Little Ken would bust it out and set it up and bug you until you played.
Around the age of 10 I watched ET and was inspired by the short snippit of D&D they played. It was a game that you could do .... ANYTHING. Unfortunately, I didn't have many friends that were as compelled by the concept as me so I spent hours reading rulebooks in the library instead. At the age of 19, I went through a Magic The Gathering phase before settling into the boardgame hobby at large.What is the origin of the Great Plains Gaming Project?
It all started with a road trip to Kearney. Cameron Iwan talked me into checking out Kearney Gamefest, a game convention organized by our friend Casey Petersen. I had an amazing weekend and on the way back the conversation turned to our wishes that Lincoln had a similar event. We both realized that the only way to make sure that it happened was to do it ourselves. The next year was the very first Great Plains Game Festival. After a few years of witnessing the transformative power of the in-person, face-to-face interactions that people were having we felt compelled to expand our mission, and the Project was born.