Ponycorns at the IGF Awards: Not Wanted on the Voyage?

Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure

When we released Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure earlier this year, gamers and non-gamers alike were delighted at the unique collaboration between a kids’ video game developer and his five year old daughter. Scads of journalists, bloggers, developers and fans called for Ponycorns to be named Game of the Year. Following a successful showing as a finalist at IndieCade, Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure is now a 2011 IGF (Independent Games Festival) Awards entrant. Many early predictions have it sweeping the show, actually beating out every game in every other category (including Technical Achievement and Best Use of 3D).

Ryan Henson Creighton and Cassandra Creighton PonycornsWe’ll need new shirts that say “i have all the awards”.

It’s absolutely certain that Untold Entertainment is poised to take home a LOT of hardware from the Game Developers Conference in March, but there’s one little snag: according to the GDC website,

due to safety concerns, no one under the age of 18 (including infants in strollers) will be permitted on the show floor at any time during the Game Developers Conference®.

What this means is that when Ponycorns does win every single IGF award (including Most Memorable Explosion and Most Tasteful Deployment of a Nude Patch), the game’s five year old co-creator may not be permitted to attend her own awards ceremony. It’s likely that conference organizers did not anticipate this problem when they drafted the rule, but the question remains: should they make an exception? Should five-year-old game developer Cassandra Creighton be permitted to attend GDC in order to claim her inevitable armful of IGF Awards?

Cassandra Creighton, co-author of Ponycorns


Meggan Scavio, GM of GDC (who kicks ass, and has helped me out of a conference-related jam in the past), says that the proviso is insurance-related. If Cassie is nominated, she can attend once i fill out a waiver. Hooray! Of course, the only problem i have with this is “IF Cassie is nominated.” Clearly, she is poised to take not only the IGF award for Best Fractal Raytracing Shader Navmesh AI Programming, but ALSO the special “Chancellor’s Choice” award for Most Instructive Game in the Art of Ladycraft. (Now if only i could scrape together the airfare.)

8 thoughts on “Ponycorns at the IGF Awards: Not Wanted on the Voyage?

  1. Sean Bawden


    If there is concern is “safety,” then what I suspect is really there concern is potential liability. Perhaps offer them an indemnity agreement, whereby you agree to save harmless the organizers in respect of any damage Cassie causes or any injury she may sustain.

    You might want to run this by your Home insurer to see if they would cover you in respect of any such losses – they may.

    It may meet all interests.


  2. Meggan Scavio

    Hi, Meggan from GDC. Since this is a professionals only event, our insurance doesn’t cover minors. If Ponycorns does in fact receive a nomination, we would certainly make an exception. You would just need to sign a minor waiver form. Very easy!

    Good luck!

  3. Courtland Brower

    As a fan of your daughters game (I was able to play through it at IndieCade) and of your recent Unity book “3.x” I hope to see you and your daughter recive your well deserved award at the IGF Awads show at the GDC this March. Good Luck Ryan and Cassandra!

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