Alex St. John Bio:
Best known for his early work on gaming and creating the DirectX media platform at Microsoft in the early 1990’s, Alex St. John later founded WildTangent Inc. one of the world’s largest online game publishing companies and became a technology columnist for leading computer enthusiast publications MaximumPC and CPU Magazine. His many exploits as an evangelist during the fast growth years at Microsoft are chronicled in various books including; Renegades of the Empire by Michael Drummond, Masters of Doom by David Kushner and Opening the Xbox by Dean Takahashi.
More recently (2009-2012) Alex St. John was CTO and President of one of the world’s largest social networks, Hi5.com, with over 60M MUU. Hi5.com quickly became the world’s 6th largest game network according to Comscore after Hi5.com cloned Facebook’s API’s and published hundreds of Facebook compatible social games to its massive audience.
Prior to joining Microsoft St. John worked for a small U.K. Technology company called Harlequin Ltd. developing clones of Adobe’s then popular PostScript RIP technology for high end graphics publishing. He was recruited by Microsoft in 1992 at the age of 25 for his expertise in publishing technology to lead an effort to make Windows 95 competitive with Apple in graphics, but his role quickly expanded to include all of Microsoft’s media strategy leading to the creation of the DirectX family of API’s for 2D and 3D graphics, streaming video, 3D sound, multiplayer API’s and input devices and ultimately the DirectXbox. Today DirectX technology underlies all Microsoft Windows media capabilities and UI.
St. John has over 22 technology patents granted or in process spanning a range of media delivery related technologies including streaming 3D graphics and games, compression, application patching and updating, digital rights management, virtual currency solutions, in-game advertising, artificial intelligence and for inventing the streaming mapping technology used in Google Maps.
Today St. John enjoys writing and teaching about technology entrepreneurship and game technology and works with various educational institutions including Digipen, the University of Washington and CMU to develop educational curriculum related to these subjects. Having been raised in rural Alaska, St. John himself has little formal education and never graduated from high school, his only diploma is an honorary B.S. in Real-Time Simulation from Digipen awarded to him by Nintendo US founder, Minoru Arakawa for his lifetime contributions to gaming technology.