Professional Bio

Elonka Dunin speaking at the 2005 NSA Cryptologic History Symposium, and smiling to see that her slides are working!Elonka Dunin is Executive Producer and General Manager of Online Community at Simutronics Corporation, Chairperson Emerita and a founding member of the International Game Developers Association's Online Games SIG, co-Director of the Global Game Jam from 2011–2014, and as of 2012, is on the Board of Directors for the building of a new National Museum of Cryptology. For over 20 years she has worked in St. Louis, Missouri at Simutronics, a leading developer of online games. One of the Simutronics games, GemStone, is the longest-running such game in the world, with a history and active database that goes back over twenty years. Simutronics has several games at its www.play.net service, including medieval fantasy games such as GemStone IV and DragonRealms, the modern-day mystery-adventure game Modus Operandi, the Greek mythology game Alliance of Heroes, and the award-winning 3-D action game CyberStrike. Simutronics also created the award-winning HeroEngine, which has been licensed by other companies such as Bioware for the creation of their own MMORPGs (such as ''Star Wars: The Old Republic''). In 2010, Simutronics launched a satire game for the social-networking space, Fantasy University, described by PC Gamer magazine as "one of the most popular and interesting games on Facebook." And the iPhone game Tiny Heroes was listed by TouchArcade as one of the best games of 2011! A sequel, One Epic Knight, was released on both iOS and Android. In 2013/2014, Simutronics is working on a new game for multiplayer aerial combat, Dragons of Elanthia.

As of February 2014 Elonka is also helping out at another game company, Vergeous, working as a remote Producer with its 15-year-old CEO, Will Renfroe. The sandbox-genre game, Novus, is due for release in early 2015. Check here for the 1-minute teaser video that was released for GDC 2014.

Born in Los Angeles, Elonka studied Astronomy at UCLA, and then joined the United States Air Force. She was stationed at RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, and Beale Air Force Base in California, where she worked on the SR-71 and U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Along with her other achievements, Elonka is a world-traveler who speaks several languages, and has visited scores of countries around the world. She has visited every continent including Antarctica, which she traveled to in 1999. Her lifelong interest in cryptography became public when in 2000 she was awarded a prize for being the first person to crack the PhreakNIC Code, an up-until-Elonka unsolved puzzle created by the hacker group se2600. After the attacks of September 11th, Elonka helped out with the war on terrorism by teaching government agents about cryptography and what types of codes that Al Qaeda might have been using.

Elonka is co-founder and co-leader of a group of cryptographers who are working hard to crack a code on the famous Kryptos sculpture at CIA Headquarters, and led the international team that cracked the related KGB Cyrillic Projector Cipher in 2003. She maintains a list of the World's most famous unsolved codes on her elonka.com site, and in 2006, published The Mammoth Book of Secret Codes and Cryptograms. As of 2014, her www.elonka.com website has had nearly 5 million page views. In 2009, author Dan Brown honored Elonka by naming one of the characters in his Da Vinci Code sequel, The Lost Symbol, after her. "Nola Kaye" is an anagrammed form of "Elonka". In 2009, she authored two articles in Secrets of the Lost Symbol, a collection of works by academics and other experts discussing the fact and fiction of Brown's latest novel. Elonka is also an avid Wikipedian, having been elected to administrator status in 2007, and written or expanded over 500 articles on Wikipedia.

As a public speaker, Elonka regularly gives talks on her favorite subjects: Games, Wikipedia, cryptography, medieval history, and geocaching.


 

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This page was most recently updated on March 23, 2014

Contact info: elonka@aol.com