Meaningful Play

From the EDU sig site  . . .

“Meaningful Play 2008 is an interdisciplinary academic conference that explores the potential of games to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade in meaningful ways.

The conference takes place October 9 – October 11, 2008  in East Lansing, Michigan USA and is hosted by Michigan State University.

The conference is for game designers, researchers, and students. Current registered attendees are from over 10 countries and 20 US states.

The two primary themes of the conference are “exploring meaningful applications of games” and “issues in designing meaningful play”. The first theme includes an examination of games (of all types) from primarily an academic research perspective. The second theme focuses on much more practical knowledge from the front-line of actual design, development, and use of games for meaningful purposes.

The conference includes:

*** Six thought-provoking keynotes from leaders in academia and industry, including:

- “The Game Designer as Change Agent” by Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Office, Electronic Arts

- “The Unknown Possibilities of Existence” by Ian Bogost, Associate Professor at the Georgia Tech and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC

- “All Play is Meaningful” by Leigh Anne Cappello, Vice President and Play Futurist with the Future Now division of Hasbro

- “Serious Gaming: Assumptions and Realities” by Ute Ritterfeld, Professor for Media Psychology at VU University Amsterdam and co-founded the Center for Advanced Media Research Amsterdam (CAMeRA@VU)

- “The Play of Persuasion: Why “Serious” Isn’t the Opposite of Fun” by Nick Fortugno, co-founder and President of Rebel Monkey

- “The Great White Whale of Meaningful Play” by Tracy Fullerton, Associate Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab

*** Ten breakout speaker sessions featuring prominent members of industry and academia, including:

- “From Experiment Gameplay to the Wonderful World of Goo” by Drew Davidson, Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University

- “Turning Gamers to Soldiers: War Games in the Modern Military ” by David Versaw, CFO and Director of Business Development at WILL Interactive, Inc.

- “Player-Centered Design for Instructional Games” by Robert Appelman from Indiana University and Sonny Kirkley with Information in Place, Inc.

- “The Emerging Flash Game Industry and the Opportunities for Meaningful Play” by Jared Riley, president of Hero Interactive

- “Making an Impact: Serious Issues in Non-Serious Games” by Monica Evans, Assistant Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Texas at Dallas

- “The Science of Fun” by Nate Bolt, El Presidente of Bolt | Peters, Inc.

- “Designing K-6 educational games from Playstation to PSP” by Dave Adams and Peter Rogan, PLATO Learning, Inc.

- “Creating Crossover Learning Products” by Scott Traylor, Chief KID, CEO, and founder of 360KID

- “The Mandate and Measure of Meaningful Play” by Tim Nixon, CEO of Straylight Studios

- “Bringing Tangential Learning to Games” by James Portnow, CCO and founder of Divide by Zero Games

*** Over 45 peer-reviewed paper presentations presenting the latest game research coming out of academia, on a various topics such as:

- Games for Learning

- Games and Physical Health

- Designing Games for Health

- Games to Change Brains

- Emergent Gameplay

- Player Involvement

- Player Motivation

- Social Play

- Analyzing and Understanding Games

- Games and Culture

- Alternative platforms for learning games

- Game design and development

- Exploring non-digital games

- MMORPGs and Virtual Worlds

*** Seven exciting panel and roundtable discussions, including:

- Playing with Public Policy: Games to involve and inform the public

- User-Created Content And Program-Modification In Video Games And Virtual Worlds

- When Will Games Grow Up?: Handling Adult Topics In Video Games

- Talent, Incentives, and Infrastructure: Growing the Game Industry in Michigan

- Suitable for all ages: Game design for the 60+ demographic

- Game Face(book): The Intersection of Games and Social Network Sites

- Approaches to Language Learning as Meaningful Play

*** A poster session featuring 14 late-breaking advances and work-in-progress reports from ongoing research or design work

*** An exciting exhibition of 13 innovative games

Don’t miss you opportunity to attend Meaningful Play 2008.

For more details and to register, visit:”

About admin

Lindsay Grace is a teacher, software developer and designer. He has served industry as an independent consultant, web designer, software developer, entrepreneur, business analyst and writer. Lindsay has a joint position between Miami University’s Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies and the School of Fine Arts. His research areas include human-computer interaction, creative and critical gameplay, and web design. He writes regularly about interactive media design and education.