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Wednesday 04/23/20149:00am-10:00am - Center for Architecture
Wednesday Morning Mini-Talks

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15 OMG Moments: Critical Design for Impact Play (9:00-9:10am)
What if we emphasized the impact in social impact games. Instead of creating games that excite our intellectual curiosity and emotional energies, we created games that resonated well after play stopped. Some social impact games merely remind us to be more empathetic or aware. What if our social impact games had the kind of impact that smacks us awake? This presentation provides 15 games that leave players with lasting impressions. They do so by employing the growing design practice known as Critical Design. The results are play experiences that not only highlight our assumptions– they shatter them with real impact. With Lindsay Grace

A Serious Game: New Media, Censorship, and the Spectacle (9:10-9:20am)
This presentation chronicles the inception, development, birth, quick death, and afterlife of indie game In a Permanent Save State. As a hand drawn narrative about the afterlife of seven workers who committed suicide in Foxconn factories assembling electronic devices, it has since been removed from the App Store and lived an estranged, media life. The talk references critical theory surrounding existing games in the field and how the game fits in the annals of those peers and the gameosphere as a whole.
With Benjamin Poynter

Gamers 2.0 – Girls and the Next Generation of Gaming Culture (9:20-9:30am)
Girls aged 8-14 form the most powerful consumer group since baby boomers, spending over $43 billion a year in the US – with the largest percentage going towards digital games. Given this unequal market power, what do we really know about this demographic? And should we be segmenting the market by gender in the first place? Does this help game makers and publishers, but harm girls? Through interviews with girls in the US and UK, this session takes a deeper look into girls and gaming culture – exploring their own wants and perceptions of the games they see and play. With Rajal Pitroda

Games and Gender-Based Violence (9:30-9:40am)
Debates about the links between games and perpetration of violence rage on. What’s less explored is the intersection between games and gender-based violence, including sexual assault and harassment, stalking and domestic abuse. How does this violence impact players and game developers? What are “hidden narratives” in the way the issue is addressed by media and theorists and what are the research trends? How can game playing and creation be safe and inclusive for women, girls, transgender communities and people of all genders and how can games be harnessed to challenge violence? This panel will provide new knowledge and promising practices. With Mary Flanagan, Jennifer Jenson, Heidi Boisvert

LARPing Can Make A Difference (9:40am-9:50am)
Gaming has been seeking new ways to reach audiences to create social change. Yet the answers don’t always lie in the digital world. Live action role-play games can and have been providing innovative and personal experiences to players that educate, inspire and impact communities. From Ramallah to New York, Denmark to California, this much maligned and overlooked game form is tackling social issues in ways that touch players and inspire change. We will explore how with examples from LARPs around the world and showcase how LARP can make a difference.
With Shoshanna Kessock

Walking with Death (9:50-10:00am)
While there are plenty of games about killing, few games address the reality of death. Through repetition and forced choices games run the risk of trivializing death. But to tackle certain content, death needs to be part of the gameplay. The question: How do you represent this delicate issue? The Migrant Trail asks players to experience a perilous border crossing through the eyes of migrants as they make – and in many cases don’t make – the journey across the Sonoran desert into the U.S. Death is used throughout the game to highlight the starkness of the choices migrants face.
With Greg Trefry, Mattia Romeo, Marco Williams

Can Talking with Virtual Humans Change your Behavior? (10:00-10:10am)
Even a single conversation can be an effective tool to drive individual and social change. In this talk, Ron Goldman, CEO of Kognito, will discuss how recent findings in neuroscience, social cognition and emotional self-regulation combined with game mechanics and role-plays with virtual humans are being utilized to prepare us to succeed in managing challenging conversations that result in positive change in behaviors and attitudes. Specific examples will be shared, including those in health and social causes such as childhood obesity, PTSD, substance abuse, and supporting LGBTQ youth.

Making Child-Driven Learning a Global Reality (10:10-10:20am)
In a remote area of Ethiopia, where children had no access to schools or teachers, The Global Literacy Project deployed tablets preloaded with educational apps and activities to children who had no previous exposure to any digital device. Within the first day, with no instruction or intervention, the children self-organized to learn through their own initiative. Within a year, they were computer literate and had made remarkable gains in basic language and literacy skills. This extraordinary endeavor confirmed that child-driven learning has the ability to transform the lives of those who would otherwise remain illiterate. Tinsley Galyean and Stephanie Gottwald, the leaders of the Global Literacy Project, will discuss the results of their ground-breaking research and pose this challenge: How can all of us, at the nexus of learning and technology, contribute to a global learning initiative.

Open Mic (10:30-11:30am)
Got something to say? Everyone has a chance to share at our Open Mic session!