Let’s face it—games make our lives more fun, but can they also make a positive impact on the world? At the recent Games for Change Festival, Al Gore said “games are the new normal” and that “the gamification trend is really powerful” in helping to solve issues like climate change. Over the past year, we’ve seen an influx of startups using social gaming to motivate people to do good and change their lifestyles. Armed with the philosophy that it is only by inspiring a massive shift in consumer behavior that we can make a measurable impact on the world, these companies are using gaming mechanics and incentives to engage, educate and motivate a global audience. This panel will discuss if gaming for good can actually drive large-scale change, as SCVNGR’s Seth Priebatsch discussed last year at SXSW’s keynote, and examine how we can measure that impact.
by Luke Hohmann
It’s no secret. Local, state and federal governments face budget shortfalls, spending cuts and reduced service—in a political climate that favors gridlock. Serious games have emerged as a viable approach to budgeting that is both participatory and scalable. In this session, we’ll discuss why serious games are a particularly good tool for budgeting and their advantages over alternatives such as deliberative democracy, participatory budgeting, or majority voting through polls. Participants will learn to conduct in-person and online games built specifically for resolving multi-scalar budget problems. These models are based on Budget Games, which we designed and played in San Jose, CA, on Jan. 29, 2011 in which more than 100 community leaders collaboratively re-crafted the city’s proposed budget. Because the game revealed real consensus, San Jose officials were able to act on the game’s results with more confidence than traditional polling.
by Amish Patel
Make the Kinection!
Microsoft Kinect is the technology which is undoubtedly poised to unlock the next generation of digital design and allows us to bridge the gaps between physical and digital.
As Kinect becomes more prevalent, more open and generally smarter we need to look at how this new technology expands our palette of interactive experiences.
Join members of the XBOX Design team in a conversation about the essence of Kinect, the power it holds, its unique challenges, capabilities and a glimpse into the future!
Gaming, mentorship, increasing connection, and design thinking converge in a world of constant change -- and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, we can create a vision that is achievable, scalable and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it.
by Michael Gallagher
The video game industry faces a transformative moment in its history. A recent landmark victory before the Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. EMA/ESA affirmed that free speech protections apply every bit as much to video games as they do to other forms of creative expression, and underscored the constitutional protections afforded to video games, developers and industry artists. Video games have also become a mass medium with widespread appeal for people of all ages, and increasingly influence areas of daily life such as education, health and the workplace. In this session, Entertainment Software Association President and CEO Michael Gallagher will discuss what the Supreme Court decision means for video games and artistic expression, and what is next for this innovative and ever-evolving industry.
Developers are tapping into mobile devices’ built in features to produce feature-rich, social game experiences. Hear from gaming startups who are offering social education (Andrew Hsu, Airy Labs), alternate-reality (Gregory Trefry, Gigantic Mechanic) and competitive virtual crime gameplay experiences (Mike Ouye and Pete Hawley, Red Robot). Andrew Hsu, a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University left the program to found Airy Labs, a startup building the next generation of global, social learning games. Creator of the Come Out & Play Festival, author and teacher on casual game design, Gregory Trefry co-founded Gigantic Mechanic to make the everyday world more fun and help people connect with others. Mike Ouye and Pete Hawley from Red Robot will offer insight on building a location-based game platform, why they launched on Android first and how their Facebook and console game backgrounds influenced the direction of Life Is Crime.
by Spencer Brooks, Megan Kluck and Brad Graeber
We will explore some of the current issues facing game production through a case study of EA’s Risk: Factions. This panel will address some of the perceived differences between console games and social games and will attempt to answer questions about the future of social games in regards to Flash-based production methods.
This segment gives you a psychological dashboard for creating compelling and engaging interaction experiences. Learn to manage the trigger points for critical psychological processes that determine the mental states of immersion, engagement, and flow so you can motivate your audience to keep playing, start buying, or even change the world. Your design starts in the senses and is translated by the brain into emotion, experience and behavior. With neurocognition and positive psychology, we unlock the translation process for engagement, flow, story, and pleasure. Get a checklist to create more successful and satisfying interactive media, whether it’s on a single platform, across media, or a transmedia, to improve the outcomes of your projects, from design and marketing to advocacy. Avoid unintended consequences of design. Learn to engage the brain to create engaging user experience, motivation and influence behavior.
9th–13th March 2012