Ninety-seven percent of all adolescents in the US play video games, & more than half of the adults in this country play video games regardless of their race or income. The military has discovered that video games decrease symptoms of PTSD in veterans, & with the advent of the iPhone, mobile technology is making social media more prevalent than ever. Despite these numbers, psychotherapists & other healthcare providers are reluctant & uncertain how or when to integrate technology into their work. When gaming or technology is mentioned at all, it is only as an addiction or liability, never as a powerful innovation. This is in part due to an age-old mistrust & disdain of technology which has its roots in issues of class & psychology. But despite this, psychotherapy has passed the point where learning about technology is negotiable. This workshop aims to critique the idea of gaming as addiction & further, discuss how understanding and using video games may improve therapeutic outcomes.
The rise of smartphones, tablets, and a diversity of casual and hardcore gaming platforms now means that there are a variety of places where an interested gamer can consume a game brand. It is increasingly likely that a player will have multiple of these devices and will use them all for gameplay. What are the ramifications that this new reality has on the development of a successful game brand? If you assume that a player is going to want to play the game on different platforms, how can you leverage the game properly for each market and technology? How should the different implementations relate? Where is a simple port needed, and where you need a completely new design? This panel explores the current experimentation and the future possibilities inherent with cross-platform game release.
There is no question in our minds that eSports is the next major sport that will be followed by millions of people. Competitive gaming originated in the classic arcades of the 80s and 90s, but as the new generation has shifted to the Internet to be entertained online, eSports is increasingly becoming one of their favorite pastimes. Gone are the physical requirements to become an athlete – mental agility and strategic thinking are the ruling attributes of the virtual world. The accessibility of eSports has helped it grow into a true industry, which means a bounty of opportunities for game publishers, brands and fans to get in the game. Video games are now at a level where being a successful professional player requires constant practice and commitment, and its pros deserve a payday that one day rivals other professional sports stars with millions of fans. We’ll look at why and how eSports can become the next major Internet phenomenon and create an all-new class of sports celebrities.
9th–13th March 2012