Monday, October 30, 2006

Serious Games Summit, Day 1

There was a full line-up at the Serious Games Summit in Washington D.C. Henry Jenkins delivered the opening plenary, which provided an overview of his recent book Convergence Culture (which was reviewed here at Virtualpolitik).

There was a lot of talk about the MacArthur Foundation's work on Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning in connection with the work of James Paul Gee, who discussed K-12 media literacy efforts. I got to see a demo for the prototype of the Game Designer project, which teaches a more holistic set of design skills rather than limiting the pedagogy to programming.

Then I attended two sessions on Tactical Iraqi, mine and the PI for the project, Lewis Johnson, who has been relatively open about sharing project documents for outside commentary and criticism. I was surprised that those in the audience seemed scandalized that there was some debate in the game development community about working on defense-related projects. The issues about gender representation and cheating in serious games led to some interesting questions after my talk.

Then I attended a session about the defense sector and serious games, about how military training simulations had to model complex information fields that now include data from unmanned flying vehicles.

For live blogging, check out Ian Bogost's informative summaries.

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