8th Games for Change Festival New York
In 2010 I had my first Games4change experience at the Festival in New York. It was an easy choice to be back for this years 8th Annual Games for change Festival, but comparing 2010 with 2011 reveals not only the huge step Games4change made, but also how Serious Games developed as a genre. Al Gore coined this in his keynote saying “Games are the new normal.”
The discussion on games addressing serious issues has obviously broadened, the topic has more coverage and - perhaps most important - exposure beyond gamers. This became visible at the festival and is very helpful and well deserved for the whole movement and all the people involved.
I was very excited to present our game on physics called Ludwig at this year´s Festival.
It was part of the Demo Spotlight which was hosted by Eric Zimmerman. The demo spotlight gave game developers the opportunity to present their projects on the main stage to the following critics:
Frank Lantz, Creative Director and co-Founder of area/code, Interim Director, NYU Game Center
Connie Yowell, Director of Education for U.S. Programs at the MacArthur Foundation
Ken Perlin, Professor of Computer Science, NYU Media Research Lab, and Director, Games for Learning Institute
The feedback - I want to thank jury and audience for their inputs - was really great and will give us an additional energy boost for the final production phase. (My presentation starts at 21:15 sec)
My three favorite presentations from the festival:
Jesse Schell, Professor of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University and Owner at Schell Games delivered a impassioned closing keynote entitled “Make Games, not war”. I loved it!
Gabe Newell, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Valve Corporation, gave a keynote during the Games for Learning Day.
He showcased Portal2 and introduced the game saying :
“There seems to be a distinction between games that are good for Education and games that are going to be commercially successful. I am not sure if I am going to buy into that.”
I could not agree more.
Nick Fortugno, Game Designer and Co-Founder, Playmatics gave a quick presentation on "Zen and the art of Serious Play". It was a wonderful Showcase on a well-known and world-wide played game we did not consider a Serious Game: Basketball. It was an insightful and highly inspiring talk, I hope to get the slides soon to show them here.
I enjoyed the company of interesting, like-minded people and want to give a big shout-out to Michelle Byrd, Asi Burak and the whole G4C team for the great organization! I will certainly be in New York for Games4change 2012.