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meaningful play 2008 travel

Session Information

TitleThe Great White Whale of Meaningful Play
Presenter(s)Tracy FullertonTracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is a game designer, educator and writer with fifteen years of professional experience. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she is Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. Tracy is the author of Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Recent credits include faculty advisor for the award-winning student games Cloud, flOw and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and game designer for The Night Journey a unique game/art project with artist Bill Viola. Prior to joining USC, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Spiderdance's games included NBC's Weakest Link, MTV's webRIOT, The WB's No Boundaries, History Channel's History IQ, Sony Game Show Network's Inquizition and TBS's Cyber Bond. Before starting Spiderdance, Tracy was a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive, Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm and a designer at Robert Abel's early interactive company Synapse. Notable projects include Sony's Multiplayer Jeopardy! and Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune and MSN's NetWits, the first multiplayer casual game. Tracy's work has received numerous industry honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television and Time Magazine's Best of the Web.
TimeSaturday, October 11, 1:00p-2:00p
DescriptionIn Moby Dick, Hermann Melville exhorts readers and potential writers that, "to produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme." Experimental and serious game designers, in their own way, have taken this advice to heart: exploring themes and subject matter in their games that are significant, topical and complex; while commercial game designers like Will Wright have taken on nothing less than the simulation of a universe. And yet, for the most part, designers and players agree that we can do better -- especially in the arena of serious games -- that we have not ultimately caught the essence of what it means to explore a mighty theme through meaningful play. This talk addresses the relationship between meaningfulness, game mechanics and the potential we wish to realize for playful experiences to address serious subject matter, inspire activism, promote learning, reinforce values, and transmit ideas.

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