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meaningful play 2012 travel

Session Information

TitlePlay or Playful: Development Strategies for Applied Game Design
Presenter(s)Tobi Saulnier, CEO of 1st Playable Productions, leads a development studio that has created such hit games such as Club Penguin for the Nintendo DS, Ben 10 DS, Disney Princess DS, and a number of other DS games designed for very specific demographics. The studio also creates educational titles, and specializes in audience centric design.
TimeSaturday, October 20, 10:15a-11:15a
DescriptionAs games as a media is applied to education, health, and other domains, the game designer is often faced how to apply game mechanics to the demands of specific curriculum progression, and inevitably a constructive conflict over whether the result is "fun." The appeal of game mechanics can be lost to subject matter experts who are looking for increased engagement without added complexity. This talk looks at a range of purposeful games and the evolution of each from "Make a game for this topic!" to an end product that might be quite different than what a game developer (or gamer) would consider a game. The balance between play and playful is presented as a distinction that can facilitate design efforts early on in the process, and game techniques are identified that apply to either. This approach can improve transfer of game media to the array of applications it is being called on to address.

Real examples are used for this discussion based on the experience of the team at 1st Playable Productions. 1st Playable Productions is a development studio which creates both entertainment and educational games, with partners ranging from Disney, to LeapFrog, to research organizations. Serious games the studio has created address topics ranging from reading, math, science, writing, physical rehabilitation, and cognitive bias.

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