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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleGame Design and Tourism: Two Fields that Play Well Together!
Presenter(s)Elizabeth Lawley
TimeFriday, October 21, 1:00p-2:00p
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
DescriptionWith the growing popularity of location-based games and augmented reality applications, an opportunity is arising for tourism destinations to work with game designers and developers to create applications that engage tourists in exploring and learning about the places they visit. In fact, the fields of game design and hospitality/tourism research share a great many similarities in their focus on user experience, motivation, and engagement.

In 2009, I produced a large-scale alternate reality game that was a partnership between our university and our local newspaper, with a focus on engaging local residents in the history and culture of our region. In 2011, I worked with faculty and students at our university to produce a an achievement system intended to engage our undergraduate students more deeply in both our campus and the local community. And in 2015, I received a Fulbright grant to explore the intersection of games and tourism in the popular European vacation destination of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

All of these experiences have shown me that there is much for game designers to learn from tourism and hospitality experts, and great potential for game designers to provide insight into the challenges faced by researchers and practitioners in tourism and hospitality.

In this talk, I will discuss the intersections and complementary components of these two fields, describe a variety of creative examples of tourist-focused games, and discuss the potential for partnerships that benefit both academics and practitioners in each field.

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