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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleAffection Games: The Casual World of Flirting, Hugging, Kissing and Making Love

Lindsay GraceLindsay Grace is a professor, game designer and researcher. He is the founding director of the American University Game Lab and Studio. He has published more than 40 papers, articles and book chapters on games since 2009. His game designs have received awards from the Games for Change Festival, Meaningful Play, Advances in Computer Entertainment and others. His creative work has been selected for showcase in more than eight countries and 12 states, including New York, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Singapore, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Chicago and Vancouver. He has given talks at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC), SXSW, Games for Change Festival/Tribeca Film Festival, the Boston Festival of Independent Games and many others. He currently serves on the board for the Global Game Jamô (2015 Vice President) and served on the board for the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA 2014-2016).
Learn more about Lindsay.

TimeFriday, October 21, 10:30a-11:30a
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
Description2500 people kiss their phones every day. There are hundreds of digital games that require players to flirt, hug, kiss, and make love to meet their goals. Are these games the yin to violent games yang? In the every widening demographic of game players, Affection Games offer a refreshing perspective on how we play. This presentation outlines the variety of affection games providing attendees a comprehensive understanding of this emerging game genre beyond dating sims. What games are popular, how are they played and what do they say about gender and affection dynamics? How do emerging technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and haptics offer new play potential? Based on several years of academic research.

A fun, high energy tour de force of digital Affection Games. A playful journey through the who, what, where and why of Affection Games from a lead researcher on the topic.

What are digital Affection Games, how are they played and how is affection expressed in these games?
Who plays affection games and what attracts players to these games?
What themes emerge in gender, stereotype, diversity, and the use of technology from Affection Games.

Learn about genre-leading affection games, what formulas succeed in this space, and which ones fail. Independent developers will learn to broaden their demographic and how to venture into this low-barrier-to-entry genre. Attendees will leave with statistics, trends and an exploration of games they probably haven't played. This is an updated version of a GDC 2015 talk I gave at the Indie Game Summit.

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