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Meaningful Play 2018 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleGames Are Not Good for You

Eric ZimmermanEric Zimmerman is an award-winning game designer who has been inventing play on and off the computer for more than 25 years. Eric was the Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Gamelab, a game development company based in New York City. Gamelab's titles included the casual game blockbuster Diner Dash and Gamestar Mechanic, a site that lets kids create games, which was funded by the first major game-related grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Gamelab worked with partners including LEGO, HBO, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Disney, Mattel, PlayFirst, PBS, Fisher-Price, Leapfrog, and many others. Eric is a founder of the Institute of Play, a nonprofit that looks at the intersection of games and learning that has opened a public school in New York City based on play as the model for learning. Eric has written and lectured extensively about game design and game culture. He is the co-author with Katie Salen of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press, 2004). He is also the co-editor with Katie Salen of The Game Design Reader (MIT Press, 2006). With Nathalie Pozzi, principal of Nakworks, he has created large-scale game installations for the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as venues in Berlin, Paris, Dublin, St, Petersberg, and Los Angeles. Recent projects include tabletop games The Metagame (with Local No. 12) and Quantum.

TimeThursday, October 11, 1:30p-2:30p
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
DescriptionWe live in what feel like particularly political times. Many of us working in games want to do something that will make a difference - that will impact larger cultural spheres in meaningful ways. However, are we really making the games that will get us there? In this critical (and self-critical) talk, Eric will look at some of the pitfalls of "serious games" and "meaningful play" - and offer new models for thinking about how games can interact with spaces outside of themselves.

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