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Keynote [clear filter]
Monday, August 14

4:45pm EDT

Reconciling Games + Opening

Over the last few years, much of game studies has focused on centering the player, and indeed this year the theme of this conference is celebrating the player. And yet, we are also seeing a fascinating body of work developing around the creation of bots, AIs, and procedural creations which might fairly be said to be centering the *played* instead. We are seeing the science of player modeling developing at a rapid rate, which might be termed the process of turning a player *into* the played. We’ve also seen, over the years, debates about ludology versus narratology. Debates about formalism and ontology and culture. Debates about play and rules, play and structure, play and game. We’ve heard that the game is the interface. That the interface is irrelevant…

It’s all rather tiring, isn’t it?

A ray of hope exists, however, in the fact that as digital literacy has risen, more and more people – practitioners, academics, critics, scholars – are comfortable moving across fields, and having consilient discussions.  In this talk, I will discuss the cross-disciplinary approaches that have become my personal lodestones, as a practicing designer who is fascinated by systems and yet also regards the game designer’s actual canvas as being the human mind.

avatar for Raph Koster

Raph Koster

A professional game designer and frequent writer on issues of interactive design, Raph Koster was the lead designer on the seminal online world ULTIMA ONLINE, which first brought online worlds to the mass market. Until March 2006 he was Chief Creative Officer for Sony Online Entertainment... Read More →

Monday August 14, 2017 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Grand I
Tuesday, August 15

9:00am EDT

Surprising Ways Mixed Reality Will Empower Us to Achieve More + Closing

Mixed reality platforms enable people to interact with computers, the environment and each other, in more, better and surprising ways.

Obviously mixed reality (MR) platforms let people see and hear virtual things in the real world, but surprisingly MR could also accelerate machine learning and make computers more personal. Augmented reality platforms include additional and exotic sensors that gather an immense amount of information about users’ environments. Those platforms process that data to understand what users do and how they do it.

An exciting challenge and big benefit will be for machines to understand WHY users act, anticipate their needs and help them achieve more. Mixed reality platforms will give people new ways to interact with computers, the environment and each other.

avatar for Michael Gourlay

Michael Gourlay

Principal Dev Lead, Microsoft HoloLens
Dr. Michael J. Gourlay works as a Principal Software Engineer Lead at Microsoft on HoloLens, where he leads software engineering teams in the Analog Platform R&D organization, under the Environment Understanding group, for augmented reality, virtual reality & mixed reality platforms... Read More →

Tuesday August 15, 2017 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Grand I
Wednesday, August 16

9:00am EDT

Disciplining Games
Video games are not merely the software that ships; they are also the social and cultural fandom worlds created in their wake. Study of the two in combination – as sociotechnical infrastructures, in academic parlance – shows that games are intellectually demanding. They elicit complex forms of cognition and learning in math, science, literacy, computations reasoning, and other domains we generally value. So why, then, such widespread fear and loathing among the public?

America seems to find video games the ultimate Trojan house for all our social ills. Why? Multiple explanations abound: Fear of the new for a generation of babyboomers who refuse to cede cultural control. Political convenience for policymakers who are more comfortable scapegoating media than they are dealing with the consequences of poverty, insufficient gun control, and instability in the home. Deep anxiety for middle-class moms who suffer their own troubled relationship with leisure and play (and real anxiety about the economic future of their children). An industry that still courts the 1990s “bad boy” image. A uniquely American nasty puritanical streak.
Despite the last two decades of both utopian and dystopian claims – or, perhaps, because of them, – video games have steadily emerged on university campuses across the nation. More than 900 video game design and studies programs have sprouted up on campuses nationwide and eSports is undergoing a meteoric rise as the newest collegiate sport on the national scene.

In this talk, I review and editorialize the disciplining of video games, from the ways video game play connects to academic performances in multiple traditional disciplines to the rebukes interactive media have suffered despite all evidence on either side to the institutionalization of games as both department and college sport. I consider the history of emic and etic conversation about games in America, highlighting the ways in which instrumentalizing video games both reflects and shapes public perception of the medium.

Wednesday August 16, 2017 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Grand I
Thursday, August 17

11:00am EDT

Love and Sex with Robots + Closing
“Love and Sex with Robots” has recently become a serious academic topic within the fields of Human Machine Interaction and Human Robot Interaction. This topic has also witnessed a strong upsurge of interest amongst the general public, print media, TV documentaries and feature films. This talk covers the personal aspects of human relationships and interactions with robots and artificial partners. New technologies and research prototypes have been developed to allow more intimate interactions with robot companions like sex robots, emotional robots, humanoid robots, and artificial intelligent systems that can simulate human emotions. Such technologies and systems also engage the users with all their senses, including touch, taste and smell, creating multisensory and immersive interactive experiences. In this talk, we will conclude that humans will marry robots by 2050.

avatar for Adrian Cheok

Adrian Cheok

Adrian David Cheok is Director of the Imagineering Institute, Malaysia, and Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing at City, University of London.He is Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore. He was formerly Full Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media... Read More →

Thursday August 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:15pm EDT
Grand I
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