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CONFERENCE  

|    Programming
    GDC EDUCATION
Monday, March 2 & Tuesday, March 3

The GDC Education Summit is dedicated to bringing forward the most innovative and exciting ideas in game education today. Attendees will discover new experimental and inventive educational approaches as well as best practices that they can bring back to their faculty and classrooms. The summit brings together educators from established game development programs with new game course creators that want to understand the challenges they'll face in the next few years. It is a great professional development opportunity that will explore how new areas of game education will advance the field for the next generation of students.

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2015 HIGHLIGHTED SESSIONS

Socially Responsible Game Education
Jane Pinckard (University of Southern California)
Gillian Smith (Northeastern University)
This session offers concrete techniques for weaving in discussion of social justice, representation of marginalized groups, and design inclusivity into technical and design-based games curricula. Such topics should be addressed in an ongoing manner, threaded through the courses and the curricula, rather than delivered in a one-off lecture or special session. Major takeaways include: how to get your students to think about their game design as non-neutral, tips for preparing a discussion on gender and race and representation in games, best practices for ensuring greater balance in representing the field of game history. An open discussion will follow the presentations.
When Intuition and Experience are NOT Enough: Perspectives on Teaching Students Advanced User Research Methods to Create Winning Designs
Katherine Isbister (Game Innovation Lab, New York University)
Magy Seif El-Nasr (Northeastern University)
Dennis Wixon (School of Cinematic Arts, USC)
Brenda Laurel (University of California Santa Cruz)
This panel brings together experts from three universities to present and discuss advanced best practices for teaching students user research techniques. Each panelist will give a mini case study of an advanced tactic s/he uses, and why it is valuable to learners. These include: ethnography to inform design, design research techniques, use of research games as teaching objects, and the teaching of data analysis techniques. Then panelists and audience will engage in a lively discussion about where user research belongs in the curriculum, and how to keep students current on evolving techniques.

GDC EDUCATION SUMMIT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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Tracy Fullerton
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Tracy Fullerton, MFA, is director of USC Games, the #1 ranked university games program in North America. An experimental game designer with more than 20 years of experience in industry and academic development, Tracy holds the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment at USC and directs a game research center, the Game Innovation Lab, that has produced several of the most influential projects to be released in the emerging field of independent games, including games like Cloud, Flow, Darfur is Dying, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and The Night Journey - a collaboration with media artist Bill Viola. Tracy is also the author of "Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games," a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Prior to entering academia, she was a professional game designer and entrepreneur making games for companies including Microsoft, Sony and MTV, among many others.
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Katherine Isbister
New York University
Katherine Isbister has a joint faculty appointment between the NYU Game Center and the computer science department at NYU's School of Engineering. Isbister is research director of the Game Innovation Lab at NYU. Her research focuses on designing games that heighten social and emotional connections for players, toward innovating design theory and practice. Her lab's games have been featured in venues including IndieCade (Yamove! Finalist in 2012), the World Science Festival, and museums such as the Liberty Science Center. Isbister's book on game character design --- "Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach" --- was nominated for a Game Developer Magazine Frontline award. Her edited volume, "Game Usability," brings together best practices in game playtesting and user research.
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Michael Mateas
UC Santa Cruz
Michael is recognized internationally as a leader in AI-based interactive entertainment. He is currently a faculty member in the Computer Science department at UC Santa Cruz, where he holds the MacArthur Endowed Chair. He founded and co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the largest technical game research groups in the world and is also the founding director of the Center for Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. Credits include Prom Week, a social simulation-based interactive story and puzzle game, and Facade - the world's first AI-based interactive drama. Michael has given numerous keynote addresses and paper presentations at conferences worldwide. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Ian Schreiber
Rochester Institute of Technology
Ian Schreiber has been in the industry since the year 2000, first as a programmer and then as a game designer. He has worked on six published game titles and two serious game projects, and is a co-founder of Global Game Jam. Ian has taught game design and development courses at a variety of two-year and four-year schools, and is currently an assistant professor at RIT.