Meditation and game design meet in this GDC 2017 talk on trance states


Most of us are familiar with the experience of being entranced by a game; that feeling of total focus where the whole world melts away. So as a game designer, how do you create that feeling in your players?

You can find out at the 2017 Game Developers Conference next year, where game developer Robin Arnott (SoundSelf) will be delivering a great talk on “Designing a Trance: Meditation and Game Design” aimed at helping you understand the trance phenomenon.

By exploring the myriad causes and types of trance, the audience will better understand how to induce these states of mind. More profoundly, they can leverage trance itself as more than the bi-product of good game design, but as a tool for deepening a player’s relationship with themselves and with others.

Arnott himself looks to meditation and music performance for game design inspiration, and if you attend his talk you’ll likely walk away with a workable model of how game mechanics can (and do) lead to altered states of consciousness. Applied gently, the “trance model” can help make any game more immersive and entrancing. Taken to an extreme, though, it provides a road-map to creating the world’s first digital psychedelics.

So yeah, you don’t want to miss this talk! And of course, conference officials look forward to announcing more GDC 2017 sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues in the months ahead.

For now, don’t miss the opportunity to save money by registering early — the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is January 25, 2017. GDC 2017 itself will take place February 27th – March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For more information on GDC 2017, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.