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GDC 2011 Education Summit Reveals Notable New Talks

GDC 2011 organizers have revealed notable GDC Education Summit talks for the February/March 2011 event, including prestigious speakers from USC, MIT, Parsons and more discussing the state of game education.

The revamped summit, taking place on February 28th and March 1st during Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, will be a key new part of GDC for those involved in teaching aspects of game development.

The Summit will see educators exploring "experimental and inventive educational approaches that attendees can bring back to the classroom. It aims to bring scholars together with experienced professionals willing to learn, share their ideas and great achievements."

Advisors for the Summits include Facade co-creator Michael Mateas of the University Of California Santa Cruz, as well as the USC School of Cinematic Arts' Tracy Fullerton (Fl0w, The Night Journey) and noted game developer and professor Ian Schreiber.

A number of major talks have been revealed on the Summit homepage and the GDC Education Summit section of GDC's Schedule Builder. Highlights include the following:

- In 'Edu to Indie: Teaching Students Self-Reliance', USC faculty member Jeremy Gibson explores the lessons needed to "successfully prepare students for indie greatness from the perspectives of both students and faculty."

He'll be joined by Paul Bellezza of The Odd Gentlemen (The Adventures Of P.B. Winterbottom), who is one of several student teams from the University of Southern California such as Thatgamecompany who have founded notable indie game startups.

- The notable session 'Building and Growing a Game Lab' includes speakers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and the USC School of Cinematic Arts, discussing "five case studies from different game laboratories, exploring their role in the curriculum and as a research venue."

The examples include game labs in humanities/liberal arts departments, computer science departments and cinematic arts departments, and the recommendations can be easily extended to schools in a number of disciplines.

- Veteran educator Katherine Isbister is presenting 'Bringing Games User Research into Our Educational Practice', explaining: "Knowing how to do rigorous and valid user research is a valuable skillset for budding game developers and designers interested in a player-centric approach to design."

In the talk, Isbister will "share my own experience participating in four different universities' games education practices, and describe how research can be woven into the curriculum and also into the general atmosphere of a program."

The rest of the schedule thus far announced for the Summit includes the cutely named 'Massively Multi-Professor Cooperative Capstone Course Design (MMPCCD)' from Savannah College's John Sharp and DePaul's Jose Zagal, plus 'Collaboration Across Disciplines and Programs' with Eric Zimmerman, and reps from Parsons the New School for Design, Berklee College Of Music, and more.

The GDC 2011 Education Summit joins six other notable standalone Summits, including Social & Online Games, AI, Indie, Serious Games, Localization and the GDC Smartphone Summit, as well as multiple high-profile tutorials, on the Monday and Tuesday of Game Developers Conference 2011.

More information on this particular Summit -- part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website -- which can be attended via All-Access or Summit-specific GDC 2011 passes, is available on its official webpage.

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