Game Developers Conference 2012 organizers have debuted a series of notable sessions within the first-ever Game IT Summit, featuring talks from prominent game developers and researchers such as Jane McGonigal (pictured), Ian Bogost, and much more.
This new Summit, scheduled for Monday, March 5, will examine how video games can help accomplish organizational roles through enterprise-focused game development.
Across its numerous sessions, the Game IT Summit will cover new ways to boost productivity, increase user engagement, and encourage group interaction through games.
As Summit advisor Ian Bogost puts it, this Summit isn't about "gamification," but about something far greater.
"Rather than think of Game IT as a less odious nickname for 'gamification,' think of it instead as a more deliberate and long-term commitment to the process of making and using games in the service of different industries."
"This isn't about the next hype cycle or trend, but about figuring out how to make use of games as infrastructure in the context of organizations," he said.
Those interested in checking out the Game IT Summit can do so by registering for an All Access or Summits & Tutorials pass on the official GDC website passes page.
The following are some of the notable sessions to be held within this new Summit:
- The Game IT Summit will open with a series of mini-talks focusing on how games can solve problems by encouraging group interaction. The session, "Game Structured Hiveminds: Organizing People & Solving Problems with Fun," will cover a handful of new game-based projects that use crowdsourcing and collaboration to help researchers decode the human genome, coordinate civic logistics, and develop artificial intelligence. Speakers include Digitalmill's Ben Sawyer (Virtual U), McGill University's Jerome Waldispuhl, Entertainment Technology Center's Evan Brown, and Citizen Logistics' Joe Edelman.
- Elsewhere, a panel of speakers will present their responses to a challenge posed at GDC 2011 -- to create games that help players stay healthy or fight physical and mental illness. In "Health IT! Enterprising Approaches to Combining Health and Games," speakers such as Social Chocolate's Jane McGonigal, ShapeUp's Rajiv Kumar, and GreenGoose's Brian Krejcarek will showcase games and technologies that promote mental, physical and social resilience, boost physical well-being, and much more.
- Finally, prominent game designer, researcher, and Persuasive Games founding partner Ian Bogost will host, "Making Games as Fast as You Can Think of Them." Here, Bogost will detail a new authoring tool that allows users to create small, simple games in seconds. Funded in part by the Knight Foundation, this tool was built to serve journalists and news media, as well as those thinking about new ways to make game authoring software.
In addition to the above sessions, the Game IT Summit will include a full set of talks featuring SingStar creator Paulina Bozek on the fashion-focused Closet Swap, a panel of experts on making work fun, a look at how store supply chains compare to MMOs, and a presentation on using games to train workers and streamline company productivity.
"At the Game IT summit, we're going to peer over the leading edge of an unusual trend that so far has been on the periphery of the traditional game development industry," said Game IT advisor and Summit speaker Jane McGonigal.
"There's an exploding world of information technology that startup companies and tech innovators are now exploring as a game platform, from sensors that track your real-world behavior, to the social graph of everything from Twitter to Spotify, to smart data mining cloud computing. All things that are challenging our assumptions about what a game platform is, and the Game IT summit is going to showcase the exploding possibility space."
Summit advisor and Digitalmill co-founder Ben Sawyer added, "I'm very much interested in the crowdsourcing block of talks that leads off the summit -- the possibilities for games in crowdsourcing are exemplified by Fold.It, which had a big talk last year, but this block offers a lot of interesting variance on what crowdsourcing with games can be."
"Finally, I'm really excited for people to see GreenGoose, a sensor-based startup that has a lot of buzz in the health and behavior change space. GreenGoose will really change people's sense of what can be 'gamed' as well as exemplify some of the ideas Jane has been talking about with the coming age of new systems and experiences around which to shape entirely new forms of gameplay."
For more information on any of the talks within the Game IT Summit, please check out GDC 2012's official Schedule Builder, which offers a full breakdown of the show's robust lineup. Also be sure to keep an eye on the official GDC news blog, which will showcase exciting new announcements for the show, in addition to this continuing series of posts pointing a spotlight at the show's most exciting, informative, and usual content.
To keep up-to-date on all the latest news about GDC 2012, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC 2012 will take place March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.