Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Civics & Social Issues [clear filter]
Tuesday, June 18

12:15pm EDT

How to Make Things Fun: From Disaster Preparedness to Transportation Infrastructure, Voter Education to Circular Economies
As game and experience designers, we are often tapped to “make things fun”. While there is no secret recipe, there are key strategies and insights that can lead to excellent design. Based out of IDEO’s Play Lab, Jenny Gottstein works with clients in a wide range of industries to leverage play as a tool for innovation, resilience, engagement and creative problem-solving. She will be sharing case studies and tools for moving beyond points, badges and leaderboards, and turning even the most dry or overwhelming issues into an experience that is memorable, engaging and fun.

avatar for Jenny Gottstein

Jenny Gottstein

Experience Design Lead in the Play Lab, IDEO
Jenny is an Experience Designer in IDEO's Play Lab where she designs products, services, environments, and experiences to be more engaging, sustainable and enjoyable. Recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 for game design, she is passionate about developing engagement, resilience, and creative solutions through play. When she... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 12:15pm - 12:35pm EDT
Room 105

2:45pm EDT

Games as a Civil Rights Issue
65% of American households have someone in them that plays games for three hours a week or more. The game industry is larger than film and music combined. Despite this, there are significant problems with hate and harassment in games, game culture and the game community. This talk will discuss efforts by the Anti-Defamation League to understand and address the problem of hate in games through a variety of interdisciplinary approaches.

avatar for Daniel Kelley

Daniel Kelley

Associate Director, Center for Technology and Society, Anti-Defamation League
Daniel Kelley (he/him/his) is the Associate Director of ADL’s Center for Technology and Society (CTS). Daniel manages operations and project management for CTS, and leads CTS’ work to fight hate, bias and harassment in the game community. Daniel was named one of NY Jewish Week’s... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 2:45pm - 3:05pm EDT
Room 105

3:15pm EDT

Your Game Could Be a PSA!
Recognizing that millions of Americans love to play video games, the Ad Council partnered with Square Enix to create its first PSA made from gaming footage. The partnership used scenes from the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III game to promote bullying prevention. The Ad Council will share a case study from this partnership including tips for creating PSAs from your own games.

avatar for Anastasia Goodstein

Anastasia Goodstein

SVP, Digital Product Management, The Ad Council
Anastasia serves as Senior Vice President of the Advertising Council’s Digital Product Management group where she manages the team in charge of digital products for all Ad Council campaigns. Prior to joining the Ad Council, she lead the product development and marketing for the... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 3:15pm - 3:35pm EDT
Room 105

3:45pm EDT

Putting Games to Work in City Government
In 2018, the City of Portland, ME set out to create a game by, with and for new immigrants and refugees in the city. Over the course of four months, designers worked with the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity and its city-wide advisory council to identify needs, refine learning objectives and design a game to be played by English language learners to discover resources in the city and to provide input. This discussion focuses on the challenges of building new tech, socializing the idea of a game, and creating ownership to assure a project’s sustainability. 

avatar for Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Professor, Engagment Lab at Emerson College
Eric Gordon is a professor of civic media and the director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College in Boston. His research focuses on building better interfaces between publics and civic organizations in a context of diminishing trust. He has co-designed interventions for large and... Read More →
avatar for Julia Trujillo Luengo

Julia Trujillo Luengo

Director, Office of Economic Opportunity
Julia Trujillo runs the City of Portland's Office of Economic Opportunity. The Office is the first of its kind in Maine whose vision is to foster a strong sense of belonging in all aspects of city life for everyone who calls Portland their home. Portland recently released a City Wide... Read More →
avatar for Justin Warren

Justin Warren

Media Design Recruiter, Emerson College
Justin Warren is a game designer and play researcher based in Boston. He received his MA in Civic Media from Emerson College in 2018, and currently works as a Recruiter for the program. His thesis focused on designing an online educational game for immigrants and refugees in collaboration... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 3:45pm - 4:05pm EDT
Room 105

4:15pm EDT

Public Screens and Games Embedded in Physical Space: The Rise of Maker Games
In cities and neighborhoods, a new kind of game design is emerging. The digital and physical are coming together, from hybrid playgrounds to embedded screens at bus stops. Games were not the original goal. But as millions of youth learn to program Raspberry Pis ($50 each), and escape rooms can be created with DIY (Do-It-Yourself) kits, the movement is growing – and without headsets. In this provocation, you’ll hear how the future of mixed reality does NOT use consumer devices – but rather is embedded in public space and physical objects, strengthening neighborhoods from Mexico City to Los Angeles.

avatar for Benjamin Stokes

Benjamin Stokes

Assistant Professor, American University Game Lab
Benjamin Stokes is an assistant professor at American University, affiliated with the AU Game Lab. His designs for cities have introduced neighbors, retold local history, and rebuilt payphones. Previously, Benjamin worked at the MacArthur Foundation as a program officer in their portfolio... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 4:15pm - 4:35pm EDT
Room 104

4:45pm EDT

The Great Cognitive Depression (and the Rise of the Miyagi Movement)
Companies are strip mining our cognition in their quest to hold our attention. But it’s not an infinite resource and those organizations don’t price the destruction of cognition into their cost of doing business. They have every incentive to continue the destruction. But we lose our ability to make rational decisions at work and as citizens, to take on the many complex extinction level challenges society now faces.

When the art and science of decision-making itself collapses might we face a Great Cognitive Depression?

We’ll explore playful ways to use games and AI to build cognition and cancel biases.

avatar for Mickey McManus

Mickey McManus

Fellow, Office of the CTO, Autodesk
Mickey McManus is a visiting research fellow at Autodesk’s Office of the CTO and a Senior Advisor to BCG. He is a pioneer in pervasive computing, collaborative human/machine innovation, human-centered design and education. Mickey holds 13 patents in the area of connected products... Read More →

Tuesday June 18, 2019 4:45pm - 5:05pm EDT
Room 104
Wednesday, June 19

11:45am EDT

Making a True, Sad Story Playable Through Character Development
We know immersion creates empathy. But how can you get players to engage voluntarily with a sad game about child abuse? Elin Festøy, creative producer of the award-winning mobile game "My Child Lebensborn", talks about the importance of character development to reach out to younger players.

avatar for Elin Festøy

Elin Festøy

Producer & CEO, Teknopilot AS
Elin Festøy is an artistic research fellow at The Norwegian Film School and a creative, interactive producer with her own, personal production company Teknopilot AS. Her latest productions include the award winning mobile game "My Child Lebensborn" and "The voice from the forest... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:45am - 12:05pm EDT
Room 105

11:45am EDT

Playing for the Planet: How Video Games Can Deliver for People and the Environment
How can the fastest growing media platform in the world be harnessed to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the urgent global needs they represent? Is your game company about to change the world – literally? With input from over 50 games industry leaders, the 2019 United Nations Environment report “Playing for the Planet” summarizes recent developments to yield seven key recommendations on how the video games industry can achieve tangible, real-world impact for the issues and people who need it most. Discover how you can empower your game, your company and your players, and add your voice to a groundbreaking UN event. https://playing4theplanet.org

avatar for Trista Patterson

Trista Patterson

NewMedia Lab Director, GRID-Arendal / UN Environment Collaboration Center
Dr. Trista Patterson is lead author of the UN Environment report "Playing For the Planet". She directs the NewMedia Lab at GRID-Arendal, a UN Environment Collaboration Centre in Norway, where global-scale experiments test emerging technologies (video game, AR/VR, interactive forums... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:45am - 12:05pm EDT
Room 104

12:15pm EDT

Endless: Creating Digital Agency through Gaming
I love building technology that can cultivate a generation of creators. I founded Endless, an independent collection of companies and initiatives focused on unlocking the untapped potential in youth.

Endless’ initial focus was to make computing universally accessible for everyone. We started by building software to solve internet connectivity for kids in the developing world. Endless OS, our flagship product, is a fully functional operating system that works on any form of internet connection.
Today, Endless is taking this a step further to empower a generation of kids, in the US and elsewhere, to shape their technology rather than being shaped by it. Endless is doing this through three initiatives: Hack harnesses Endless OS to embed coding education into the heart of an operating system. The Third Terminal is a collection of coding-based games that focus on inspire delight. Finally, The Endless Mission is a sandbox-style Steam game that takes players on a journey to a world where nothing is as it seems and the power to reshape the game itself sits at the tips of their fingers. All of this, to shape your games and, through it, your world.

I discovered my passion for building organizations of consequence when I founded the China Care Foundation at the age of 16 to offer orphaned children a brighter future. China Care has since raised over $14 million to provide surgeries, foster placements and adoptions for thousands of special needs children, as well as spawning dozens of campus clubs. For this work, I've been honored as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “People Changing the Lives of Children Around the World”, as one of Teen People’s “20 Teens Who Will Change the World,” and the youngest recipient of the Fulbright Award. All of this was set in motion by living in China with a family at the age of 11. That year in China changed my life more than anything, setting me on the course that has landed me here today.

I am a graduate of Harvard College (‘06) and Stanford Business School (‘12).

avatar for Matt Dalio

Matt Dalio

Founder, Endless
I love building technology that can cultivate a generation of creators. I founded Endless, an independent collection of companies and initiatives focused on unlocking the untapped potential in youth.Endless’ initial focus was to make computing universally accessible for everyone... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 12:15pm - 12:35pm EDT
Mainstage - Tishman Auditorium

12:15pm EDT

Well Played: Ndemic Creations
Join us for a close examination of two landmark works from Ndemic Creations: Plague Inc and Rebel Inc, games that simulate complex processes (the spread of epidemics and insurgency in an invaded country) to evoke play, exploration and edification. Naomi Clark will play and discuss Ndemic's work, joined by James Vaughan of Ndemic for a discussion.

avatar for Naomi Clark

Naomi Clark

Assistant Arts Professor / Co-Chair, NYU
Over the last twenty years, Naomi Clark has designed, written for and produced games for a variety of platforms and audiences, contributing to a few dozen projects so far. She's the co-author of a textbook titled A Game Design Vocabulary and teaches on the faculty of the NYU Game... Read More →
avatar for James Vaughan

James Vaughan

CEO & Founder, Ndemic Creations
James is the creator of Plague Inc. - a global hit with over 120 million players and one of the top five most successful paid mobile games ever.Originally a hobby, Plague Inc. has consistently remained at the top of the charts since 2012 and James was even invited to the CDC to talk... Read More →
avatar for Drew Davidson

Drew Davidson

Director, ETC @ CMU
Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories and transformational experiences across texts, comics, games and other media. He explores the art, design and science... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 12:15pm - 12:45pm EDT
Starr Foundation

2:30pm EDT

Promoting Sex-Positivity Through Analog Games
Sex is rarely discussed with depth in the mainstream gaming world. Analog games are uniquely positioned to explore this topic by leveraging embodied, participatory frameworks, and physicality. With a focus on queer sexualities, we will delve into how analog games can discuss sex effectively and safely. We will also touch on a new book of erotic art games co-created by Sharang Biswas and Lucian Kahn, with a grant from the Effing Foundation.

avatar for Sharang Biswas

Sharang Biswas

Independent Game Designer, Writer, & Artist
Sharang Biswas is a writer, award-winning game designer, and internationally exhibited artist based in NYC. His Indiecade-award winning game Feast was recently shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and his writing has appeared in publications such as Kill Screen... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 2:30pm - 2:50pm EDT
Room 105

3:45pm EDT

Living the Life of a Refugee: Games and VR for Change
In the last few years, games and VR for change have encouraged support, sympathy, and action for a variety of migration and refugee issues. In this talk, I analyze and compare the virtual reality installation Carne y Arena (Iñárritu 2017) and the digital game The Migrant Trail (Gigantic Mechanic 2014), as part of the multimedia project The Undocumented (Williams 2013). I will show how both digital media examples use semi-fictionalized ethnographies to allow their users to thoroughly experience a fragment of Mexican and Central American refugees’ and migrant’s personal journeys and life stories.

avatar for Joost Raessens

Joost Raessens

Full Professor and Chair of Media Theory, Utrecht Center for Game Research, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Prof. Joost Raessens holds the chair of Media Theory at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His research concerns the ‘ludification of culture,’ focusing in particular on games and VR for change in relation to global issues such as climate change, and refugees and migration... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 3:45pm - 4:05pm EDT
Room 104
Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.