Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine where she investigates cognition and learning in multiplayer videogames in domains including literacy, scientific reasoning, mathematical reasoning, computational literacy, collective problem solving, sociability, attention, and emotional self-regulation. Her current interests also include cultural myths about videogames, women in the industry, and the role of eSports on college campuses (like UCI).
She is President of the Higher Education Video Games Alliance (HEVGA), an academic organization of game design and game studies programs in higher education. She formerly served as Senior Policy Analyst under the Obama administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on games and digital media. Her work has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
Constance has a PhD in Literacy Studies, an MS in Educational Psychology, and three Bachelor Degrees in Mathematics, English, and Religious Studies. Her dissertation was a cognitive ethnography of the MMOs Lineage I and II where she served as siege princess for the LegendsOfAden guild. Her husband Kurt Squire is an educational game designer and scholar. They live with their two little gamers in Southern California.
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He’s been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio; and he’s contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles.
Koster is widely recognized as one of the world’s top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. His book A Theory of Fun for Game Design is nearing its tenth anniversary as one of the undisputed classics in the games field. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. Visit his blog at www.raphkoster.com.
Adrian David Cheok is Director of the Imagineering Institute, Malaysia, and Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing at City, University of London. He is Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore. He was formerly Full Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design and Associate Professor in the National University of Singapore. He has previously worked in real-time systems, soft computing, and embedded computing in Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Japan. He has been working on research covering mixed reality, human-computer interfaces, wearable computers and ubiquitous computing, fuzzy systems, embedded systems, power electronics.
He has successfully obtained approximately $20 million dollars in funding for externally funded projects in the area of wearable computers and mixed reality from Media Development Authority, Nike, National Oilwell Varco, Defense Science Technology Agency, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Communications and Arts, National Arts Council, Singapore Science Center, and Hougang Primary School. The research output has included numerous high quality academic journal papers, research awards, keynote speeches, international exhibitions, numerous government demonstrations including to government President and Prime Ministers, broadcast television worldwide broadcasts on his research (such as CNN/CNBC/ABC/Discovery/National Geographic etc.), and hundreds of international press media articles.
Adrian David Cheok, who was born and raised in Adelaide Australia, graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) with First Class Honors in 1992 and an Engineering PhD in 1998.
Dr. Michael J. Gourlay works as a Principal Software Engineer Lead at Microsoft on HoloLens, where he leads software engineering teams in the Analog Platform R&D organization, under the Environment Understanding group, for augmented reality, virtual reality & mixed reality platforms such as HoloLens and Windows Holographic.
Michael leads the team that develops the inside-out tracking system which fuses computer vision, signal processing and inertial tracking techniques. This technology underlies rendering world-locked holograms. He also led the team that performs calibration using computer vision and numerical optimization. That team creates calibration solutions for both factory and field operation. Michael’s team also developed the surface reconstruction solution (branded Spatial Mapping) for Windows Holographic. That gives devices a virtual representation of real-world surfaces, permitting virtual objects to appear to interact with real-world objects, both visually and physically.
Michael previously worked at Electronic Arts (EA Sports) and also developed curricula for and taught at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA). He also performed scientific research using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the world's largest massively parallel supercomputers. He received his BS in Physics from Georgia Tech and his PhD in Physics from University of Colorado at Boulder.
Rational Level Design Tutorial
A full day crash course in Rational Level Design (RLD) and the rational conception process to learn the Ubisoft Way from Game Director Alexis Jolis-Desautels. RLD is a way of objectively quantifying elements of user experience in order to create a consistent game play experience. RLD is most commonly used to understand how various game elements impact on difficulty. As difficulty plays such a significant role in determining user experience (a precarious balance between rage and boredom!), we can use the objective, number driven system of RLD to craft user experience. Although RLD is now used to create much more than just game levels, the RLD tag has stuck and is now used to describe design activities using this data driven approach. For more on rational game design, see an introduction Gamasutra article and a Gamasutra article applying it to Rayman.
Part of Ubisoft Montreal since 2004, Alexis is a game director that has worked, amongst others, on Splinter Cell: Double Agent, TMNT, Lost: Via Domus, Shaun White Skateboarding and on the Assassin’s Creed brand. He is mostly interested in new applications of science and psychology in the field of games. With a background as an actor and journalist, he developed skills as a trainer and a communicator, mostly about game design but also about games as a medium and human activity. After teaching game design at the Ubisoft Campus, he specialized as a teacher and internal trainer and assisted the design community within the studio. He is now sweating in VR as part of the Ubisoft FunHouse.
Tuesday Evening LARP
Lizzie Stark and Emily Care Boss will run a short larp from or influenced by the Nordic tradition--few rules, a set structure, and packing a powerful emotional wallop. What we run, and whether we run two games simultaneously, will depend on the number of participants who sign up. Candidates include White Death, a poetic non-verbal larp that emphasizes physical expression; In Residency, about the strange atmosphere of artists' colonies, the relationship between trauma and art, and flirting; Before and After Silence, about the power of silence in a world of sound; Papers, about life in a surreal office governed by consultants; and more.
Lizzie Stark is an author, journalist, and larp designer. Her first book, Leaving Mundania, was a narrative nonfiction account of larp in the US and Nordic countries. Since then, she has edited the collections Larps from the Factory and #Feminism; served as a play consultant to museums and interactive theater troupes; designed larps for festivals, the Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge, and for fun; and traveled the country giving talks and workshops about games. Her larp blog, LeavingMundania.com, is widely cited in the field.
Emily Care Boss of Black & Green Games is an award-winning, independent role-playing game designer living in western Massachusetts, USA. Her designs include Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin, now collected as the Romance Trilogy. An outspoken and influential advocate of diversity and creator-control in analog games for over a decade, Emily has edited collections of essays on women in gaming; founded a regional convention showcasing small-press and indie tabletop games; and been published internationally in journals and games. Emily is a member of the Indie Game Developer's Network. Find her work at blackgreengames.com.
"The Lost Arcade" Documentary Screening
Written and produced by Irene Chin and directed by Kurt Vincent, THE LOST ARCADE, is an intimate story of a once-ubiquitous cultural phenomenon on the edge of extinction, especially in New York City, which once had video arcades by the dozen. These arcades were as much social hubs to meet up and hang out as they were public arenas for gamers to demonstrate their skills. But by 2011, only a handful remained, most of them corporate affairs, leaving the legendary Chinatown Fair on Mott Street as the last hold-out of old-school arcade culture. Opened in the early 1940’s, Chinatown Fair, famous for its dancing and tic tac toe playing chickens, survived turf wars between rival gangs, increases in rent, and the rise of the home gaming system to become an institution and haven for kids from all five boroughs. A documentary portrait of the Chinatown Fair and its denizens, THE LOST ARCADE is a eulogy for and a celebration of the arcade gaming community, tenacity, and Dance Dance Revolutionary spirit.
The documentary will be screened at FDG and the director Kurt Vincent will be at FDG.