Monday, March 14, 2005

GDC 2005: Serious Games Summit - Raph Koster

Alright, so we're a little behind. I'd rather be posting interesting, coherent thoughts though, so in this case, late is probably preferable. To start the week, I attended the Serious Games Summit (SGS), a mini-conference set within the larger GDC. The SGS focuses on games and game-related technologies applied to uses other than entertainment. Training, education, and military applications seem to dominate this field for now, but some new interesting applications are emerging as well. Here's a rundown of the SGS sessions I attended:

A Theory of Fun for Games
Raph Koster

Raph Koster kicked off the SGS with an interesting talk, one that boiled down to a summary of his book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design. While he didn't make too much effort to tailor the talk for serious games, his theory hinges on learning as key to fun, so it was pretty appropriate. For me, the highlight was his concluding point: "Games are communicative!" He elaborated, arguing that games are the only medium that allows experiential learning of abstract concepts. For more on Raph's thoughts, I highly recommend his book. Just keep in mind that it's only one theory of fun.


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Seg said...

RE: Dear Friends: Music of Final Fantasy

I want to agree on the annoyance of the non-gamer MC. I didn't come to the concert, with a large body of concert goers who were obviously involved in the game industry as either a player or developer, to see a girl joke about her own short-comings. Not to say that I would have liked a gamer to MC. It would have been more rewarding to see an MC who was knowledgeable in classical music and not gaming. That was the missing element to me; A presence of the classical music world that tied in the work that Nobu Uematsu talked about in his statement.

While I'm on topic, I also wanted to say that the over-head displays were more distracting than aiding. Since the cut scenes were inconsistent and lacked sync, they only distracted from the music, even with close-ups of the musicians. I came to listen, not watch.


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