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GAMBIT presents at GDC!

We're proud to announce that two of our people here at the GAMBIT US lab will be presenting talks at this year's Game Developers' Conference in San Francisco! Postdoctoral researcher Doris C. Rusch will be presenting on "Profound Game Design: a Postmortem of Akrasia" and lecturer/researcher Jesper Juul will be presenting on "Beyond Balancing: Using Five Elements of Failure Design to Enhance Player Experiences".

The descriptions for the talks are as follows:

Profound Game Design - a Postmortem of Akrasia

Speaker: Doris C. Rusch
Date/Time: TBD
Track: Serious Games Summit
Secondary Track: TBD
Format: Panel discussion
Experience Level: All

Session Description
This presentation provides valuable insights won through the development of Akrasia, a single-player 2D game that was made by seven students in the course of the annual eight-week summer programme at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. The goal of the project was to make a profound, thought-provoking game that fosters reflection and insight. More than that, purposeful experience design should promote game comprehension, and make the game work on the cognitive as well as the emotional level.

On the larger scale, the project was intended to test the design approach described in the paper "Games about LOVE and TRUST? Harnessing the Power of Metaphors for Experience Design", which was presented at the 2008 Sandbox conference. It deals with issues related to addiction by way of metaphors.

Attendees will get insights into the potentials and pitfalls of metaphorical game design - from the importance of a vision guy to the difference between procedurally representing a concept and making it emotionally tangible to players.

Intended Audience and Prerequisites
Designers and players interested in learning more about games' potential to expand their experiential scope and mature as a medium. An interest in games and game design is desirable.

Beyond Balancing: Using Five Elements of Failure Design to Enhance Player Experiences

Speaker: Jesper Juul
Date/Time: TBD
Track: Game Design
Secondary Track: Production
Format: 20-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All

Session Description
This lecture presents a toolbox for improving failure design in single player games. Player research shows that the primary issue is not the frequency of failures, but how failure is communicated, what happens as a result of failing, and whether a given failure design allows the game to be enjoyed within a player's time constraints. Using concrete examples, this lecture will show how failure can play a positive role in games, how players of casual games are actually not averse to failure, and how developers can get beyond balancing to improve the failure design in their games.

Attendees will be introduced to new research on how players perceive failure in games. A framework of Five Elements of Failure design will be presented. Attendees will be able to use the framework for improving the design, testing, and balancing of video games for different audiences.

Intended Audience and Prerequisites
Designers, producers, testers, and marketers interested in both rethinking the role of difficulty and failure in their games and in tailoring game design to the preferences and time constraints of their audience. Knowledge of game balancing issues is helpful but not required.

We hope to see you in San Francisco!

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