PRACTICE conference (Oct. 28-30)

“PRACTICE is an unprecedented gathering of professional game designers that takes a rigorous look at the ideas and methods of game design. Bringing together veteran designers from across computer games, video games, paper games, and sports, PRACTICE takes a close look at the nuts and bolts of game design.”
PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail

PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail
October 28 – 30, 2011
NYU Game Center
721 Broadway, 9th Floor Lobby
New York, NY 10003

Friday 10/28, Reception at 7pm
Saturday & Sunday 10/29-10/30, Lectures/Panels at 9am

Featured Speakers:

  • Reiner Knizia – Celebrated board game designer
  • Steve Gaynor – Senior Level Designer on BioShock Infinite
  • Chris Trottier – Creative Director at Zynga
  • Rogers Redding – NCAA Football Secretary-Rules Editor

PRACTICE home page
Buy tickets

Via Boston Post Mortem

Anxiety Therapy and Video Games

“A team of students and faculty from Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College is designing and building a groundbreaking computer game to help young people improve their everyday skills in self-control.”
Nexus 10 biofeedback unit

“The use of physiological controllers in a personalized game platform allows us to help our patients help themselves in a new way,” says Dr. Laurence Sugarman, director of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-Regulation in RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology.

RIT game design and development students Ivy Ngo, Kenneth Stewart and John McDonald will work under the supervision of Sugarman; Stephen Jacobs, associate professor of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media; and Robert Rice, assistant professor at St. John Fisher College’s Mental Health Counseling Program.

The game starts with assessments that help the players learn about and describe their anxieties and repetitive behavior by turning the players into game characters. Using physiological sensors that are built into the game hardware, players then learn how to monitor the physiological manifestations of anxiety and stress, or what is commonly called their fight or flight response. Finally, the players use those same sensors as controllers to move themselves through the game by monitoring and controlling their characters and the stress responses they represent.

“The game was inspired by clients and will involve client input and feedback throughout the development process,” says Rice.

Sugarman says games involving physiological health are newly emerging, yet none combines aspects of assessment, cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback in a creative and customizable setting. This game allows a unique extension of the therapist’s role that provides a fun, engaging platform for therapeutic change, while collecting data on psychophysiological change.

Mind Media B.V. has also generously loaned, at no cost, the NeXus-10 Biofeedback hardware and Biotrace software used in this project,” says Sugarman.
Aug. 18, 2011
Scott Bureau @ rit.edu

Scott Nicholson on Modern Board Gaming

Dr. Scott Nicholson’s interests include libraries and games, and gaming as pedagogical tool. He is a visiting scholar with MIT Comparative Media Studies for the 2011-2012 academic year, working with the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and The Education Arcade.
Scott Nicholson
GAMBIT recently posted a podcast of Dr. Nicholson addressing the MIT Comparative Media Studies group:

Listeners will learn about a variety of game mechanisms through discussions of exemplar games and see how these games relate. Many of these mechanisms are appropriate for digital games as well as tabletop games, so listeners will improve their toolkit of mechanisms for their own design work.

Philip Tan @ GAMBIT