Serious Play Conference: A Boot Camp for Serious Games
As all our readers are well aware by now, the video gaming market is in full expansion and shows no signs of slowing down as we recently reported. Due to the staggering advances in hardware and software technologies coupled with the solidification and expansion of Internet and networking infrastructure, video games have now opened up a whole new range of possibilities for real world applications well beyond the realm of simple entertainment, these are what are referred to as the “serious games”.
Operation Reality has a rich and evolving background of expertise in this domain and for several years now we’ve closely watched, developed and experienced first hand the potential of these so called serious games and how they will revolutionize and augment many different facets of life both in the professional and personal spheres. Government, industry, education, health, military, communication and even generally consumption are but a few of the areas at the forefront of this revolution. They will all be impacted by the growing prevalence and abilities of virtual applications which seek to augment, simulate and even directly interface with the real world practices of these domains.
Over time, the continued evolution of the technologies used to create realistic and engaging virtual environments in large part was paved by video games where the motivation of the developers often was purely for entertainment or escapist purposes, this however is no longer the case today. Today the technologies behind video games in particular online multi-player games have reached a point where the past promises of large scale virtual reality are now becoming authentic and attainable to the masses especially from a financial perspective. This means a brave new virtual world and coinciding marketplace is rapidly opening up and developing before our eyes and will continue to do so provided the right minds keep pushing for progression in this field.
While there are many serious game initiatives, organizations, summits, networks, conferences and the like popping up left and right to try and take advantage of this new reality, today I would briefly like to mention a newcomer. They are organizing their very first serious games conference spanning August 23-25 2011 called Serious Play. The conference is taking place at DigiPen in Redmond Washington (just outside of Seattle) and will actually be co-located and running alongside in partnership with the more established Game Education Summit which was started back in 2008.
The Serious Play Conference will seek to gather and present speakers to the public and professionals alike including and I quote, “authors of the latest books on game development and design, the top analysts covering serious games, senior developers of award winning products and project directors already leveraging games for corporate and military training, healthcare and education.”
Operation Reality received an updated press release today from the Bohle company (one of the organizers) offering more details specifically on the government/military track portion of the conference. More specifically it was explained to us they will be gathering panels of “seasoned veterans who have developed games and sims for government or military use” and posing “tough questions about creating effective, measurable programs”. Confirmed speakers to name but a few include Jim Hadley, Instructional Designer from The Boeing Company, Talib Hussain, Senior Scientist from Raytheon BBN Technologies and Ross Smith, Director of Test at Microsoft Corp.
Specific to the government and military sims track they will also be offering “plenary sessions on market size, tools and technology and assessment strategies”. More information on the panelists and government/military track program of the conference can be found here.
While we regret Operation Reality will not be represented at this year’s Serious Play 2011 Conference, if the conference proves to be as successful as it promises, you may just see us there next year. So if you’re in the Seattle area around August 23-25 2011 and interested in serious games whether personally or professionally, we recommend you check out the Serious Play conference. Naturally, if you are able to attend, we’d love for you to contact us and give us your feedback on how it all went down.