Ashish Amresh is leading the Computer Gaming curriculum initiatives at ASU Polytechnic. He completed his master’s in computer science from ASU in 2000, worked in the video game industry as a graphics software programmer and returned to ASU to work on his doctorate in computer science. He is the founder of the Gaming Certificate program that teaches game design and development skills to students from various disciples at ASU. He is also the founder of the Camp Game program that teaches game development skills to middle and high school students. He has expertise in Computer Aided Geometric Design (CAGD); Real-Time Rendering; Visualization and Video Game Programming
TEDx Talk Summary: Teaching Singapore Math Curriculum Using Games
This talk provides innovative resources for teachers to enable them to give their elementary students the power of learning math conceptually using Singapore Math. Singapore is a country that has consistently scored in the top positions on international exams. The Singapore Math style of teaching is gaining popularity all over the world. Model drawing methods to understand math word problems are illustrated using the game Rocket Solvers. Results from applying the game as a supplemental learning tool are presented. Rocket Solvers was a 2010 summer collaboration between Singapore Math Now, a Phoenix based company, and ASU. More information can be found at http://singaporemathnow.com/
Brenda Brathwaite is a game designer, artist, writer and game developer who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She worked with Sir-tech Software for 18 years on the Wizardry series and later the Jagged Alliance series among others before moving on to work with Atari on Dungeons & Dragons. During this time, Brenda had the opportunity to work alongside legends in the game industry and quite literally apprenticed in the ways of game design moving up through the ranks from lowly acolyte to lead game designer to creative director.
Since her days at Atari, Brenda has worked with a variety of companies, including Electronic Arts, Cyberlore, Firaxis and numerous companies in the social media space. She is presently co-founder, COO and a game designer at Loot Drop. Brenda develops her games both in analog and digital mediums, depending on the needs of the game. She has worked as a system designer, writer, level designer, world designer, lead designer and creative director throughout the years.
Brenda served on the board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) until July 2010, and is presently on the advisory board for the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play and the advisory board for Game Developer Magazine. She was named Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010 and also was a nominee in Microsoft’s 2010 Women in Games game design awards. In 2009, Train won the coveted Vanguard Award at IndieCade for “pushing the boundaries of game design and showing us what games can do.” She was named one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008 and of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.
Monica J. Casper was awarded her Ph.D. in sociology in 1995 by UCSF and in 1996 completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical ethics at Stanford University. She served several years as a faculty member in sociology at UC Santa Cruz, and in 2004 became director of women’s and gender studies at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Casper arrived at ASU in 2008.
As director of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies (HArCS), Dr. Casper provides leadership to degree programs including AMERICAN STUDIES, arts and performance, English, ethnic studies, history, philosophy, religion, Spanish, and WOMEN AND GENDER studies, AMONG OTHERS.
Dr. Casper has written widely on a variety of topics related to health, illness, and embodiment. Her most recent book is Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility, published by New York University Press and co-authored with Lisa Jean Moore. She is co-editor of the NYU Press book series “Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the Twenty-First Century” Among her current research projects is A NEW BOOK PROJECT, PHANTOM BABIES AND SPECTRAL WOMEN, which explores the historical, cultural, and political dynamics of infant mortality AND MATERNAL/CHILD HEALTH in the United States, particularly regarding the lack of NATIONAL public attention to this issue.
TEDx Talk Summary: Dr. Casper will speak on OUR MORTAL COIL a game in which she is translating sociological knowledge about rates, statistics, and social structures related to maternal/child health and INFANT mortality into a “playful” digital environment. SHE IS INTRIGUED BY THE HOPEFUL NOTION AND PRACTICE OF GAMING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE.
Bio: Tyler Coleman is a game design student at UAT. In the past year, he has worked on over 10 projects, spanning from educational to experimental. He is currently working on multiple projects while at UAT, and plans to release his first commercial game in 2011.
TED Talk Summary: Tyler will be speaking about the speculative future of games, the game culture, and the impact video games will have on technology.
Bio: Before accepting the post of interim associate dean for academic affairs, Dr. Copeland was the inaugural chair of The Chicago School’s School Psychology program (Ed.S.). His areas of expertise include administration of graduate programming in school psychology community and health psychology, program evaluation, assessment, testing and measurement, consultation, and child psychopathology. Dr. Copeland did his doctoral work at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Copeland is a leader in Child and Adolescent Wellness and has lead the effort to provide a testing scale [the CAWS] and a curriculum as a tool for helping to promote wellness in our society.
Rooted in resilience research and the philosophy of positive psychology, the CAWS is a recently developed self-report instrument that provides psychologists a means of evaluating the competencies of children and adolescents across 10 domains associated with well-being. The CAWS is rooted in the spirit of the positive psychology movement, and its impetus is the promotion of characteristics of children and environments associated with well-being. With the increased focus among psychologists and educators on health promotion and prevention, there also arises a need for assessment tools that support these professionals in efforts to foster resilience and social-emotional competence in children and adolescents. However, few instruments have been developed for the purpose of measuring positive attributes in youth (Lopez & Snyder, 2003). Before successful prevention and health promotion programs can be implemented, clear definitions and measures of positive characteristics for youth must be established (Rossen, 2006). The CAWS is a tool to assess children’s strengths both in practice and in mental health research. The creation and validation of the CAWS represents a step forward in translating positive psychological concepts into practice, and filling the void relative to the measurement of positive individual traits .
TED Talk Summary: Dr. Copeland will be speaking on a video game that is being developed to be distributed with the CAWS that will help teach wellness skills.
Bio: Cody Furr is studying Game Design at the University of Advancing Technology. He is currently working on several student projects and a couple of his own. He believes as a new introduction into the Game Development community he has new ideas to bring to the table that can innovate games and redefine them in the coming years as inspired by the works of David Freeman and his book Creating Emotion in Games.
Abstract: Cody will be speaking about the current state of story with in games and where it can be in the future. He will address the current challenges that face storytellers in the game medium and some unique ideas that can help writers. Cody will also speak about Project: Tacit which is his Senior Innovation Project. Project: Tacit is a game in which there is no dialog, spoken nor written. This will allow him to focus on portraying the story through color theory, music, and with visuals inspired by cinema.
Bio: James Paul Gee is the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education. His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Third Edition 2007) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the “New Literacy Studies”, an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in an integrated way in the full range of their cognitive, social, and cultural contexts. His book An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (1999, Second Edition 2005, Third Edition 2011) brings together his work on a methodology for studying communication in its cultural settings, an approach that has been widely influential over the last two decades. His most recent books both deal with video games, language, and learning. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2003, Second Edition 2007) argues that good video games are designed to enhance learning through effective learning principles supported by research in the Learning Sciences. Situated Language and Learning (2004) places video games within an overall theory of learning and literacy and shows how they can help us in thinking about the reform of schools. His most recent books are Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays (2007); Woman as Gamers: The Sims and 21st Century Learning (2010) and Language and Learning in the Digital World (to appear), both written with Elizabeth Hayes. Prof. Gee has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences, and education.
Bio: Bill Guschwan is the co-founder of Tap me!, a computer software
company, and is an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago. At
Tap Me Bill develops new ways to integrate advertising into video
games. A recent project was a new ad unit to meet the current market
conditions, addressing rapid changes in the market, including: digital
distribution, cloud technology, social media, fragmentation of
advertising channels, and users digital rights management.
Bill works at the strategic visionary level in the fields of
videogames and bodywork. He architects customized visions for people
to use their bodies and companies to make videogames. Ultimately, he
is interested in embodied philosophy, how philosophy can be studied in
the realm of practice as noted by Foucault, Hadot, and the pre Greek
philosophers. As Miyamoto once personally noted to Bill, he is a
philosopher at heart. Using the philosophies of Wittgenstein,
Foucault, Gadamer, Derrida, Hadot, Janet, etc. Bill seeks to create
awareness and once awareness is achieved, he teaches skills to his
students in the fields of videogames and bodywork and directs his
company in a business fashion. In bodywork, he uses the modalities of
Pilates, eccentric contraction stretching and Buns of Steel.
Throughout his career Bill has always enjoyed working on the cutting
edge of technology. He was on the launch teams for Quicktime when
digital video was emerging. Additionally, he was on the launch team of
the Apple Newton, when the handheld market was emerging. Other launch
teams have included the 3DO game machine when interactive multimedia
was emerging and the Playstation when 3D games were emerging. Bill
believes the application of game software methodologies to the
development of scientific tools using an integrated, touchscreen
platform will represent a significant contribution to science.
TED Talk Summary: While we seem to exist in an era dominated by isolation perpetuated by
technology there exist a notion that the development of the soul can
be accomplished thought the use of the videogame format. I equate the
soul through the notion of breath and how dance and motion can get us
synchronized with our humanity. If, as humans, we are puppets
involved in a dance whose strings are controlled by the medium of
technology, it is by both harnessing and understanding the strings
that control our dance, that we might become re-humanized. In the
Buddhist and Hindu culture this notion of the game being a metaphor
for life is shown by their four stages of life, or yugas, which are
referred to as “throws of the dice.” In a real game, whether it is
dice or video games, the smartest players will understand that winning
is not left to chance but rather strategy and thought. Understanding
this “game,” then finding and perceiving one’s position within it, is
spoken about in greater detail in the Buddhist Kala Tantra, which
indicates one step towards enlightenment involves understanding who is
running your game, or the Dakini who supremely commands your
Bio: Barry studied music at LaTrobe University, and went on to complete a
PhD in composition at SUNY-Buffalo, where he studied primarily with
Cort Lippe.Barry taught at Brown University, Bath Spa University in
the UK, and now teaches at Arizona State University in the
Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance department. While Barry
contends that his output is too broad to be easily defined he believes
it is leaning towards creating greater interaction between performers
and the computer. His current research focuses on encouraging play in
the creative process. Additionally, his research interests include
video production, real-time audio and video processing utilizing
Max/MSP/Jitter, and interface design for performance and installation
environments. Dr. Moon is currently working on the completion of a
book on sonification and visualization that ties together his research
and places it within the broader contexts of sonic and visual arts.
TED Talk Summary: Free play in computer games
The goal-orientation of most computer games opposes the notion of free play. I will examine what constitutes free play and how computer games can encourage it.
Bio: Joshua is an NCUIRE scholar and a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Applied Mathematics.
His academic interests vary greatly, as he is interested in obtaining a holistic and well-rounded education. He feels that an integral view of his own experience at ASU will play into his role within the Studio for Gaming Innovation. He has a keen interest in the areas of math and science. And has always been drawn to the wonderful wealth of knowledge and the process that goes along with sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, and of course mathematics. He feels that a wonderful connection to the world around us can be obtained through a better understanding and appreciation of these scientific fields. When he is not pouring over his textbooks, you can find him hiking, exercising, and being an all around nature fanatic.
TED Talk Summary: Josh will be speaking on his current research project. The intended purpose of this research project is to design games geared specifically to act as supplemental study mediums. Games would be designed with specific classes/subjects in mind. The design will be focused on creating games which immerse students in a scenario where concepts and ideas from the given subject, present themselves to the student in an interactive way. Goals and objectives will be presented to the student and through obtaining these the student makes themselves familiar with concepts and important facts needed for mastery of the subject. Games will be designed to produce an alternative experience of the information given to them in class.
Bio: Kyle is an indie game dev extraordinaire. His first major release, Bonesaw, popped up in a whole bunch of “Best Platformers of 2008″ lists. In 2009, his prototype game Snapshot was nominated for Excellence in Design at GDC’s Independent Games Festival. He and Pete Jones then co-founded Retro Affect, and began the long journey of making Snapshot into a fully-featured game- a highly anticipated work-in-progress. Lately, he’s perhaps best known for burrowing away with his computer and emerging 48 hours later with games that win prizes and make lots of money. One game jam game, Gaiadi, won first place in Ludum Dare 17. His global game jam game, depict1, has made waves of headlines with its recent flash release, sponsored by bored.com.
TED Talk Summary: Kyle will speak on the experience of an indie gamer and the innovative ways that he has been able to access the market.
Bio: Judd Ruggill received his Ph.D. in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies from the University of Arizona in 2005, and joined the Communication Studies faculty at ASU in 2008. He is also a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of English, the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as an affiliated faculty member of the Family Communication Consortium and the New College's Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Literature concentration. In his spare time he co-directs the Learning Games Initiative (http://lgi.mesmernet.org), a transdisciplinary, inter-institutional research group that studies, teaches with, and builds computer games.
TED Talk Summary: Like Shoveling Sand Against the Tide: Video Game Archiving and Preservation
Like other sorts of archival work, video game preservation is crucial
to the scholarly endeavor. Video games and their cultures have been a
powerful cultural and economic force for decades, and understanding
this force means understanding the variegation of the medium and its
relationship to human sensemaking. However, the import of video game
preservation is offset by its manifold difficulties, from the
incessant proliferation and supplantation of games by a hyperactive
and unstable industry to the fragility of the media games are stored
on and the vagaries of the electronics that bring them to life. In
this presentation, I will explore the nature and practice of video
game preservation, drawing on my twelve years experience building and
maintaining one of the largest working game archives in the U.S.
Bio: TP Seager is an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering & the Built Environment, a Senior Scientist in the School of Sustainability, and the Lincoln Fellow for Sustainability Ethics at Arizona State University. He also serves as Graduate Faculty in the Schools of Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering at Purdue University, where he was previously on the faculty, and has also held appointments at Hudson Valley Community College, Clarkson University, University of New Hampshire, and Rochester Institute of Technology. He has been designing board and video games since childhood, but only recently discovered it is possible to get paid for doing it. Dr. Seager has authored over 50 publications, and conducts research on sustainability theory and education, as well as the sustainability implications of alternative energy technologies.
TED Talk Summary: The migration of game play to digital technologies (e.g., compared with board or ball games) has restructured interactions between players. Whereas old school games, such as Monopoly and Whiffle ball, involve deliberation and negotiation that force players to confront questions of fairness and justice, many digital games constrain game play to resist invention of new rules, reconfiguration of teams, accordance of special or individual accommodations, and minimize both disputes and opportunities for deliberation. The continuing evolution of digital games towards networked play (such as in World of Warcraft, and to a lesser extent, Call of Duty: Black Ops) allows players to experiment with different ethical strategies in an environment that can be forgiving of failure. However, to the extent that research on ethics and digital (and especially video) games has focused on the choice of win conditions and the depiction of violence, sexuality, or underrepresented groups, the ethical implications of constraints on free play in the digital environment have been largely overlooked. Consequently, the formative ethical experiences of the Digital Generation may be insufficient with regard to recognition of ethical problems, formation of moral hypotheses, and group deliberation. This presentation describes a project funded by the National Science Foundation that develops a set of four educational game modules for a new course titled Sustainability Ethics. Each module consists of a game representing a salient moral problem in sustainability, including: 1) environmental externalities, 2) the Tragedy of the Commons, 3) weak versus strong formulations of sustainability (a/k/a, consume versus invest), and 4) intra-generational equity. Each game positions students in a non-cooperative game theory problem designed to steer them towards two moral questions: “What are my obligations to my fellow classmates?” and “What am I willing to risk in my own well-being to meet those obligations?” The games are mathematically and technologically simple to emphasize interaction between players, rather than fictional storylines, immersion in virtual worlds, or game aesthetic. We hypothesize experiencing and experimenting with ethical problems in game play will be more effective for teaching ethical reasoning skills than the standard liberal arts pedagogy of read/discuss/write in the absence of experience. Moreover, preliminary results indicate that significant differences exist between players’ moral rhetoric and moral action – suggesting that discussion alone may be an insufficient educational experience. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to delivery the modules in parallel, pseudo-synchronous play at several different Universities interacting exclusively through information communication technology.
TED Talk Summary: Russell and Nick will be speaking about their recent research involving motion detection as input.
Bio: Steve Helms Tillery came to ASU to work on cortical neuroprosthetics with Dr. Andy Schwartz. Together with ASU Bioengineering graduate student Dawn Taylor, they created a system in which to train primates to control external devices using only brain signals. This work is steeped both in the science of cortical control and in bioengineering. Professor Helms Tillery endeavors both to understand the intricacies of neural control of real arm movement, and to address crucial bioengineering issues in the design of neuro-electronic hybrid systems. http://smorg.asu.edu
TED Talk Summary: Professor Tillery will be speaking on the role that video games are playing in his most recent research.