2016 Abstracts

Adriana Moscatelli, CEO, Play Works Studio
Equal Play, Equal Fun! Narrowing the Gender STEM (and Wage) Gap

Play Works Studio’s mission is to encourage children, especially girls, to discover a passion for science and technology while having fun. The company received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education to advance the design of Robiis, a robot game that uses cute creatures to teach coding to everyone. During 2014 and 2015 Play Works Studio conducted studies which showed that playing with Robiis increased girls’ efficacy and motivation in STEM, and it eliminated the gender gap in motivation. In the initial lab study, as well as in the subsequent classroom interventions, girls who played Robiis reported equal motivation to boys in their perceived competence programming robots. The gender gap in the STEM fields (particularly in Computer Science) is a well known problem. It is also known that positive early interventions such as fun STEM workshops, games, and toys introduced at the preschool and first grade levels, are a powerful way to engage the curiosity of girls (as well as boys). Leveling the playing field in the STEM disciplines is an effective way to start closing the gender wage gap; women in STEM jobs on average make 33% more than women in non-STEM jobs . Our research shows that we can make a difference for future generations.


Anuar Andres Lequerica, Producer & Host, Game. Play. Learn! Show
Great Games for Learning for High School Students

I will talk about great games for learning in high school (SimCity, Papers, Please, Democracy 3, Civilization V, Valiant Hearts, Plague Inc, This War of Mine, Her Story) and resources/guides related to the games and created by teachers using these games in classrooms. Afterwards, head to the Serious Play arcade to try the games discussed.


Ariella Lehrer, CEO, Legacy Interactive
Augmented Realty in Education and Training and Google’s Tango

The Augmented Reality revolution is on the horizon, and many people anticipate utilizing this new technology to advance training and education. However, with new capabilities comes the potential for new problems. How do we effectively use AR to create meaningful user experiences? How do we build safe AR applications for children? By incorporating principles from Cognitive Psychology and existing research results, developers can maximize attention, engagement, comprehension, and learning in AR environments. Also, by understanding the potential negative effects of AR, companies can make informed decisions to maximize safety. Dr. Lehrer will discuss, from her perspective as a long-time developer of interactive games and apps, the appropriate use of AR technology, give examples of effective applications, and address some of the issues that arise when creating AR/VR content for children. Lehrer will demo an art app currently under development for Google’s Project Tango platform that illustrates some of the difficulties and rewards of creating an Augmented Reality product.


Ask Agger, CEO, Workz
Change Through Involvement: Hands on Workshop on Corporate Training

How do we turn strategy into a shared project? How can we build trust and collaboration across international corporations? How do we enable leaders to navigate the accelerating complexity of modern matrix organizations? The short answer is involvement. In this session we take a closer look at how physical board-games can accelerate trust, collaboration, and learning as engaging talking-pieces. Hear about the Scandinavian approach to leadership and why global industry leaders like Maersk, ISS, and Novo Nordisk ¬– whose CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen was selected last year by Harvard Business Review as the best-performing CEO in the world – are using board-games to train leaders, strengthen culture, and accelerate strategy execution. The session will be in two parts: first a presentation with specific cases and insights from Workz’s development processes, and second a workshop part where we get an opportunity to try Gamechangers™, a leadership simulation on strategy execution and stakeholder engagement that won gold at last year’s International Serious Play Awards.


Bill Culbertson, Associate Professor, Video Game Development & Design, New England Institute of Technology
Pollywong Pond: Post Mortem on a Preschool Game

Initially a puppet preschool property developed for broadcast media, the Pollywog Pond project took a drastic twist when shifted from broadcast to a video game for publication. We will look at our shining moments in development and at some of our epic failures in bringing this preschool portal to market.


Bradley Tanner, President, Clinical Tools Inc.
Branched Path Learning, Gamification For Student Training In Health and Medicine

The talk highlights how educators in the health sciences and health professions can successfully create and deploy branched-path learning and gamification elements. Attendees will gain practical advice on how create educational experiences that enhance interest and relevance and that target successful attainment of clinical skills.


Bryan L. Austin, VP of Learning Innovation, mLevel
Learning Games & Micro-Learning Efficacy — the Research Behind the Buzz

What’s the difference between “fun” and “effective” learning games? The answer varies between “none” and “everything”. The key to performance improvement through games is the efficacy of the game activities in driving learning effectiveness and retention. Session attendees will experience hands-on examples that are in use by several global organizations.


Charlene Blohm, President/CEO, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.
These Bananas Aren’t Going To Sell Themselves

Marketing shares a lot in common with good games. It requires a compelling narrative (what are you telling? to who?) and there is a lot of effort required to achieve the master level. If you do it right, you take risks – and encourage the boss to play along. The best players make it look easy. It isn’t. We’ll beat back the myth that a great game can go viral on its own and highlight a game plan to put you on the path to success.


Charlene Blohm, President/CEO, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.
These Bananas Aren’t Going To Sell Themselves

Marketing shares a lot in common with good games. It requires a compelling narrative (what are you telling? to who?) and there is a lot of effort required to achieve the master level. If you do it right, you take risks – and encourage the boss to play along. The best players make it look easy. It isn’t. We’ll beat back the myth that a great game can go viral on its own and highlight a game plan to put you on the path to success.


Chris Hazard, CEO/Founder, Hazardous Software
Modeling, Math and Science for Building Strategic Serious Games

A serious games can be a useful tool to help understand a strategic problem to optimize solutions, manage risks, evaluate processes, and operationalize automation. The speaker will share broadly applicable techniques that have proven useful in designing and developing training games for solving strategic problems as well as company operations. The techniques include concepts from modeling and simulation, game theory, operations research, psychology, artificial intelligence and behavioral economics.

The talk is intended for two audiences. The talk will show executives and managers possibilities for using serious games, how serious games overlap with what they may know from management science and how serious games can aid understanding, automating, training and operationalizing various aspects of games for strategic purposes. Serious game developers, will also learn share techniques that have worked for us at Hazardous Software.


Chris Hazard, CEO/Founder, Hazardous Software
Measuring and Manipulating Player Biases and Trust Through Choice and Game Mechanics

Information theory offers a mathematical measure of expected surprisal and a measure of ambiguity.  When coupled with decision science, psychology, and a little game theory, human biases and trust can be formalized, measured and, ultimately, manipulated.  This talk will provide an overview of how such techniques can be employed in the mechanics of serious games to create more believable experiences, more challenging and effective AI, and to help players understand their own biases and weaknesses in their own disciplines.

Audiences will become familiar with types of biases, limitations of human abilities to asses risk probability, and how nuanced real-world interactions can be recreated in serious game environments.  This is useful for those interested in employing serious games for training and evaluation, as well as for practitioners to implement in their own games.


Clément Merville, CEO, Manzalab
How to Build Efficient VR Games For Corporate Training

Manzalab will share the expertise gathered through several Serious Games using pioneering VR technologies.


Dan Scherlis, Executive Producer, Entertainment Science Inc.
Strategies for Commercial Success: A Health-Game Example

Success in the lab (efficacy) is merely one step towards success in the world (effectiveness). To reach and serve its target audience, and reward its creators, a game’s development process must integrate key design and marketing principles from the start. BreatheFree, a smoking-cessation game entering trials, is used as example.


Dan White, CEO, Filament Games
Carrie Ray-Hill, Director of Content, iCivics
Demystifying Game-based Learning Success

Upon her retirement, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made it her mission to promote civics education for young people. Today, iCivics is the most widely adopted game-based learning solution in America. Boasting a reach of over 7 million students, 100,000 registered teachers, and users in all 50 United States, the platform is having a massive impact on how America teaches civics. Session attendees will hear Carrie Ray-Hill, iCivics Director of Content, and Dan White, Filament Games CEO, discuss how a focus on purpose, process, practicality, and playability contributed to the overall success of iCivics. Additionally, the team will talk about how the development of curriculum, including readings, activities, and discussions provided essential support for individual, small group, and whole-class learning across a variety of settings. With an eye toward the future, the team will talk about how they updated an existing platform to better support classrooms and districts as they increase tablet utilization.


Dan White, CEO, Filament Games
Lisa Carmona, SVP Product Portfolio, McGraw-Hill Education
Game-Based Learning Finds a Place in Core Curriculum

Widespread adoption of a curriculum with digital and game-based content at the core is still in its infancy. To help teachers improve results in STEM education, McGraw-Hill Education partnered with Filament Games to create Inspire Science, a digital curriculum with games at its core. Hear Lisa Carmona, McGraw-Hill Education’s SVP of Product Portfolio, and Dan White, Filament Games CEO, share the impetus, strategy, and outcomes of designing a digitally-focused curriculum with serious gaming. Session attendees will also learn about McGraw-Hill Education’s strategy for sustaining digitally-focused content and how they see the marketplace evolving.


Daniel O’Keefe, Lead, Learning Technologies, Institute of Play
Game Design for Educators: Learning to Fail Fast

How do you design game-like, effective, game-based learning training that helps educators engage learners, implement research-based practices, and value 21st-century competencies? TeacherQuest is a design solution by Institute of Play, focused on the importance of rapid prototyping and playtesting. We invite you to inquire into it with us.


David James Clarke, IV, VP of Learning Solutions and Author, Toolwire
Cutting Edge Techniques for Developing Simulations and Games

Speaker will share approaches for developing game-based simulations for post-secondary and corporate education. Having delivered products nearing 1 billion minutes of use since 2011, speaker will share unique insights into approaches for engaging Millennials and busy working adults and for breaking the “iron triangle” of access, quality, and cost.


David W. Deeds, Technology Integrator/Teacher, Yew Wah International Education School
EdTech Evangelist: Converting the Unbelievers

Higher education and K-12 institutions. Six countries. To be an EdTech Evangelist, you need to maintain a sense of humor. This will be an attempt to relate some successes and failures experienced as an international teacher, integrator/coach and manager.


Doris C. Rusch, Assistant Professor, Game Development School of Design, DePaul University
Lessons Learned From Designing An Anti-Anxiety Game

This talk addresses how we harnessed rules, mechanics, narrative and metaphor to meet these design challenges and create a transformational experience that teaches players productive strategies to respond to a broad range of anxiety disorders.


Doug Whatley, CEO, BreakAway Games
Using Open World Games For Education

Open World games, especially strategy games and simulations, can be a great environment to use the intrinsic motivation of the game player to drive learning. How do you fit into those games the learning you want to impart and how do you assess to know that the information has been received.


Dov Jacobson, Managing Director, GamesThatWork
From Plans to Planes: How Abstract Concepts Become Playable Game Features for Aeronautic Engineers

When the learning objectives are abstract, players often seek concrete examples. Designers must develop examples that reliably cast light on the concepts, without distracting the player into game details. In this presentation, we explore a successful process of analysis, design and testing. As our prime example, we use a recent game that instantiated engineering concepts as encounters in a humorous science fiction world.


Duke Wong, Co-Founder and CEO, Wrainbo
Social Mobile Game Design Principles

We will show how using Google Sheet as dynamic database could help address three needs of education game designers and developers: budget control, the need to reiterate the parameter settings many times, and effective remote collaboration. In addition to conceptual framework, we will also present a real case study.


Eben Myers, VP, Design, Simcoach Games
Designing to Drive the Adoption Of Workplace Video Game Training

Technology (LMS, mobile, game engines); corporate expectations (operational needs, value of training); learners (millennials)! This talk explores the many considerations and practical strategies for driving the adoption of game-based training within corporate environments and addresses the past and future of game-based learning at work.


Erin Hoffman-John, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Sense of Wonder
Effective Games: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (Yet)

Rigorously effective games — games that stand up to robust pre- and post-testing of their efficacy on specific measurable outcomes, whether learning or otherwise — have yet to find meaningful commercial success. Why is that? We now know that it is possible to design games to be effective — but our existing markets do not reward companies that do so. This session breaks down the challenges surrounding the development of measurable-outcome games and postulates what would need to change in our social and economic systems to facilitate their development. Based on the three year research project called GlassLab, the session also reflects on the results of that project, its design insights, its social impact, and its predictions for the future.



Ira Sockowitz, CEO, Learning Games Studios
Peter Stidwill, Executive Producer, Learning Games Studios
Mobile Games: Solution to the Problems of Adult Education?

Over 36 million adult Americans have lack basic literacy, numeracy and English language skills, yet adult basic education programs serve just 4 million people and are plagued by problems, leading to poor outcomes: only 1/3 of students advance a level while 1/3 drop out. We have used game-based learning to leverage the engagement and teaching capability of games to double the retention and completion rate and significantly increase learning outcomes of adult learners. Delivery via ubiquitous mobile devices provides a scalable and cost-effective implementation model that providers can use to expand their current classroom-based offerings as well as dramatically increase the number of learners served with their current budgets.


Jeff Borden, Chief Innovation Officer, St. Leo University
The Sound of Hunger: Building an Alternate Reality Learning Experience

Have you been playing? Want to start? This session will round out the “epic win” for some regarding an alternate reality learning experience started over 2 months earlier at the East Coast Games Conference. Join Dr. Jeff Borden, Chief Innovation Officer at St. Leo University, and his veteran team of ARG PM’s as they show you how to pitch, build, and use gameful learning for education. (TINAG) See how serious games can be controlled, outcomes driven, time sensitive, and even create the most authentic assessment in any classroom, with any subject, anywhere, any time. Come to the workshop and play while you learn, seeing examples and actually building something usable in the process.


Jen Helms, CEO, Playmation Studios
The Future of Conversational Play in Games

Conversational dialogue systems have been dominating the news. As the ability to more deeply interact with language evolves we will see innumerable possibilities for new types of serious play. The talk will explore the history of language in games, where the technology is headed, and what new design possibilities will open up as that technology improves.


Jenn McNamara, VP Serious Games and Strategic Partners, BreakAway Games
Using Games for Assessment: Why? How? And Examples

Previously I presented on the potential of games for assessment. Now, organizations are using games for training, researchers are exploring game strategies for assessment, and early adopters have begun leveraging games for assessment. This session will provide lessons learned through presented case study examples relevant to anyone considering game-inspired assessments.


Jerry Heneghan, Director, UNC Center for Innovation In Pharmacy Simulation
The Future of Healthcare Training

In this presentation, Jerry Heneghan will describe the complex parameters being programmed into each virtual patient (genotype, phenotype, pathophysiology, disease, environment and lifestyle choices) and how these patients will present over simulated time based on disease progression, age and course of therapy. Heneghan will explore how the software is being developed such that students will gain confidence and competence in their ability to identify, implement, and monitor therapeutic decisions given the variability in a patient’s uniquely programmed clinical characteristics.


Jesse Schell, CEO, Schell Games
Virtual Reality and the Future of Education

2016 is the year of VR hype. But will any of that hype translate into meaningful advances in educational and transformational games? In this talk, Jesse Schell will give a guided tour of the next ten years of virtual reality and augmented reality development, and how it is most likely going to impact the worlds of education and gaming.


Kathie Flood, Managing Director & CEO, Cascade Game Foundry
Russ Glaeser, Development Director, Cascade Game Foundry
21st-Century Tortoise – Slow & Steady Indie Survival


John Krajewski, CEO, Strange Loop Games
Building Virtual Field Trips: What Education Can Learn From Video Games

The games industry has already produced solutions for many of the challenges of building 21st century skills, and they can be applied to education to great impact. This talk details those effects as well as goes into detail about the projects we’re building that use them.


Leslie Dubow, Associate Director for Educational Gaming, SimLearn, Veterans Administration
Shot Over; Medic, Out! Games for the Veterans Admin

Sharing lessons learned on the introduction of game based learning to large government organizations.  What works and what doesn’t.  How the word ‘game’ seems to be a sticking point and how to push through the obstructions (people and fiscal).  The pitfalls of transitioning from first person shooters as learning tools to training anesthesiologists using games.  How the Veterans Health Administration is using game technology for educating Veterans and the workforce.

Leslie Robinson, rance4mation Games / Beyond the Bars 
Social & Emotional Dialogue Games provide Resilience and Stress Reduction for Police Officers

Veterans and the Incarcerated Few tools exist to assist veterans suffering from war time experiences; the incarcerated; or even police officers; who lead stressful lives, to share or to process their lives and heal. They need a way to participate in meaningful interpersonal connections that allow them to discuss their feelings and ultimately restore personal, workplace and societal relationships. Trance4mation Games has developed dialogue games which provide a safe structured space for people to explore, reflect on and share who they really are; their struggles, feelings, dreams, values and experiences with one another, and to bridge and connect people across all divides and barriers. Designed to promote and facilitate emotional health and growth and development, and to build, restore and strengthen relationships, these games makes authentic face to face, heart to heart, soul to soul communication fun, accessible and easy, while significantly enriching people’s lives. Facilitated and presented by Leslie Robinson, a former Department of Defense Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Cadre speaker, National Diversity Trainer and Psychotherapist, etc. this interactive part workshop, part lecture experience will introduce workshop participants to the Trance4mation Games’ methodology, challenges, insights, and lessons from the field through interactivity, lecture and Q&A. Join me for a lively and uplifting experience!

Lucas Blair, Little Bird Games
How We Are Holding Our Community and Our Games Back

Acceptance of serious games has improved tremendously over the past few years. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done. Our community of designers, developers, and educators need to think bigger and expect more from ourselves and from those who play our games. During this talk Dr. Lucas Blair will examine how the serious gaming community approaches game design, learning, and player engagement – and how we can do better. Attendees will leave the session with new ideas, inspiration, and homework.


Lucas Gillispie, Director of Academic and Digital Learning, Surry County Schools
EPIC Academy – Game-Inspired Professional Development Program for Busy Educators

What if it were possible to provide a la carte, self-paced, professional development to educators that’s also engaging? Can inspiration from games be applied to professional development, allowing teachers to “level up” their learning while demonstrating mastery, earning official badges, and choosing their path of learning with a quest-based approach?


Lynn E. Fiellin, Director, play2PREVENT Lab/Yale Center for Health & Learning Games
Jesse Schell, CEO, Schell Games
An Indepth Look at Outcomes For At Risk Teens Through Games Based Learning

Join our panel for an in-depth look into the design, development, evaluation and outcomes of PlayForward: Elm City Stories, a game that address risk in teens. PlayForward is the focus of a five-year, NIH-funded study examining the efficacy of using videogames to impact knowledge, attitudes and behaviors in adolescents.

Mark Covey, COO, Motion Reality
Multi-person, Tetherless, Free-motion, Virtual Reality for Law Enforcement Training

Hear about the challenges of creating a virtual reality product capable of training up to 12 law enforcement officers in a 5,000 sq ft space equipped with head-mounted displays, full body tracking, and wireless man-worn computers for hostage rescue, active shooter, VIP protection, fugitive recovery and other applications.

The speaker will include examples of how fully immersive multi-person VR has been used for training of law enforcement officials from the FBI, the UAE’s Presidential Guard and security personnel for Super Bowls.

Matthew Farber, Author & Teacher, Denville Township
Historical Empathy & Game-Based Learning

Matthew Farber share how students remixed the social deduction game, One Night Ultimate Werewolf to align with course content, in this case, the Salem Witch Trials. Participants will have an opportunity to play! He will also show how students created American Revolutionary War-themed interactive historical fiction stories using Twine.


Michael DiPonio, Team Captain, Technology, Serious Games Development, Quicken Loans
Quantum Post-Mortem – Developing Serious Games in an Enterprise Environment

A post-mortem for the development of our in-house training game called Quantum, this session will cover what worked and didn’t work as we created a new team and developed a game in the enterprise software environment from the ground up.


Michael van Lent, SoarTech
Artificial Intelligence for Serious Games

Serious games present a unique set of challenges and opportunities that makes the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in serious games distinct from AI for entertainment games.  Dr. Michael van Lent’s 15 years history as an AI researcher and serious game developer informs his views on AI for serious games.  This presentation will highlight some of the differences between AI for serious games and AI for entertainment games, present some of the specialized opportunities for applying AI in serious games, and capture a number of lessons learned.


Scott Brewster, Co-Founder, ThinkZone Games
Mitch Weisburgh, Co-Founder, ThinkZone Games
Games and the US Education Market

Who is the buyer for games that are to be used in schools? How do education buyers make decisions? How do they want to use games? How big is the market? What are the obstacles to reaching more students and teachers? What’s the potential market? You’ll find out in our session.


Monica Cornetti, CEO, Sententia Gamification
It’s the End of the World As We Know It: Gamifying Corporate Learning Programs


Pascal Nataf, CEO, Affordance Studio
Kim Berthiaume, Creative Director, Affordance Studio
Opportunities and Challenges for Creating a Transmedia Musuem Experience

Making a game for a museum is both challenging and invigorating. In 2015, the Montreal Science Centre decided to create a video game to enhance its upcoming exposition on the human body. This talk will present the case study of Morbus Delirium, a transmedia experience in which the users must cure an infectious disease.


Peg Steffen, Education Coordinator, National Ocean Service,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Matthew Farber, Author & Teacher, Denville Township
Game Jams: Instructional Strategy for the Science Classroom

Game Jams allow encourage rapid prototyping of game designs and Climate Game Jams have engaged students K-16 in climate science content in an engaging way. Learn how an extensive group of partners collaborated to make two game jams a reality and experience a mini-game jam at the presentation.


Peggy Sheehy, Teacher, Ramapo Central
GAMES Academy The Next Evolution of WoW in School

GAMES Academy = Gaming As Medium to Explore STEAM. A three year continuum for Middle School using gameplay and creation as a vehicle to identify, explore, extrapolate and master contemporary skills and future concepts.


Peter Shea, Director of Professional Development, Middlesex Community College
Michelle Mcintyre, Instructional Designer, University of Massachusetts Boston
Getting Your Game/Sim Into Higher Education Things You Need to Know

Having a hard time breaking into the higher education market? Trying to scale your sim adoption rate beyond a few faculty? This presentation will identify the most common barriers that prevent serious games/simulations from wide adoption. The session will layout the inner IT infrastructure and organizational decision makers in clear infographics. Attendees will work together to brainstorm possible avenues for promoting the adoption of games/simulations in education.


Peter Shea, Director of Professional Development, Middlesex Community College
Michelle Mcintyre, Instructional Designer, University of Massachusetts Boston
DIY Tools You Can Use For Game Development

In this presentation, two higher education instructional designers will demonstrate some of the tools they use to create games/sims with open educational resources.


Phaedra Boinodiris, Global Lead Serious Games, IBM
The Intersection of Cognitive Computing and Gaming

There is an incredible power the intersection of Cognitive Computing and Serious Games. Games create the REASON for someone to dive into and extrapolate complexity. Cognitive Computing services like Watson Dialog, Tradeoff Analytics, Behavioral Insights, Internet of Things makes navigating complexity attainable across serious game genres, domains, and industry. In this presentation you will learn about how Cognitive Computing is transforming the way serious games are designed, developed and deployed in Healthcare, Defense, Education, Banking, and Government.


Porter Stowell, Head of Business Development, IBM
Visualizing Data – IoT Games

IoT is one of today’s hottest business buzz words. But what does it mean? What is the real opportunity? And how can games be involved? IoT is the collection of a mass amount of sensory data. Right now, this data is being consumed through databases, spreadsheets, and at best dashboards. Boring!! Through game technologies and mechanics, we are bringing this information to life for all. This information shouldn’t be isolated to just a company’s data scientists, but placed in the hands of everyone to enhance buy in and to expedite decisions. Come learn why games are an essential piece to any IoT solution.


Prasad Saripalli, VP SaaS Ops, Edifecs
Applications of Big Data Analytics in Serious Games Product Design

Associates will understand the methods of Machine Learning for Data Analytics and apply a selected set of algorithms programmatically for analysis of Game data sets of moderate complexity, using R, WEKA or C++, to apply Machine Learning in Game Design and Runtime. They can continue working on additional, standard case studies using R and build their own case studies later, using R stand alone, or on Azure ML. This Workshop is based on a condensed version of 2 full length courses taught by Prasad Saripalli at Digipen in Redmond, WA and the University of Washington.


Randy Brown, VP, Virtual Heroes Division Manager, ARA
Constance Johnson, Associate Professor and Senior Research Faculty in the Center for Nursing Research, Duke University School of Nursing
Supporting Chronic Disease Self-Management in a Virtual Environment: Lessons Learned from a Diabetes Program

Since little is known about the efficacy of health interventions in a VE, this study, conducted by Duke and Virtual Heroes, constitutes an innovative step in exploring how this type of environment can be suused to facilitate self-management behaviors in those with chronic diseases, in this case, diabetes. This program has good potential to improve care in an easily disseminated model that promotes cost-effective resource utilization.


Richard Lamb, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo The State University of New York
Optical Imaging to Measure Cognitve Processes while Playing Serious Educational Games

This talk will outline a study and implications for the use of optical imaging techniques to examine student learning gains while using a Serious Educational Game.


Ross Smith, Director of Engineering, Skype Customer Connection, Microsoft
Serious Games in the Enterprise: Pros and Cons for Employees

Survey of the landscape of enterprise serious games / gamification for employee engagement and motivation. Lessons learned from a variety of enterprise deployments of game mechanics in a variety of work-related contexts. The key lesson is about where game mechanics are useful in an employee setting, and where they backfire. Employees already receive a paycheck and other rewards, and without a careful consideration of existing reviews, serious games can make employees feel deceived or tricked. The “do more work” badge is not a motivational technique.


Arnold Geisler, Raytheon
Transforming War Games for the US Army

Raytheon is helping the US Army transform how they conduct large-unit collective training. Simulators and serious games can train individual Soldiers or small crews of up to 5 Soldiers, but Raytheon is creating ways to simultaneously train thousands of Soldiers in the same virtual battlespace – even when the Soldiers are located on training ranges thousands of miles apart. This talk will feature the latest on how the U.S. Army has transformed war games with the use of sensors, cameras, controllers and virtual reality to blend live, virtual and constructive training as well as the advantages of serious gaming technology when training commanders and large units of thousands of soldiers across multinational borders. This session will touch on the challenges faced with creating these huge virtual environments, passing ITAR and EXIM compliance standards and working with Allied and Coalition partners to ensure that all training requirements are met.


Scott Reinke, Coordinator for Ball State Achievements, Ball State University
Engagement & Retention through Mobile Gamification

31% of Ball State students are Pell Grant recipients. On average, Pell students are 8% less likely than their non-Pell counterparts to persist from freshman to sophomore year, and this gap widens to 20% lower when observing 4-year graduation rates. After researching this issue, Ball State University found that engagement with the University and a positive peer influence were among the top indicators of success in Pell students. In response to these findings, Ball State created a gamified mobile app that offers hundreds activities and goals aligned with student success for students to complete. Upon completion, students receive Bennies, an in-app currency, that they can use to purchase real items from the Ball State Bookstore, Techstore, and Rec Center. After the first two years of the program, Pell students who use the app have shown higher GPAs, more credit hours earned, and higher retention rates. This session will explore how the Ball State Achievements program utilizes gamification and mobile technology to motivate student success in this at-risk group.


Scott Silsbe, Independent Game Developer & Researcher
Using Live Action Political Roleplaying Games and Simulations in Education

This talk will introduce live action political roleplaying games and simulations with an eye to practical considerations for educators interested in developing and/or running their own games. It will focus on a ‘megagame’ called Watch the Skies and a long-running World War II Simulation course at Stony Brook University.


Steve Guynup, Director/CEO, Hayfield Isovista
Sharing Serious Play Industry Databases

With a rich history and ever advancing future, our work with serious games covers a seriously large and diverse amount of information. The best practices for sharing what we know raises deep questions on our views of the discipline, our audience, and the technology that enables us. In an open forum format, Dr. Guynup and others provide examples, insights, and opportunities to share serious game knowledge through online catalogs, blogs, and communities. This session also presents a draft version of the Serious Play Database for review. Designed for curated search, this project takes online catalogs into new uncharted territory. Blending blogging with a database of work, it enables users to find knowledge and products through the stories of others.


Steve Isaacs, Educator, Bernards Township Public Schools
Lisa Castaneda, Founder/CEO, Foundry10
Mark Suter, Educator, Pandora-Gilboa Schools
Virtual Reality in Education: Exploring a New Frontier

Foundry10’s Virtual Reality pilot study is following the experiences of students and teachers in a variety of content areas to determine the potential and challenges in terms of making VR a viable teaching and learning tool for immersive content consumption and creation. We put VR hardware in front of over 400 students in 8 different schools across North America, completed pre/mid/post surveys and did extensive qualitative interviews with instructors in order to better understand what it means to learn with virtual reality. From implementation, technical challenges, content integration, creation in Unity/Unreal and 360 video we systematically captured VR in an applied educational environment. The anecdotal accounts and data obtained informs the next steps in implementing VR for educational practices.


Steve McIlwain, Virtual Heroes division of ARA
Jennifer Lawson, Wake Tech Community College
Creating Mission Critical Operator: A Serious Game for Wake Tech Community College’s MCO Program

Wake Tech Community College is launching a new certification course in the fall of 2016 to instruct Mission Critical Operators (MCO’s).  MCO’s ensure that critical facilities (data centers, hospitals, etc.) maintain power and temperature without interruption, 24/7.  Wake Tech partnered with Virtual Heroes to create the application which was completed in June 2016.  This presentation will discuss the making of Mission Critical Operator including core learning objectives, game design, and systems implementation.


Steven Weitz, Associate Professor of Media Arts, Lehigh Carbon Community College
Mary E. Rasley, Professor of Computer Information Systems, Lehigh Carbon Community College
The Edugaming Framework: Keeping the Quiz Out of Educational Games

Educational games often rely on quizzing, limiting the potential for learning. Games excel at having players repeat actions, creating environments where practice is expected, which leads to deeper understanding of content. By making the educational content the core gameplay, the “Edugaming Framework” approach eschews quizzing, resulting in effective educational games.


Tammie Schrader, Regional Science Coordinator/Director, NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101
Erik Wolfrum, Center for Instructional Services Director, NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101
Implementing District Wide Classroom Gamification Programs

Discussion on how we are creating gamification models with 59 very distinctly different school districts and creating a gaming environment in our region.


Tobi Saulnier, CEO, 1st Playable
Election 2016: Can a Game Change Minds?

Games have huge potential to literally change people’s minds. Engagement with data and ideas through interactive experiences provides the first hand experiences that can teach, intrigue, and challenge firmly held beliefs. What if we can use this to fundamentally change public discourse on topics critical to our future? In this polarized election year, can a game engage the voting public to reexamine their views and differentiate between political rhetoric and fact? Have we reached the tipping point where a game can reach across age, gender, and political alignments and serve to educate the voting public?


Tony Beck, Health Scientist Administrator, National Institute of Health
SBIR Panel: Getting Funding for Your Game

Dr. Beck will discuss NIH programs that use the SBIR/STTR and the R25 Research Education mechanisms to support the development of serious games in NIH-funded areas of basic and clinical research.


Troy Knight, Founder/CEO of BLDG-25, Co-Founder, Triangle Game Initiative and East Coast Game Conference
Gamification and How it Will Change the Business Landscape

Who hasn’t had to learn new skills on the job? What CEO hasn’t needed to quickly train a workforce? And what company hasn’t wanted customers to learn to love their brand? There’s an enormous demand for e-learning in the corporate and business sectors, broadly defined as learning online, and an even faster growing wave of demand for finding ways to create stickiness to the content, processes and procedures that users are trying to learning. The corporate and business industries are asking for change: changes that will make learning and communications more engaging, to motivate users, connect with millennials, using systems that are far more flexible and less ridged, and creating learning experiences that are enriched and optimized. The solution: Gamification.

This session will show you how other major blue chip companies are gamifying their content and increasing their learning outcomes.


Yee San Su, Senior Research Scientist, CNA
Food Chain Reaction: A Global Food Security Game

In November 2015, 60 high-level decision makers from 15 countries participated in a two-day policy game on global food security. This talk will discuss challenges CNA addressed in designing the game, game logistics, and lessons learned (e.g., reconciling stakeholders with different goals, incorporating subject-matter experts, framing pre-game materials).