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Friday, June 14 • 9:00am - 10:00am
Breakfast and Keynote (Constance Steinkuehler)

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Games for Impact: Global Challenges, Local Initiatives

Games have recently emerged as a tool for addressing global challenges ranging from STEM education to fitness to scientific discovery. A 2009 National Academies of Science report concluded that games have great potential to catalyze new approaches to science education and assessment. In the United States, the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) recently added exergaming to its inventory of ways for young people to track and increase their physical activity levels. And recent scientific discoveries through innovative gaming platforms like FoldIt have highlighted the ways in which game mechanics can enable collective problem solving. US President Barack Obama himself issued his own call to action,  “I’m calling for investments in educational technology that will help create… educational software that’s as compelling as the best video game. I want you guys to be stuck on a video game that’s teaching you something other than just blowing something up.”

A growing number of universities around the globe have risen to the challenge, establishing programs in games for impact research, design and development.  Robust academic communities such as Games for Change, Games for Health, and Games+Learning+Society have already mobilized around the idea that games can indeed be leveraged against tough challenges that face our many nations, ranging from retention and innovation in science education to improving health care and well-being to making new discoveries in high impact areas like the structure of proteins. Federal and philanthropic support for this work has accelerated over the past decade, and even the commercial games industry is showing significant interest in new markets related to games for good.

In this presentation, Steinkuehler will detail the current state of the field of games for impact, highlighting new collaborations and joint initiatives across institutions that promise to catalyze progress in the domain. What are current trends in this growing market? What specific example technologies have emerged and what does research on them suggest? How might the US and other countries best leverage this growing momentum in using games as a way to do good in the world?

Dr. Steinkuehler will be introduced by Dr. Eric Klopfer, President of the Learning Games Network. 

avatar for Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler

Co-Director, Associate Professor, GLS, UW-Madison
Constance Steinkuehler is an Associate Professor in Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and co-directs the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery and chairs their annual GLS Conference. Her research is on cognition and learning in commercial entertainment games and games designed for impact. In 2011-2012, she served as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of... Read More →

Friday June 14, 2013 9:00am - 10:00am
Great Hall

Attendees (85)