(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON - FEBRUARY 20th, 2009): For decades, entertainment has been the chief impetus behind the gaming industry, but at the Future Play 2009 conference serious games will be featured alongside their more recreational counterparts to collect some well-deserved accolades. Registration for Future Play 09 @ GDC Canada is now open.
Areas of exploration that have always been integral to Future Play are future games development and future games impact. In recent years the possibilities of using games to confront challenges in fields such as health, learning and public policy. One of Future Play's keynote speakers for 2009 is Ben Sawyer, co-founder of Digitalmill and the volunteer producer of the first Serious Games Summit, held at the Game Developers Conference in 2004. Sawyer was also a producer for the Virtual U Project, a university-management simulation that was a finalist at the 2001 Independent Games Festival.
In Canada, new exploration into the applications of serious games has been spurred on by the efforts of the Serious Games Canada group. This collective is devoted to exploring the possibilities of non-entertainment games in areas such as education, advertising and communications, health, training and assisting disadvantaged groups.
One of the architects behind the Serious Games Canada website ( www.seriousgames.ca) is Khal Sharriff, who is also the CEO of Project Whitecard, a Winnipeg-based company. Project Whitecard has developed Project Moonwalk, an educational game that recreates the Apollo Moon missions and was also recently awarded a contract from the Canadian Space Agency to develop an immersive learning product. The eventual product will be used to help teach mathematics at the secondary and elementary school levels.
The Future Play 2009 conference will be taking place this May 12th to 13th in Vancouver British Columbia as part of GDC Canada. Since its inception in 2002, Future Play has provided a home for cutting-edge researchers, game developers and theorists to share their ideas with an audience that includes industry-experts, students, investors and government officials involved in the digital media and games industry. Future Play focuses on the three major themes of future games development, future games impacts and applications and future games talent.
With extended abstracts, panel discussions and workshops held by some of the foremost gaming experts, Future Play has always been at the forefront of exploration into the world of serious games. This May, Ben Sawyer and many others will be in attendance to discuss the new possibilities for using serious games to help find the solutions to vexing real-world problems.
More information about Future Play 2009 @ GDC, including registration and submission guidelines for Abstracts and Panel Discussion Proposals, is available online at www.futureplay.org.
About Algoma University
Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic&Social Development, and Biology. Algoma U is committed to offering a personal education experience unlike any university in Ontario. As the Canadian home of the internationally recognized MSc CGT from the University of Abertay Dundee, Algoma University is at the forefront of computer games technology education. Algoma University also offers accelerated second degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science on its Brampton campus. To learn more about Algoma University, visit www.algomau.ca.
For further information, please contact:
Algoma University Divisional Director of Communications
705.949.2301 ext. 4120
Email: donna.woldanski @algomau.ca