The building we met in was pretty spectacular, both on the outside:
My own presentation was given in conjunction with Paul Schrater, PhD, University of Minnesota. Paul talked about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and how some mice would preferentially explore a maze instead of just going directly for food. I discussed my own Natural Funativity concept and how that, Stealth Learning, and Flow all combine to explain why people like to play games, and how that may help us make games that are both more effective in a serious purpose, and more fun as pure entertainment.
It saw many game industry friends there - Nick Fortugno, Frank Lantz, and my old boss at Lucasfilm Games, Steve Arnold (now with Polaris Venture Partners), among others. Mike Ambinder, a psychologist at Valve talked about how they’re using Portal 2 to enable teachers to teach physics concepts and may use Steam for assessments of learning in the future.
Dr. Adam Gazzaley whom I mentioned in my previous blog entry spoke about his research. Adam will shortly be unveiling some promising figures showing how games may actually help mitigate against some of the effects of loss of attention in the aging brain. I think this might be relevant to me but I can’t remember why.
A lot of government agencies were represented, including Health and Human Services, NIMH, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, DARPA, NIH, NIA, and the NSF.