A few of the talks, lectures and panels I’ve given/participated in. Some are viewable online, some not:

“Six Observations on Failure that May or May Not Relate to Games” Meaningful Play, East Lansing, MI, October 2018

A discussion of failure’s role in creativity and game play drawing on material from Colleen Macklin’s and my book, Iterate: Ten Perspectives on Creativity and Failure.

“What Games want from museums; what museums should want from games” College Art Association, New York, February 2017

A consideration of the fraught relationship between games, particularly videogames, and art museums.

Rendering Meaning: On the Intersections of Visual Style, Interactivity, and Gameplay” College Art Association, Washington, D.C., February 2016

A short talk examining three games that fall outside traditional aesthetic frameworks for videogames: Tale of Tales’ Sunset, Cardboard Computer’s Kentucky Route Zero, and Eddo Stern’s Vietnam Romance. The talk concluded with a discussion of the challenges for evaluating games operating outside the traditions of systems thinking, computer science and goal-oriented play experiences. 

“Making Videogames Inclusive” Sweden Game Conference, October 2016

A discussion of the ways games, their creation and their play are not inclusive, and some thoughts on how we can make them more so.

“Teaching Games with Games 2: Six New Exercises in Play” Co-organized with Colleen Macklin at the Game Education Summit, Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 2014

Colleen and I reprised our session focused on classroom activities using play. This year, we invited Tracy Fullerton, Andy Nealen, Celia Pearce, Brenda Romero, Jeff Watson and Eric Zimmerman to share one lesson from their courses. Available for free on the GDC Vault.

Game Design, Dynamics and the Ripples of Play.” Southeastern Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo, Atlanta, GA, October 2014

A talk on the ways game design impacts culture, and how culture in turn impacts games,. I describe four layers of dynamics: the ideal of the designed play experience; the play expectations and styles players bring to a game; the meaning generated by play; and impact a game has on culture. I as well looked at the ways culture is reflected back in the design of games. 

“Play, Make, Appreciate: A Manifesto in 10 Points.” Co-presented with Colleen Macklin at the Game Education Summit, Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 2013

A discussion of the ways we should reframe game education. Our contention is that the computer science-based model nor the studio-centric model sufficiently prepare our students to move games beyond a pure entertainment medium. Co-presented with Colleen Macklin. See also: a Tumblr with the main ideas.

“Works of Game.” Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ, August 2013

An introduction to the core arguments of my book, Works of Game. I explore the theories around communities of practice relating to games and art having differing values around the affordances of the conceptual, formal and experiential.

“In Praise of Abstraction” Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 2012

An artist’s talk looking at the ways creative fields use abstraction as a tool for expression, process, structure and other uses. For each model of abstraction, models for how they might apply to games were discussed. (Note: behind a paywall)

The Road to Hell is Paved with Serious Games.” Games for Change Festival, New York, NY, May 2010.

A short talk discussing a selection of problems that arise around serious games and their well-meaning but often flawed design and development.

“The Game Renaissance: Art History for Game Devs” Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 2010

A two-part talk. The first part was a whirlwind art history lesson designed to bring game developers up to speed on the history of art and the contemporary art ecosystem. The second part argues for games taking their own history more seriously, and not looking to art and other media for acceptance. (Note: behind a paywall.)

“The Art History of Games” The Art History of Games symposium, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, February 2010

A historiography of the appearances of games in the history of art given as the opening to the Art History of Games symposium. 

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