Fun and Games 2010, a conference report

Posted by veerle on Monday October 11th 2010 at 15:58

Mid September (15-17 september 2010) the Fun and Games conference took place in Leuven and this for the third time, first time in Belgium.
It was co-organized by the Centre for User Experience Research (CUO), Mediacentrum, K.U.Leuven and the e-medialab, Groep-T, Leuven.

Fun and Games 2010 was a single-track, 2-day conference preceded by a one-day workshop. It was a meeting place for  designers, developers and researchers in computer games and experience design crossing the borders of traditional human-computer interaction, game design and game development.

The conference had some great speakers. Especially the talk by Dr Regina Bernhaupt on “User Experience Evaluation in Games” was very instructive and gave a nice overview of the current state of this emerging field. She demonstrated the difficulties of incorporating these user experience evaluation results in the game development process.
Another interesting but more technical talk was given by the second-day keynote speaker Eric Krzeslo from the technology provider Softkinetic. With his company he developed a middelware platform to build natural interfaces through 3D technologies and demonstrated how these interfaces are already used in games e.g. Silverfit.

The conference was further  subdivided in thematic sessions: “Game Design and Evaluation”, “Systems, Software and Enabling technologies”, “Special Target Groups”, “Gamer Theory and Methods” and “Game Design Studies”.

Several researchers of the Play&Game research group (Dirk Kenis, Tanguy Coenen, Steven Malliet, Thomas Laureyssens, Veerle Van der Sluys) attended and contributed to the workshops and the two-day conference.

For the workshop “Creative Learning with Serious Games”, Tanguy Coenen  outlined some of the game design results of the OSMA project in the paper titled “Towards a framework for learning in the OSMA Serious game engine“. This paper will be published in the december issue of the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning.

Steven Malliet presented a paper “Evaluating Educational Game Experiences in a Classroom Context: Implications for Qualitative Research” in the “Playability and player experience” workshop. He described the outcome of the playability tests of the different minigames that were developed during the Play module by the last year MAD Faculty C-MD master students. All workshop publications were bundled in a nice booklet .

Moreover, the conference allowed student designers/developers to submit their game prototypes to the Fun and Games Design Competition. Together with their lecturer the nominees of this competition received a free pass to the conference and the winners received a money reward sponsored by Microsoft.

Within this game design competition one of the last year C-MD students, Mate Cziner, submitted his Nom Nom Nom game. You can start testing your statistics knowledge (game is suited for players from 14 years on) ! He didn’t win the competition but certainly did a nice job!

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