Magfest X! This is one of the first events that I spent 361 days looking forward too. And when I found out that the new venue was the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center, I was really excited.
What a fantastic facility in desperate need of business during very slow economic times. Very different from the cramped quarters of Magfest 9 with only 4 elevators. At the Gaylord, it was elevator heaven. The game rooms and marketplace were almost too spacious.
So on to the real reasons for being there. First, over the past four years I have been teaching an upper level undergraduate course at the University of Maryland on “The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment” and doing laboratory research on various aspects of video games. Please visit our video game research website for more information and technical reports.
So this year, I decided to get a vendor’s table in the Marketplace to promote the idea of empirical research on video games and players and to solicit volunteers to complete several questions on skills involved in games and immersiveness of games and to promote our developing website for collecting player information and feedback (realmsend.umd.edu).
Second, I wanted to contribute to the intellectual discussion of video games so I organized a panel on “Immersion, Presence, and Flow in Video Games and Virtual Environments.” I definitely got a fantastic group of experts who contributed amazing ideas. Below is one announcement of the panel and here is the link to our slide presentation (Slides). Sorry the Youtube video is not up yet.
Finally, I love pinball. At 2:00 AM Saturday morning, I finally had to rip myself off of the bumpers and get some sleep before the panel that I was leading. I love pinball. It must be from my weird college days. Next year I vow to play all of the arcade video game machines!