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Next March, GDC 2018 will again have a Summit of talks dedicated specifically to game education, this time with a new name: the GDC Educators Summit! Make sure to pitch your talks for the Summit now!

September 14, 2017

5 Min Read

The Game Developers Conference is coming back to the Moscone Center in San Francisco next year (March 19-23, 2018) and organizers want to remind you today that they're still accepting pitches for Summit sessions!

Officials are accepting talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference @ GDC (or just VRDC@GDC), GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar through Friday, September 29th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

It's important to note that the show will once again have a Summit of talks dedicated specifically to game education, this time with a new name: the GDC Educators Summit

The Educators Summit is dedicated to bringing forward the most innovative and exciting ideas in game education today. Attendees will discover new experimental and inventive educational approaches as well as best practices that they can bring back to their faculty and classrooms.

The summit brings together educators from established game development programs with new game course creators that want to understand the challenges they'll face in the next few years. It is a great professional development opportunity that will explore how new areas of game education will advance the field for the next generation of students.

So who should be submitting? You should, if you're an inspired educator with some great ideas to share with others about teaching game design/development, to improve everyone's practice.

You've done some ground-breaking work on your curriculum or research that we can all use to improve what we are doing with students. You have a unique point of view on teaching game design/development that you haven't seen anywhere else, that you know could add value. You have an idea for a panel, and can assemble some great speakers from various schools to speak to a particular topic.

We are looking for new voices, so if you haven't submitted before, please consider doing so. There is probably something amazing and unique about how YOU do things that we would all benefit from hearing about. We are particularly interested in hearing from programs/people who may not be regular attendees.

The audience for this Summit consists of educators of game development and studies (working in the context of community college, four-year college/university and graduation education programs).

Most attendees are at schools that already have well-established game programs and courses of study (or else they will be in a few short years, once they work the kinks out of a newly-developed program). We are soliciting the following topics for the 2018 program:

  • Inspired approaches to teaching any aspect of game development or game studies.

  • Novel ways to fund or publish games research, student game projects, etc.

  • Proven best practices for successful programs, courses and research structures.

  • Creative funding strategies that have worked for you.

  • Strategies for encouraging and teaching diverse student communities.

  • Teaching game design/development online.

Annual lecture themes:

  • If you're interested in submitting a talk to one of our annual lecture themes, be sure to note that in the "Summary for Advisors" section of the submission form. These themes include:

  • Course case studies - Short presentations (30 min) on the design of a specific course with strong proven results.

  • Soapbox - Short presentations (7-10 min) with sharp, pointed commentary on current issues in the state of game education.

Tips for submissions, based on some common mistakes we've seen:

  • The Educators Summit is not about serious games, it is about how to teach people about games (how to make games, how to analyze and understand games, issues around graduate research in games, etc.) A talk about teaching serious game development, or a game that helps teach about games, would be appropriate for the Educators Summit. Case studies of serious games that have nothing to do with game education are not.

  • Don't focus the proposal too much on the speaker and their contributions to the field. If you have an interesting project or case study to share, that's great, but be clear about the audience takeaways. How will attending your talk help hundreds of other educators do their job better?

  • Speakers vs panels: Single speaker sessions are the most successful structure. It is difficult to justify two or more speakers for a lecture format, so please consider that. Panels should be considered if your topic would benefit from multiple perspectives, and each speaker on a panel should represent a distinct aspect or point of view of the topic.

  • Make sure your topic isn't a beginner-level topic, such as "How to start a game development program", that has been covered many times before. When writing your proposal, it may be useful to look at session names and descriptions for the last three years (and watch talks related to your topic on gdcvault.com). In this way we can build up our collective understanding of the theory and practice of game education.

  • Takeaways and topics should be immediately clear from the initial read. Make it obvious why your peers would want to watch your proposed talk. This isn't the time to conceal information. A proposal titled "Five Things You Can Do to Improve Student Retention" should list what those five things are. Give us enough information to evaluate your talk.


  • The Educators Summit, all other GDC Summits, and VRDC@GDC will be held March 19-20, 2018 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The Game Career Seminar takes place in the same location on Friday, March 23, 2018. 

So if you want to speak at GDC 2018, submit your talk now! (For VRDC@GDC 2018, click here.) For more details on the submission process or GDC 2018 in general visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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