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GDC 2008 Debuts Summit Speaker Details

GDC 2008 organizers have detailed key speakers for each of the six focused summits to take place on the first two days of GDC in San Francisco next February, including the Casual Games Summit, the Independent Games Summit, the Serious Games Summit and, ne
CMP’s Game Developers Conference, the world’s largest industry-only event dedicated to the advancement of interactive entertainment, has revealed session details for its newly-expanded lineup of single-track summits that take a closer look at the industry’s emerging trends. Information on the content for the Casual Games Summit, the Independent Games Summit, the Serious Games Summit and, new for 2008, the Game Outsourcing Summit, the Worlds in Motion Summit, and the IGDA Education Summit is now available online at the GDC 2008 Summits webpage. GDC (operated by CMP, as is Gamasutra) returns to San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center February 18-22, 2008, with the summits taking place the first two days of the conference. The six focused summits at GDC08 are designed to foster and facilitate community-building within emerging influential sectors of the game industry: The Casual Games Summit aims to present a global vision of the key forces driving the sector’s growth, with sessions including a discussion with Rebel Monkey’s Nick Fortugno and Joju Games’ Juan Gril about the key innovations of 2007, “The Year in Casual Game Design,“ and a talk about the rising variety of markets for casual games with rmbr.com’s Gabe Zichermann entitled “The New Demographics of Casual Games.” The IGDA’s Education Summit is the only two-track summit, with one track aimed at novice educators just entering the game education genre, the second for more experienced educators looking for additional teaching tools. The summit features keynotes by the International Hobo Design Group’s Ernest Adams and by Persuasive Games’ Ian Bogost. The Independent Games Summit aims to help all independent developers think about the critical needs for launching and marketing a game from game design to distribution methods to guerilla marketing concepts. Sessions include a sit-down with 2007 IGF Grand Prize winners Bit Blot (Alec Holowka and Derek Yu) discussing the development of their award-winning Aquaria, and a postmortem with Q Games’ Dylan Cuthbert on the PixelJunk series for the PlayStation 3. The returning Serious Games Summit continues to lead the dialogue for the rapidly-growing sector that features use of interactive games technology for non-entertainment purposes. One highlight of this year’s summit finds Ben Sawyer of DigitalMill and Peter Smith of the University of Florida presenting “Serious Games Taxonomy,” aiming to develop a stronger definition of the entire field of serious games, including categorization and specific labeling within the large gamut of activity. Another session highlight spotlights Robert J. Stone of Human Factors Integration Defense Technology Center, Stephane de Buttet of Agence Rhône-Alpes Numérique - Lyon Game, and Jim Parker from University of Calgary/CPSC presenting their "Serious Game World Report". The Worlds in Motion Summit, launching at GDC08, will explore the cross section between gaming and interactive networking tools like online worlds, player-generated content, social networking and general personalization. Highlights include SOE veteran, Areae co-founder and noted industry figure Raph Koster discussing the ways virtual worlds are increasingly relevant to the ways we play, and a discussion with Relic Labs’ Adrian Crook on the free-to-play business model and how it is evolving the face of online play. The new-to-2008 Game Outsourcing Summit, incubated with GDC’s successful standalone summit in Los Angeles in 2006, was created for those industry professionals looking to increase development resource awareness, expand their knowledge of the outsourcing sector, hone existing relationships and establish new partnerships. The content for this summit, to be available at gdconf.com soon, will offer in-depth business-oriented seminars supported by research and market analysis from every region in the world. Speaker highlights include Xin Chung, founder, and Steve Gray, CTO and executive producer, of Shanghai-based Vykarian, as well a talk from Aaron Pulkka, senior director of outsourcing at Vivendi Games. “The game industry is experiencing radical change and growth in several key sectors at once, so we at GDC are actively adapting our previously tutorial-oriented pre-conference schedule to feature pioneering developers in highly targeted summits,” said Jamil Moledina, Executive Director of the Game Developers Conference. “By integrating each of these emerging microcommunities into the curriculum, the GDC is well-positioned to remain the central hub of information and business for the entire game industry.”

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