University of Malta

Keynote Abstracts
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Keynote 1 by Prof Michael Zyda - Building Game Developers 

The USC Department of Computer Science is in its tenth year of operating its BS in Computer Science (Games) and MS in Computer Science (Game Development) degree programs. We have developed an interesting educational architecture inside of that degree program that allows the students to become strong game developers, strong computer scientists, strong programmers, strong systems developers, and facile with working in cross-disciplinary, collaborative groups. We believe that educating students in this fashion strengthens our department’s ability to do cutting edge research in computer science as well as provide great graduates for the game industry. In this talk, we share our lessons learned and some detail on our courses and processes. 

Keynote 2 by Prof Igor Mayer - Deconstructing Serious Games - Finding Principles of Play

According to Wittgenstein, games are a family of resemblances and there is no essence among them. However, this lack of essence does not stand in the way of the fact that even children learn what games are, fairly easily. Dick Duke argued that "a careful review of the variety of products currently available as serious games turned up the startling disclosure that they seem to share no single characteristic: neither subject matter nor technique, nor duration, nor client, nor audience configuration, nor paraphernalia, nor style. [...] Curiously, professionals have no difficulty in alluding to all of these as games. Or addressing the phenomenon they use as 'gaming' even though the particulars are so varied and diffuse." In my presentation, I ask why this is. I will examine the principles of play that can make certain types of real world interventions (for change, learning, decision-making) feel 'like game-play'.














Last Updated: 7 August 2014

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