2008 Game Festival & Symposium

For the past four years, the Annual Game Festival and Symposium succeeded due to the quality of the student games exhibited during the Game Festival, and the themes and caliber of speakers that are the focus of the Symposium.  Our consistent purpose is to expand students' game development skills and to increase their understanding of potential career options in the games and simulation.  For the second year, the Festival will feature the Vicarious Visions Student Awards for the top five teams.  We encourage and are gaining an increasing regional audience.

Game Festival

This year, the Festival is on Friday, April 25, 2008.  As in previous years, Games & Simulation faculty will select the games for exhibition from among those created by undergraduate students within the preceding twelve months.  The Festival and Symposium this year will be part of the 50th Anniversary of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences with substantial alumni participation already anticipated.

Game Symposium: Influence & Independence

The following day, Saturday, April 26, 2008, our theme for the Symposium is "Influence and Independence: New Forces in Games."

Serious Games: What Are They: Who Is Interested

Social Games, Games for Change, Educative Games, Persuasive Games,  Games for Civic Engagement: the possibilities for the uses of game and simulation technologies are developing rapidly.  In the forefront of the research, evaluation, and dissemination of such games are leading U.S. foundations that have made substantial commitments to exploring these areas.  The Symposium will focus on the Serious Games trend in order to provide a window for Game Symposium participants into this rapidly emerging world.

As the Rensselaer Game Symposium developed over the past four years, our event has grown from a few hours and a handful of students and faculty to a full day event that draws upon not only Rensselaer students and faculty but students from other campuses in the region and from local game development companies.   We take it as a core of our mission to help our students and faculty gain a richer understanding of the many current perspectives on the possibilities of game technologies.

We are also developing the Festival and Symposium into a regional conference with ties to careers, research opportunities, and connections with other universities.

Rensselaer's goal with its Game and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program is to build a program and a culture of games on campus that enhances interdisciplinary skills that can open many career choices in the emerging games sector.  The Game Festival and Symposium are viewed by the faculty and administration of this interdisciplinary initiative as integral to our pedagogy.  A memorable and defining lecture was provided at the first Game Symposium when Ernest Adams laid down a challenge to our students:  "if you came to RPI to build first person shooter games you came here for the wrong reason."  What he went on to explain is that the world of games is much, much broader than the commercial sector which is often the first, admittedly powerful point of contact for young men and women who wish to study for a career in this field.

We are particularly grateful to our Level One Sponsor for 2007, Vicarious Visions, Inc., an Activision Studio,  for their additional sponsorship of the Vicarious Visions Student Challenge Awards.

             2008 Game Festival & Symposium Agenda

             2008 Game Symposium Topics & Biographies

             2007 Vicarious Visons Student Challenge Award Recipients