Serious Games Initiative and Games for Health's Ben Sawyer, along with seasoned game developers Noah Falstein and Bob Bates, have launched the Serious Games Tutorials, a series of training retreats dedicated to serious games design and project development.
The two-day tutorials will focus on detailing how to create and use both games and game-related technologies for purposes beyond entertainment. The program will draw heavily on the experience of all three developers, who together have designed, or been involved in the launch of over a dozen serious games.
Currently the organizers have announced five separate Serious Games Tutorial sessions to take place throughout the spring and early summer of 2007 in several different locations around North America, including:
- San Francisco, California on March 28-29, 2007
- Orlando, Florida on April 26-27, 2007
- Washington, D.C. on May 8-9, 2007
- Toronto, Ontario in June (final dates pending)
- Chicago, IL (final dates pending)
According to organizers, the tutorials will feature over 15 hours of classroom time focused on three core goals, including the improving understanding of how games can be used for purposes beyond just entertainment; teaching how to design compelling serious games using ideas and technology found in games today; and focusing on how to create games that entertain and fulfill their purpose, yet still conform to an established budget.
"Serious games is a growing field with many unique elements, and its growth depends on getting more people -- both sponsors, and developers – deeply educated on how to use games in new ways,” commented Sawyer. “By creating an intense two-day retreat on the subject we are answering a huge need by providing a great deal of knowledge in a short period of time."
Bob Bates, veteran game designer and former Atari studio head, added: “Commercial and serious games are critically related...serious games are not effective if they’re not fun, and what our tutorials offer are commercially proven techniques for designing in the “fun factor” that so frequently gets lost in the midst of project development. Our goal is to send attendees home to their projects with insights not found anywhere else in this exciting new field.”
For more information on the Serious Games Tutorials series, including registration information, visit the official website