Call for Submissions: Game IT Summit @ GDC 2012

Next year’s Game Developers Conference (March 5-9, 2012) in San Francisco features a daylong “Game IT Summit“, “focused on the use of videogames to tackle common organizational goals through enterprise-focused game development”. The CFP – deadline October 31, 2011 – calls for “fresh thinking” beyond serious games on the hand and shallow gamification on the other.The GDC is first and foremost a conference by practitioners for practicioners, so be sure to check the detailed speaker expectations and to watch some talks at the GDC Vault to get a feel whether this is a place for you or not.

Here is the CFP in full:

“Game IT is daylong conference focused on the use of videogames to tackle common organizational goals through enterprise-focused game development. As the power of play, video game design, and social systems meets up with ever more powerful browser-based application stacks, organizations are looking to create new ways to boost productivity, improve customer interactions, and take advantage of the disparity between the perceived power of videogames vs. traditional Web & IT approaches to UI, engagement, and collaborative interactions.

The serious games solution set for enterprise needs has traditionally been very heavy toward edge-based training solutions utilizing technology stacks foreign and often unsupported by everyday IT support teams. As organizations increasingly move toward cloud-based systems with browser-based front-ends which balance processing across multiple tiers of computing common serious game engineering and design patterns fail.

In response to this, “Gamification” heralds a extremely lightweight approach, that pitches the rhetorical and visual strength of videogames but as per critics, often results in enhanced feedback loops and decade old industrial psychology.

Neither of these approaches seems optimum to where cutting-edge organizations want to be, and where the best talents and practices in game development can aid a wide range of organizational efforts. One is off-the-mark, and the other promises more then it delivers and actually obfuscates the larger opportunities for games to be powerful tools for both everyday and more strategic needs.

Game IT is designed to address the need for fresh discussions about the integration points between games and technology oriented practices that lie at the heart of today’s forward-thinking organizations. Concentrating on how deeper, but more compatible solutions are available, Game IT seeks shun the facile elements of videogames easily turned into commodity (or cowmodity!) offerings that do not represent the capabilities which are making videogames so appealing to begin with.

Game IT is a GDC-based discussion that draws on the worlds greatest gathering of experienced game development talent, research, and engineering capability to provide information enterprise leaders an opportunity to best understand the affordances games can offer them today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Notes on submitting to Game IT:

Game IT seeks great talks, case studies, and discussions, often short in length, that can provide strong guidance to how best integrate cutting-edge videogame designs, technologies, and research to achieve important goals for organizations big and small. This common organizational needs including general productivity, knowledge generation, marketing, compliance, planning, strategic decision making, and more. We are especially interested in ideas that reshape the underlying information and Web based systems currently driving common organizational practices.

Talks should especially focus on the needs to integrate game-based solutions into the environments and contexts especially important to organizations today, this includes browser-based systems, multinational operations, 24-7 news cycles, busy and dispersed workforces who can’t be taken offline for long amounts of time, and more.

We are soliciting the following topics for the 2012 program:

  • Are about completed or in-progress efforts toward finished usable projects and prototypes, which are aimed at scales scale beyond a few dozen or hundred core users.
  • Specifically focus on technologies common to today’s IT-focused enterprises…i.e. HTML, AJAX, Mobile Apps, JAVA, Flash, Backend DB systems, and larger legacy frameworks.
  • Go beyond common training pedagogy discussions and focus on additional areas of need for organizations such as knowledge generation, customer interactions, and more.
  • Offer findings and evidence for efficacy of game-based approaches that make a difference.
  • Move beyond just the use of micro-motivational psychology of games centered on score, achievements, and status, into deeper elements of procedural rhetoric, non-linear narratives, puzzle creation, play strategies, and higher levels of aesthetics and UI design.
  • Showcase collaborations involving recognized game industry-based resources and talent
  • Involve clear, understandable, application of recent research and innovations drawn from modern-day videogame development.
  • Anything involving cows or minecraft.

Demo and case studies should be no longer then 25 minutes. Panels can be 60 minutes in length but must have at least 3-4 panelists and a moderator submitted. All panelists must be confirmed at time of submission and quality of panelists and their unique background will be scrutinized. Furthermore, panels must provide an outline of the free-form discussion and debate they will foster.”