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Serious Games @ Annenberg School For Communication

The Annenberg Workshop on Games for Learning, Development & Change! will be hosted by the Annenberg Studies on Computer Games (aka ASC Games Group) on the USC campus, May 21-22, 2007.

The University of Southern California is among a handful of educational institutions that are at the cutting edge of Serious Games developments. At USC, the Annenberg School for Communication, together with the Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Cinematic Arts, has been an active player in a collaborative effort to advance serious games.

Launched in 2003, the ASC Games Group is an interdisciplinary research team that seeks to conduct systematic and innovative research about the influence of game playing on individuals, groups, and society at large. While considerable research has focused on the dangers and risks of particular games, they are now particularly eager to investigate opportunities for education through the involvement in games.

Given the pressing need for theoretical development and scientific research on this topic, the ASC Games Group has decided to hold a workshop on games for learning, development, and change.

The goals for the workshop are to (1) promote the value of social science for advancing the field of "Serious Games" research, (2) summarize the state of the art research on "Serious Games" effectiveness, (3) define the problems and opportunities involved in advancing this field, and (4) develop perspectives for future collaborative work.

Over 30 scholars and industry advocates of serious games from North America and Europe have been invited to this workshop. The program for this workshop has been intentionally designed to encourage dialogues among researchers and practitioners from diverse backgrounds. In addition, they have arranged poster sessions for people to interact with junior scholars and graduate students with shared interests. They will also include demonstrations of a few serious games developed by the teams at USC.

Major results from these discussions will be published in an edited book later this year.