060606: Down with Serious Games?

UC Berkeley's Center for New Media is organizing a conference about Serious Games. Participants will help define stakes in serious games, share serious game design advice, and develop playtests for learning, all in one day: June 6 2006, aka 060606.

Here's the Call for Partecipation:

"Berkeley, CA, 01/31/06: According to Friederich Schiller, 'humans are only completely human when they play' (1795, Letters upon the Aesthetic Education of Man, XV). Adding up all our moments of being completely human, we might write our Resume of Games we played. Perhaps that resume would say more about who we are than all the schools we visited, and all the contracts we held. Playing, then, is nothing less than learning to be human, and that may well be the most serious thing we learn.

How can some games be called serious and others not? Are there games that are more or less serious? Are some games more suited to becoming human than others, and if so, do games like America's Army belong to the more or the less suited? On the other hand, what is there to be learned about being human from Rock, Paper, Scissors?

The question 'Down with serious games?' has (at least) two meanings. On the one hand it can be read as, 'Are you down with serious games?' On the other, it is a rallying cry for the demise of 'Serious Games.' This year's new media colloquium in the 0n0n0n series (where n = 6) is dedicated to this paradox: Its solution has (serious?) implications for the future of game development.

We would like to invite you to UC Berkeley's New Media Commons on Tuesday, June 6, 2006, for an all-day colloquium to advance our common knowledge on the topic of Serious Games, sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for New Media In keeping with our observation that games are best understood when played, we are developing the colloquium itself as a (serious?) game, starting with a 6 am morning run and ending with a victory lap. To show that we are not all talk, no action, we are also hosting a Serious Games Contest. The winners of the competition will receive their awards at our conference."

Here's the complete schedule

Link: 060606

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