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Eric Zimmerman

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Original author: 
Alexa Ray Corriea

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Last night, the 10th annual Games for Change conference wound to a close with two keynote speeches discussing how games affect us mentally and emotionally.

In his talk, game designer and academic Eric Zimmerman proposed that there is a problem in the way our field handles educational games and games about social change. As we move into what Zimmerman calls a "ludic century" — an era of spontaneous playfulness and playful technologies — he believes there needs to be a drastic shift in how we think about these types of games.

"We make games and integrate them into our lives," he said. "I think it's possible we're mistreating them, and not treating them with respect."

Zimmerman called attention to the fact that many research...

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Original author: 
John Walker

A real high-point of every GDC is the Game Design Challenge. Well, was. Sadly the tenth year of this annual treat was the last, with organiser Eric Zimmerman bringing proceedings to an end. And wow, did it go out in style. With the apposite topic, “Humanity’s Last Game”, some of the biggest names in the industry put forth their pitches for the last game we’d ever need. And one man entirely stole the show. For a second year, that man was Jason Rohrer.

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Original author: 
John Walker

An undoubted highlight of GDC every year is the Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Despite having that complete nonsense word in the title, it’s a chance for some of the most innovative and esoteric gaming ideas to be shared with one of the week’s biggest audiences, whether in development, released, or some impossible state in between. Some of the highlights are below.

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jeanclaudevanjam.jpgBabycastles and the Eyebeam Game Research Group held the Jean Claude Van Jam on August 17-19 at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center in New York, with teams creating nine games based on Oscar-worthy Van Damme movies. Katamari Damacy developer Keita Takahashi joined NYU Game Center co-founder Eric Zimmerman and Gigantic Mechanic's Greg Trefry in picking the best games.

The above-pictured browser game Show Her My Thailand: A Street Fighter Romance was a runner up along with Master Tanaka's Flexibility Challenge. The former is a text-adventure game, where players have to woo Kylie with their suave speech. The latter is a two-player, head-to-head stretching game, which is more about control than strength.

Brian S. Chung's and GJ Lee's Grand prize winner "Wrong Bet!" requires a bit of preparation: 10 players (four fighters and six betters) and 2 laptops (one white and one black).

Wrong Bet has an elaborate diagram and play arena photos here, for those who have an army of friends and a large, open space to play it.

All nine games are available at the official Jean Claude Van Jam site and are demoed in this video:

[via @idaimages]

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