Summer School on Experimental Play

SIGCHI Sponsored summer school
Centre for Game Design Research, RMIT University, Australia

Dates: Nov 1-4, 2018

Overview

Building on the inaugural SIGCHI Summer School on Playful Interactions held at RMIT University in 2017, the 2018 international summer school is centred on the theme of “ Experimental Play ”. This summer school is co-located with ACM CHI PLAY 2018 , a SIGCHI conference which is also happening in Melbourne, Australia, just the days before. Furthermore, this school sits within International Games Week at Melbourne, which features games, talks and play around the city, including PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), the only PAX outside the US, which attracts over 30000 gamers transcending to Melbourne, ensuring an exciting atmosphere for the SIGCHI members.

The summer school is lead by experts in the fields of game design, player-computer interaction and games programming. With a hands-on approach to teaching, we will cover the various aspects that are brought together in modern game development and experimental game design research. There will be a strong focus on developing skills through practical sessions, which will give students direct experience in building and studying games and most importantly they will "learn about fun by having fun". To get more idea, please feel free to check the short documentary covering the last year's summer school.

Theme: Experimental play

Experimental Play speaks about to the radical shift we are witnessing in how we play and what play means to game design with the emergence of independent games, art games, and political games as well as gamified/playbourised systems that explore the role of play in non-gaming settings. For example, games play an increasingly important role in areas like education, healthcare, safety, urban planning, sustainability, creative industries, entertainment and other economic, cultural, and societal sectors. We draw on these expanding boundaries of game design with an aim to collate and distribute its knowledge and understanding to today’s millennials, hence the term Experimental Play. Through experimental Play, we aim to question traditional conventions of game rules, emergence of new technologies like AR/VR and robotics, the concepts of space and time, the player's role, and its impact on storytelling, health, ideology, sociality, performance, and other rich areas of human life.

Call for submissions

The summer school is primarily intended for PhD students and masters students undertaking a research degree, but we also welcome advanced Bachelor students to register. Please send us the following:

1-page CV (as PDF uploaded to dropbox or other public URL)

1-page motivation statement (optional)

All submitted proposals are subject to acceptance by the committee members. Proposals should be mailed to:

rohitashok.khot[at]rmit.edu.au
Use this as subject line: Summer school 2018 submission
*** Students should arrange their own travel and accomodation. ***

*** For International students requiring a visa please get your application in as early as possible. If you are unable to make this date please contact us and we will see what is possible. ***

Important dates

The official deadline for applying to the summer school is passed. But if you are an author of an accepted paper to ACM CHI PLAY 2018 (in any category: Full paper, Doctoral Consortium, Work in Progress, Student Game Competition to name a few), we can still accoomodate you. If you are interested, get in touch with us.

Aug. 15, 2018
Sept 15, 2018
Nov. 1, 2018
Nov. 4, 2018

Submission deadline.
List of accepted students in up on the website.
Summer School starts.
Summer School ends.

Confirmed speakers

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Prof. Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan, Canada


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Prof. Peta Wyeth
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

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Prof. Ben Schouten
Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

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Prof. Perttu Hamalainen
Aalto University, Finland

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Prof. Lennart Nacke
University of Waterloo, Canada


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Dr. Elisa Mekler
University of Basel, Switzerland


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Prof. Angelina Russo
RMIT University, Australia


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Dr. Fabio Zambetta
RMIT University, Australia


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Ms. Stephanie Andrews
RMIT University, Australia


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Dr. Thuong Hoang
Deakin University, Australia


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Dr. Alexander Baldwin
Deakin University, Australia


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Prasad Sandbhor
Possibilities,
India


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Accepted students

Assem Kroma
Ryerson University, Canada

Aung Pyae
University of Turku, Finland

Eshita Arza
IIITDM Kancheepuram, India

Harshitha Kurra
IIITDM Kancheepuram, India

Ti Hoang
RMIT University, Australia

Martin Dechant
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Michael Long
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Paul Meulendijks
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Paulina Rajkowska
Uppasala University, Sweden

Prasad Sandbhor
EkStep Foundation, Bengaluru, India

Romina Carrasco
University of Melbourne, Australia

Zhuying Li
RMIT University, Australia

Yan Wang
RMIT University, Australia

Josh Andres
IBM Research, Australia

Fraser Allison
University of Melbourne, Australia

Kiran Ijaz
University of Sydney, Australia

Jonathan Marquez
RMIT University, Australia

Nathan Semertzidis
RMIT University, Australia

Valentina Andries
Edinburgh University, Scotland

Nikita Mae Harris
University of Canterbury, New Zealand

April Tyack
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Rameshnath Krishnasamy
Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark

Tentitive Schedule

The summer school will start at 9 am on each day and will close at 5 pm.

  • Day 1 / Nov. 1, 2018

  • Registration: 08:30 am to 09:00 am

  • Welcome & Invited talk

    09:00 am to 10:00 am

    Prof. Regan Mandryk
    Title: Fun Science: The Paradox of Experimental Play

  • Morning break: 10:00 am to 10:30 am

  • Invited talks

    10:30 am to 12:30 pm

    1. Prof. Ben Schouten (1 hour)
    Title: Playful Empowerment, The role of games design for civic engagement
    2. Dr. Kathrin Gerling (1 hour)
    Title: Vulnerability at Play - Designing Games to Improve Wellbeing in Sensitive Settings

  • Lunch break: 12:30 pm to 01:30 pm

  • Invited talks

    01:30 pm to 03:00 pm

    1. Prof. Peta Wyeth (1 hour)
    Title: Enabling Curiosity and Making Connections through Play with Digital Technology
    2. Dr. Elisa Mekler (30 mins)
    Title: Beyond Fun: Characterizing Eudaimonic Player Experiences

  • Afternoon break: 03:00 pm to 03:30 pm

  • Invited talk & Possibilities workshop

    03:30 pm to 05:00 pm

    1. Stephanie Andrews (30 mins)
    Title: Site-Specific Virtual Reality Design
    2. Prasad Sandbhor (1 hour)
    Title: Enabling possibilities


  • Day 2 / Nov. 2, 2018

  • Registration: 08:30 am to 09:00 am

  • Welcome & Invited talk

    09:00 am to 10:00 am

    Dr. Fabio Zambetta
    AI + MR = The future of Computer-Human Interaction

  • Morning break: 10:00 am to 10:30 am

  • Invited talk

    10:30 am to 12:30 pm

    Prof. Perttu Hamalainen
    Title: On Empowerment, Curiosity & AI

  • Lunch break: 12:30 pm to 01:30 pm

  • CHI PLAY Paper writing tutorial

    01:30 pm to 03:00 pm
  • Afternoon break: 03:00 pm to 03:30 pm

  • VR workshop

    03:30 pm to 05:00 pm

    Dr. Thoung Hoang & Dr. Alexander Baldwin
    Title: to be updated soon.


  • Day 3 / Nov. 3, 2018

  • Workshop #1: Tangible food play

    09:00 am to 05:00 pm

    Dr. Rohit Ashok Khot

    Details:
    Food + Nintendo Labo Fun!


  • Day 4 / Nov. 4, 2018

  • Workshop #2: Materialising Melbourne & Making "Mario" matter

    09:00 am to 05:00 pm

    Prof. Angelina Russo

    Details:
    Digital Data + knitting + GameBoy fun!

About the Venue

The Summer school with happen in Swanston Academic Building (SAB), which is one of the newest and most iconic buildings of RMIT University and houses the College of Business.

Address:
RMIT University
Building 80, Level 03 Room 15,
445 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Australia
Google Maps Location

About Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital of digital games in Australia. It is home to almost half of Australia’s digital games industry including 103 game development studios, some of the country’s best talent and support services including animation, motion capture, publishing and promotion. The continued expansion of games conferences such as Game Connect: Asia Pacific and PAX Aus in Melbourne is confirmation of the city’s burgeoning reputation as a gaming and technology hub. This summer school thus provides an excellent opportunity to students to tap into the growing gaming field and use opportunities for further collaborations.

Travel & visa

Please use this link for information about travel and visa.

Organisers

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Dr. Rohit Ashok Khot
Exertion Games Lab,
RMIT University, Australia

Dr Rohit Ashok Khot is the Deputy Director of the Exertion Games Lab; and Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University, Australia. Rohit’s research embodies interdisciplinary strength and explores the amalgamation of design and technology in a creative way. Rohit is passionate about playful Human-Food Interaction (HFI) and has an ambitious goal to alter the common perception that food cannot be healthy and pleasurable at the same time.

Full Bio

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Prof. Florian 'Floyd' Mueller
Exertion Games Lab,
RMIT University, Australia

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller directs the Exertion Games Lab at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. Floyd’s research is focused on the intersection of play, technology and the active human body, aiming to support human values. His team’s Exertion Games were played by over 20,000 players across 3 continents and were featured on the BBC, ABC, Discovery Science Channel and Wired magazine.

Full Bio

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Prof. Stefan Greuter
Deakin University, Australia

Stefan Greuter is Professor of Screen and Design at Deakin University in the School of Communication & Creative Arts and leads the development of creative technologies research and development. Stefan Greuter’s research is interested in solving existing problems using innovative game design experiences that bring together research from multiple disciplines and specialises on solutions involving the latest game technology. Most of Stefan’s research projects involve the development of game prototypes to progress knowledge.

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Dr. Fabio Zambetta
RMIT University, Australia

Dr Fabio Zambetta is the Director of the Artificial Intelligence for Game Design node and also a Senior Lecturer in the School of CS&IT, RMIT University. Fabio has about 10 years experience in delivering studio-based introductory classes in a multi disciplinary environment and has taught specialist units in games AI, machine learning, computer graphics and virtual reality over the last 15 years. Fabio’s research interests focus on AI in computer games, Procedural Content Generation, Interactive Narrative and the use of Machine Learning in games.

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Acknowledgements
We acknowledge our proud sponsor SIGCHI Development Fund for their generous support to make this event happen. We also acknowledge the internal support of the Design & Creative Practice ECP, School of Design, Exertion Games Lab and Centre for Game Design Research at RMIT University in making this Summer School a success.