The Games Institute acknowledges that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Matt Parker is an Associate Professor of the Arts at the NYU Game Center, where he serves as the Area Head for Programming and is the Director of Special Projects. Professor Parker was the founder chair for IndieCade East and Chair for the festival and conference from 2013-2015. He was the lead Curator for the Game For Change conference in 2016 and 2018. In 2018 he co-founded the OpenAir Collective, a global volunteer network that empowers its members to fight climate change by advancing carbon emissions reduction and removal.
Matt is also a game designer and new media artist. His work has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Academy of Music, SIGGRAPH Asia, the NY Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, FILE Games Rio, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, the New Zealand Festival, and many other venues. His game Lucid was a finalist in Android’s Developer Challenge 2 and his project Lumarca won the “Create the Future” prize at the World Maker Faire. He created the game Recurse for the inaugural No Quarter exhibition at the NYU Game Center. Recurse was a finalist for Indiecade 2010 and won the “Play This Now!” award at Come Out and Play 2012. In 2011 Matt was an Eyebeam Resident in 2011 and in 2018 he was selected to participate in the Princeton Atelier. He is currently serving as a Distinguished International Scholar at the University of Waterloo.
As part of multiple exhibitions at the recent COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, the OpenAir Collective developed Carbon Collector, a multiplayer game that demonstrates the importance of carbon removal as an important tool in an overall climate change solution approach, as outlined in the UN's IPCC report. Developed by Professor Matt Parker and Professor Chris Chung, Carbon Collector encourages players discuss strategies for remaining within our carbon budget to stay under 1.5C. Using their phones as controllers, they vote on the appropriate allocation of resources, then, looking at the game itself on a large screen, they witness the results of their collective decisions.
This informal talk will discuss Professor Parker's journey as an artist and activist, what lead him to co-founding the OpenAir Collective, and why games are an effective way to communicate concepts that are sometimes difficult to grasp through non-interactive media.
Attendees will also get an opportunity to play Carbon Collector and provide input on feedback. Given it's success at COP26, OpenAir would like to modify Carbon Collector from a game meant for a conference atmosphere to a web based experience and would love the audience to join in a free flowing exchange of ideas on what would be helpful for a web-based version of the game.
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