Institute for Computer Research and The Games Institute present a seminar on
"Immersion and identity in virtual worlds: reflection on game design"
Professor Gray Graffam
Director, Master of Digital Innovation
University of Waterloo, Stratford Campus
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
University of Waterloo, Davis Centre, Room DC 1304
The games industry far exceeds the annual revenues of Hollywood's film industry, and is one of the fastest growing sectors in today's economy. What does an immersion in virtual worlds offer in the study of human behaviour and game design? Why might such an immersion be not only desirable, but essential for game designers who wish to evolve game design? And how does identity (representation of self) within virtual worlds vary, from First Person Shooter games to Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games and fantasy worlds (World of Warcraft, Second Life)? This talk examines some of these central questions, and also presents how research at the Stratford Campus in digital innovation aims to play a pivotal role in the future.
Professor Graffam is an anthropologist, who specializes in the study of virtual worlds, design and technology. He has spent more than 2,000 hours in both World of Warcraft and Second Life, and he teaches "Anthropology of Digital Media" at the University of Waterloo. In addition to gaming, Prof. Graffam has studied communication technologies and has led national research campaigns over the past seven years for Bell Canada and other leading communication corporations in the design of technological innovation. He is speaking on behalf of the new Master in Digital Innovation program at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus and also the new Games Institute at the University of Waterloo.
The Master of Digital Innovation, offered only at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, provides students with a professional, interdisciplinary education that will prepare them to succeed in a strategic career in digital media. Whether they intend to become Chief Design Officer of a corporation, Vice President of a technology firm, or Manager of a production team, today's professional in the digital industry must be able to work within the context of fast-paced innovation. MDI offers project-based courses in business strategy that deal with innovation and digital media scope and design over three consecutive terms.
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