Meaningful Play 2016
On October 20-22, Team Codemancer shipped myself and Macrocat off to East Lansing, Michigan to attend the 5th International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play to show off Codemancer to anyone who would listen! The conference was a great success and absolutely jam-packed with with great learning opportunities for all of us who take play seriously.
Stellar keynotes from Jackie Ford Morie, Richard Lemarchand, Cy Wise, Isabela Granic, Michealene Cristini Risley, and Beth LaPensée collectively convinced attendees that games, and VR especially, are changing our world, and we have the tools and the opportunities right now to make that change a truly positive one. If that weren’t worth the cost of admission alone, there were nearly 50 panels of excellent research presentations. Topics ranged from practical workshops on how to use tools like one of my personal favorites, Twine, to some hard-hitting research projects on issues like ageism in game avatars, the efficacy of knowledge transfer from games to real world problem solving, questions about player agency, and reflections on what makes for effective game design, just to name a few.
But Meaningful Play was more than just talk–it feaured not one, but two game exhibition nights! One evening was dedicated to Michigan-based game developers and featured both studio and student developers showing off their great projects. Thursday evening, however, was the night for Codemancer to shine. With my plushie friend in tow, I hustled my buns off telling and showing game exhibition attendees all about the magic of Codemancer. I didn’t quite keep track of just how many new Codemancer fans were made that night, but the responses were overwhelmingly positive. All in all, it was a great night and a great experience for Team Codemancer!
You can learn more about this year’s Meaningful Play by searching the hashtag #mplay on Twitter.