CLC 2009 – The Transformative Power of Play

May 24, 2009/0/0
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So I’m heading back from CLC 2009. The talk went well and I can largely thank my two fellow presenters for really delivering. We literally were up until midnight the night before tweaking both our talk and the game demos that Cy and Hon had built. All good things are tweaked at the last minute.

I could not have asked for a more receptive and intelligent audience, having referenced in my status update shortly thereafter that everyone just seemed to ‘get it’. Read on to find out about my new favorite gaming webcast and views on the indie gaming scene and its potential for collaboration with the world of recreational therapeutics.

On the flight back I watched an episode of my new favorite web show, ‘Co-Op’ that had to do with independent game developers that really struck a chord with me regarding gaming initiatives within healthcare. I still believe that game-developers should be allowed to do what they do best. That is, build beautiful gameplay experiences. I believe that we as member of the healthcare community should be charged with the task of evaluating these experiences on their individual merits and exploring the complex psychosocial implications of how the process of healing is affected by these digital landscapes. And yet, with the indie gaming movement gathering steam, one can’t but help wonder if bringing a game developer into a multidisciplinary team, there might be a way to make it work. I realize that an entire conference has been devoted to this concept (Games for Health) however, the various games that I’ve seen seem to focus primarily on function over form. The problem is this – if you take an individual that has been raised on a steady diet of triple A rated entertainment, from such minds as Myamoto, Levine, Kojima and Wright, they become accustomed to a certain quality of experience that simply cannot be replicated realistically, despite the best of intentions.

What struck me about the Coop segment on indie gaming was the beauty and singular focus that these developers bring to the table. Judge for yourself – also, check out the sublime intro credit sequence and docu-style approach. Like I said, my new favorite gaming web show.