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Inspiring Game-Based Learning Talks from the GDC Vault

Alongside E3 and PAX, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) stands as one of our industry’s most iconic annual events. A celebration of the talent and accomplishments of game developers from around the world, GDC brings thousands of developers, publishers, and academics alike to San Francisco, California each year for a week of networking opportunities, exciting new game and hardware announcements, and a slew of world-class speaking sessions. The event is so good that we even send members of our staff – you can check out our takeaways from GDC 2019 here!

Folks who attend GDC each year have the opportunity to witness dozens of hours of inspiring talks – and luckily for us at home, so do we, thanks to the GDC Vault! A collection of hundreds of hours of presentations and panels from more than twenty years of the event’s history, the Vault features a host of design, technical, and inspirational talks, the majority of which are free to access! Seriously – if you have a passion for games and some time to spare, the GDC Vault is well worth your time.

Ready to dive right in? Fans of Filament and fanatics of game-based learning, you’ll definitely want to check these presentations out. And be sure to sound off on our Twitter or Facebook with any recommendations of your own – what are your favorite GDC talks of all time?

AAA Game Mechanics Inspiring Learning and Assessment Mechanics

In his GDC 2012 presentation, Jan L. Plass, Ph.D., co-director of New York University’s Games for Learning Institute, discusses how game mechanics from AAA titles like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Portal can be used to influence learning and assessment mechanics in educational games.

Teaching Games with Games: 7 Exercises in Play

An hour-long medley of short presentations from experts at organizations like New York University, Parsons School of Design, and EA/Maxis, each mini-talk offers an innovative approach to a common question: how can games best be harnessed as tools to teach fundamental college-level games education topics?

A Corporate Learning Look at Games

Game-based learning isn’t just for kids. Don’t believe us? Mark Oehlert from the MASIE Center’s Learning Consortium and Brent Schlenker from Intel deliver a thoughtful overview of various corporate applications of learning games and simulations in this audio-only presentation.

Precision of Emotion: A New Kind of “Fun” Approach in Educational Games

In her GDC 2015 presentation, GlassLab’s Erin Hoffman provides a detailed look at how game designers can effectively harness game mechanics as a method of evoking certain emotions among players, ultimately leading to improved engagement.

Deeper Problems, Deeper Gamification: Solving Hard Real-world Problems with Games

In a highly engaging tag team presentation, the University of Washington Center for Game Science’s Seth Cooper and Zoran Popovic provide an overview of human-computer symbiosis, detailing how expertly designed games like Foldit can be leveraged to help solve real-world problems.

Check out some of our other game-based learning resources:

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