Game Developers Choice Online Awards

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May 272010

GDC Online is getting its own awards, specific to online games! This builds on the Game Developers Choice Awards that have been given for the last ten years at the main GDC.

The award ceremony will honor the accomplishments of the sometimes overlooked creators and operators of online video games – from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games. Awards span excellence in live services, technology, game updates, online game design, and more.

via Game Developers Choice Online Awards official site

Game development professionals with a account can submit nominations in a bunch of categories. A big thing in the awards is that they recognize live operations as well as launches, so the categories include:

  • Best Online Game Design Award
  • Audience Award
  • Best Online Visual Arts Award
  • Best Community Relations Award
  • Best Online Technical Award
  • Best Social Network Game Award
  • Best Audio for an Online Game Award
  • Best New Online Game Award
  • Best Live Game Award

There are also a couple of special awards: an Online Game Legend award recognizing an individual and their career; and a Hall of Fame Award for a game.

May 262010

Researchers measured and tracked the participants’ brain waves via electroencephalography (EEG) — one group played the games, and a control group didn’t. The study found that subjects who played casual games for 30 minute periods showed an 87 percent improvement in cognitive response time and a 215 percent increase in executive functioning. This makes it, according to ECU, about as effective as other medical treatments for cognition.

via Gamasutra – News – Study: Casual Gaming Helps Cognition.

This comes on the heels of a BBC study challenging brain games’ efficacy. This new study was oriented around Popcap games like Bejeweled rather than custom-made brain games, though.

GDC Online reg open!

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May 262010

Time to go register! This is the same conference as GDC Austin, just renamed to “Online” and now covering all sorts of online games including social games and MMOs.

Ticket prices are at a 40% early registration discount until September 1st, with a 55% alumni discount for those who attended last year. Five different pass options and prices are available on the GDC site.

via Austin’s GDC opens 2010 registration under new name – Massively.

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May 192010

Apps for Healthy Kids is partnering with the IGDA for game jams this weekend in 8 major US cities. The idea is that game devs, artists, and yes, local kids too, will work together to make game prototypes for the Apps for Healthy Kids competition — basically, the theme of the jams is “Health Games Challenge.” Here’s the scoop, with locations and all:

WHAT: Series of 48-hour game jams (Health Games Challenge) bringing together game developers, graphic artists, and local youth to pool talent and creativity while developing nutrition-related games and tools

WHO: Hosted by IGDA and USDA; sponsored by the Games for Health Project in conjunction with the Health Games Research national program; funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio

WHEN: May 21-23, 2010

WHERE: Details for each jam location are provided below:

  • Boston, MA: Microsoft New England Research and Development, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA. Meals will be provided, but computers will not (so bring your own if possible). Boston announcement is here, if interested visit their registration page. For questions, contact the Boston organizer: Darius Kazemi ([email protected])
  • Seattle, WA: Art Institute of Seattle, 2501 Elliott Ave, Seattle WA – Room 102 (enter at the main entrance on Alaskan Way, other entrances may be locked). Runs Friday 4pm-midnight, Saturday 9am-midnight, Sunday 9am-4pm. Be aware there is only street parking and paid garages in the area, so plan accordingly. Seattle organizer: Rusel DeMaria ([email protected])
  • Orlando, FL: ZeeGee Games, 1 Purlieu Place, Winter Park FL. Runs Friday 6pm-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. If interested, visit their Facebook page for more info and to RSVP. Orlando organizer: Dustin Clingman ([email protected])
  • San Francisco, CA: Google campus, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, Building 46. San Francisco organizer: Mark DeLoura ([email protected])
  • Pittsburgh, PA: Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, 700 Technology Drive. Runs Saturday 10am through Sunday 10am (overnight), with an additional Physical Game Jam from Sunday 10am-4pm. If interested, visit their event page to sign up. Pittsburgh organizer: Jia Ji ([email protected])
  • Troy, NY: Troy Boys and Girls Club, 1700 Seventh Ave, Troy NY. Runs Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. If interested, visit their event website for more info. New York organizer: Ian Stead ([email protected])
  • Fairfax, VA: George Mason University, Fairfax Campus, Art and Design Building RM 1018. Fairfax organizers: Joel Gonzalez ([email protected]) and Scott Martin ([email protected])
  • Athens, GA: Mowerks Learning, 130 Ware Street, Unit A. Athens organizer: Jordan Lynn ([email protected])

This is a fantastic project overall, so I hope some great games come out it!