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Videogame Business Will Get the Academic Treatment at Conference

Article about the upcoming Videogame Conference at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Several members of Penn State’s College of Education are set to participate in an upcoming conference dedicated to research that examines the rapidly growing influence of videogames as they cross multiple aspects of society.

The conference, Playing to Win: The Business and Social Frontiers of Videogames, is set for April 4–5 at the Penn Stater Conference Center. The program focuses on the intertwined economic, social, and cultural aspects of videogaming. The industry has already made a major impact on education, technical and professional training, business modeling, military strategy, and medical treatment.

Brian K. Smith, affiliate associate professor of instructional systems, and Priya Sharma, assistant professor of instructional systems, are the main co-authors of a presentation titled “Designing Fantasy Sports Games to Support Statistical Reasoning.” Other co-authors are Instructional Systems graduate students Goknur Akilli Kaplan, Kyu Yon Lim, Kyoung Na Kim, and Toru Fujimoto, as well as Paula Hooper, senior research associate of TERC, a research, curriculum, and technology development firm located in Cambridge, Mass.

The College’s researchers will be among the large number of education and business experts who hope to shape the agenda for future research and address national policies surrounding this rapidly developing field. Topics to be discussed include patent and copyright law, censorship and the regulation of minors’ access to violent games, the role and design of games for education, gaming as a team-building tool, the culture of user-generated content, and the interface between virtual and actual worlds.

The conference is being organized by Penn State’s Institute for Information Policy (IIP).  Richard Taylor, Palmer chair and professor of telecommunications studies, and co-director of the IIP, hopes this event will “give greater public visibility to the policy discourse around videogames and produce both specific scholarly research and an overall research and policy agenda to address videogames’ impacts on children and other issues on this front.”

Information on program content and registration is available at the conference Web site.