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Workshop: Game Design for Impact and Learning

Intentional Play Summit

Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (PST)

Workshop: Game Design for Impact and Learning

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Early bird registration   more info 1 Ticket Oct 25, 2018 $110.00 $8.33
Regular registration   more info 25 Tickets Nov 9, 2018 $125.00 $9.24

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Event Details

Join us for an in-depth workshop on designing games for impact and learning. Participants will practice identifying playable systems in learning and social impact content and rapidly prototype and playtest these systems using physical materials. This workshop is designed for anyone with a desire to better understand the principles of game design and how games can be used to teach, motivate, and inspire new ideas and behavior.


10:00 - Presentation: Games as Systems, Systems as Values
An introduction of methods, terms, and tools for approaching learning content in play and games.

10:45 - Exercise 1: Teach AnythingUsing game mechanics as the verbs of learning, design and test games and play activities that teach new skills or bring new understanding.

12:00 - Lunch: Topic Discussion and Networking

01:00 - Exercise 2: Playable Systems
Brainstorming potential play, relationships, and systems in specific learning areas of interest, build and test a rough interactive prototype on paper.

02:00 - Exercise 3: Iterative Design
Test first prototypes and respond to player experience and critique by building and testing a new version of the project.

03:00 - Wrap-Up and Final Comments


Elizabeth SwensenPresenter: Elizabeth Swenson, Assistant Professor, Games and Playable Media Program, UC Santa Cruz

Elizabeth Swensen is a game designer and assistant professor of Art and Design: Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. Her design work and research explore games for social impact with a focus on metacognitive development and strategy-based learning, taking advantage of the medium's strength in establishing learning through systems-thinking and social interaction. With a background in Classics and Interactive Media, she also uses her games as a vehicle to explore the powerful role language plays in creating and enforcing personal identity. Her projects have been shown at festivals such as the Independent Games Festival, Games for Change, and IndieCade.

Jen HelmsOrganizer: Jen Helms, Founder and Chair, Intentional Play Summit

Jen is the Founder and Chair of the Intentional Play Summit. She started the conference out of a desire to bring the community together for a day to learn, grow, and be inspired to take bigger strides toward making better games for learning and meaningful play. This workshop is part of a vision to run additional events throughout the year to drive further innovation and community in this space. Previously Jen designed educational games as the founder of Playmation Studios. She began her career as an educator that taught students through real-world games and immersion in the ultimate interactive classroom - Yosemite National Park.

Intentional Play Summit LogoThe Intentional Play Summit
The Intentional Play Summit is a San Francisco Bay Area conference exploring games and emerging technologies for learning and meaningful purpose. It convenes over 30 expert speakers, a dozen round table facilitators, and over 20 games and experiential learning products in an arcade. Learn more about the last summit


Photography and video: By attending the Game Design Workshop you consent to having yourself filmed and photographed by the event staff. The Intentional Play Summit and it's venue host, The Pad, reserve the right to use any photos or videos in their marketing and advertising initiatives. The Pad will be filming portions of the workshop for a promotional video of the space.

Have questions about Workshop: Game Design for Impact and Learning? Contact Intentional Play Summit

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When & Where

The Pad
1250 Borregas Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (PST)

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