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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Personal Experiences as Games

Nathalie Lawhead  (Independent Game Designer, alienmelon)

Jingyu Sui  (M.S. Games for Learning, NYU)

Priscilla Snow  (Sound Designer and Composer, Bravemule & Ghoulnoise)

Kevin Snow  (Narrative Designer, Bravemule & Ghoulnoise)

Jenny Jiao Hsia  (Independent Game Developer, Hexecutable)

Nina Freeman  (Level Designer, Fullbright)

Location: Room 2009, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 11:20 am - 12:20 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Independent Games Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Professionals from varying disciplines discuss creating games for personal expression, coping, empathy, mental health, and methods used to convey personal messages that speak on deeper topics. As much as games are about mastery of a skill, games can be about mastery of emotions, and addressing issues people might be closed off to. Games can help people cope, heal, and find solace. This set of microtalks is a discussion about using game development practices to make a difference.


Attendees will gain inspiration for approaches to designing games that convey personal messages, whether overtly or subtly, even in mass-market work, and learn ways to discuss deeper more difficult topics, encourage empathy, explore topics of mental health, and building experiences supportive of social and emotional skills.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for these microtalks are designers, developers, and artists interested in building different experiences that deal with topics of vulnerability, openness, empathy, personal messages, social awareness, and mental health.