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HFES Bulletin

August 2011
Volume 54, Number 8

Annual Meeting

Facing the Human Factors Challenges in Game Design: A Sneak Preview


By Felix Portnoy, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

What better venue than Las Vegas??the entertainment capital of the world??to host a discussion panel about the exciting new opportunities in the gaming industry? Humans have been playing games for thousands of years, yet from a human factors/ergonomics perspective, what do we know about creating exciting and captivating games? Simply put, how do we design fun?

According to the Entertainment Software Association, over 70% of Americans play computer or video games, resulting in more than $25 billion in industry revenues. This provides HF/E practitioners and researchers a great opportunity to impact nearly every household in the country. To learn more, please consider attending a discussion panel featuring five HF/E professionals representing Electronic Arts (Veronica Zammitto), Microsoft Games (Tim Nichols), Pogo/Electronic Arts (Laura Smith), Fisher-Price (Kathleen Kremer), and Virtual Field Trips (Maria Harrington). During the panel we will review and demonstrate the unique challenges in Internet social games, console video games, and educational games using a variety of unique interfaces, such as virtual reality, tactile controls, and gesture recognition.

The panel, cosponsored by the Computer Systems and Internet Technical Groups, will take place on Wednesday, September 21, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. We have arranged five demo stations that will run 20 minutes both before the panel begins and after it ends. At those stations, our panelists will provide the audience an opportunity to interact with the latest products from their organizations, such as Microsoft Kinect, NBA Live, iXL learning system, and others. During the session we hope to stimulate both your left and right brain hemispheres to achieve an educational and enjoyable experience.

See you in Las Vegas!


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