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GDC 10 and Serious Games Breakthroughs

GDC & Serious Games Broadening Space @ Institutional Level

Returning from GDC 2010 and trying to catch up with press coverage, I have realized that this year event has produced a number of breakthroughs.

Here are a few value metrics:

All-time Record Attendance

Organizers of the 2010 Game Developers Conference announced an all-time record of 18,250 game industry professionals attending San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center for the March 9th-13th event, surpassing last year's total of 17,000 attendees. 

Offering a full five days of content, the event also hosted a extensive Exposition floor, featuring the biggest firms in the games space alongside the Career Pavilion and associated Game Career Seminar, the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival, the 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, Game Connection America, and more opportunities for networking, discussing business, sharing knowledge, and meeting with equally-devoted fellow developers.

Following the success of the show, organizers of the Game Developers Conference have announced that GDC 2011 will return to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco from Monday, February 28 to Friday, March 4, 2011, with a call for lecture submissions to open this summer.

On Top Of Emerging Trends

Besides the AI Summit, the GDC Mobile/Handheld Summit, GamesBeat@GDC, the IGDA Education Summit, the Independent Games Summit, the Game Localization Summit, and the Serious Games Summit, the inaugural iPhone Games Summit and the Social & Online Games Summit proved to be extremely successful.

Serious Games Start To Enroll The U.S. Government
Sources: Gamasutra and Ian Bogost

Evidence 1 - Aneesh Chopra, White House CTO, Announces the Apps for Healthy Kids Contest

During the awards ceremony, an announcement via video was delivered by Aneesh Chopra, the United States's first Chief Technology Office, who directly addressed GDC attendees.

The video message announced the Apps for Healthy Kids contest, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her "Let's Move!" campaign, encouraging developers to create games meant to engender healthier eating and exercise habits among kids and educate parents on their children's diets.

In the video, he said around 40 game industry figures had been collaborating with the White House, discussing ways to advance "national priorities" that include combating child obesity.
Chopra said in his video address, "It is our hope, through the Apps For Healthy Kids competition, that you will take full advantage of that information and build it into new games on-line, new programs that are built within the games you’ve already established, and to have those of you in the audience today participate in new and creative ways to help advance this national priority."
He reiterated the administration's support for videogames as a part of its strategy for improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
Evidence 2 - Senator Rockefeller to Chair STEM Games Competition
The World Wide Workshop Foundation in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education and U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller as Honorary Chair, announce Globaloria, the 1st Annual Games Competition on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Globaloria is a game development pilot course currently held at 22 West Virginia middle schools, high schools, community colleges and universities. While enrolled in the course, students create and develop original web-based games covering a variety of educational topics.