Do video games have the potential to assist the peacemaking process? If so, how do game creators incorporate social values into games? These and other provocative topics will be the focus of the Future of Interactive Technology for Peace Conference, April 2-3 at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). This first-of-its-kind conference provides a forum for discussing the impact and the potential that interactive technology holds for peace and peacemaking.
Featured speakers include Lucas Welch, president and founder of Soliya, a non-profit organization that uses new media technologies to help college students with productive discussions of cultural and social differences; Eric Brown and Asi Burak, social entrepreneurs and creators of the video game PeaceMaker; Carnegie Mellon Computer Scientist and MacArthur Fellow Luis Von Ahn; and Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon faculty member and former creative director of Disney's Virtual Reality Studio.
Brown and Burak's work on PeaceMaker while at Carnegie Mellon initiated the discussion about the potential for using interactive technologies to educate people about peacemaking. In PeaceMaker players act as the Israeli prime minister or Palestinian president and try to establish a stable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The conference, sponsored by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, which focuses on peacemaking and diplomacy, will also include many other speakers who will explore applying interactive technology to conflict resolution and international affairs. A full list of workshops and speakers is available at www.etc.cmu.edu/peace2008/.
The conference brings together 200 professionals, professors and students to collaborate in workshops including "Peace Pitch" and "Values at Play: Integrating Human Values into Games." In the "Values at Play" workshop, conference attendees will work with members of the Tiltfactor Lab, the first social activist game lab in the country, to incorporate social messages into games.
"Our hope is that this will be the first of many conferences which explore the application of technology to pressing social issues," said Brenda Harger, co-chair of the conference and an ETC faculty member.
"The ETC is interested in exploring how media and technology can have positive impact and effect social change," said Drew Davidson, director of the ETC-Pittsburgh. "We're excited to host this conference with Lounsbery's support that will bring together influential and inspirational people to share ideas and strategize about the future of technology and peace."
Registration for the conference is required. Media inquiries are welcome. For more information, contact Anne Humphreys at email@example.com.