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Paradox of Games Panel

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I'm now in a moderated panel on how we can measure whether or not a player learns by playing games. The problem is that I just can't stand to listen to half the panel anymore.

Eric Zimmerman of Gamelab is moderating it (never been a fan of his), and the panel consists of Don Daglow of Stormfront Studios, Alex Games, Frank Lantz of area/code, and Richard Wainess of USC.

Don and Richard are seasoned people who know what they are talking about. The others can't hold their own and are coming up with concepts and arguments that, quite frankly, aren't grounded in logic.

I suppose it's interesting to witness the disparity between people who have studied and lived the serious games and entertainment games markets for years versus people who, frankly, only have a superficial understanding of the market they are trying to engage. Having studied games and learning intensively, I know that Mr. Games an Mr. Lantz have not done their own homework.

Hopefully Ben Sawyer takes this session as a learning lesson in its own right. I tried to take notes, and I thought this would be an interesting discussion, but the topics have been all over the place and in some cases Alex Games and Frank Lantz made no sense in the points they were trying to make. At the least, a panel on this sort of topic should have a steady level of experience and knowledge that leads to a fully involved and enlightening discussion.

This hour has been a waste, although I will say that when Richard and Don talked the discussion was much more intelligent and relevant. While it's a fairly subjective quality guage, this is something to note: the room was packed when the session started, and as it wraps up many people have left or are walking out, leaving the room only half full. This isn't a mass exodus.. just a steady trickle that started 15 minutes into the session, but from my vantage point it's noticeable.

Funny.. they think it was a good panel. I'd say, judging from the murmur and movement in the room, the audience disagrees. It was a halfway good panel that could have been better with a completely knowledgeable panel.
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