Sandbox Summit 2011 Focuses on Game Changers That Will Empower 21st Century Kids

Registration is still open for the April 28-29 event in Cambridge, MA

April 18, 2011 | Toy designers and developers, scholars and educators, authors and entrepreneurs, technology gurus and innovators of all kinds will come together at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on April 28th and 29th for the 2011 Sandbox Summit … Game Changers: People, Products and Policies That Empower 21st Century Kids. gamechangers

The program/agenda features speaker presentations, research findings, panel discussions and hands-on workshops that will explore how innovations are inspiring new ways for children to play and how that evolution is challenging, engaging and empowering today’s youth to become leading “players” in the 21st century.   

A sampling of the presentations that event organizers expect will be of key interest to toy industry attendees include: 

  • Presentation:
    Permission to play: game changing research
    Jane Gould
    , Senior Vice President, Consumer Insights, Nickelodeon
    It's no news that today's parents want their kids to play. But since concerns about too much technology as well as safety issues have invaded the play space, parents have developed a love/hate relationship with the whole idea of free time. Jane Gould will unveil new results from Nickelodeon's ground-breaking study about the ways kids want to play---and the conflicting ways parents want them to. This age-old battle now has a 21st century spin.

  • Presentation:
    Design for fun: what makes a good game, and a game good?
    Drew Davidson
    , Ph.D., Director, Entertainment Technology Center – Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University
    A well-designed videogame is a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis. Drew Davidson uses Mindcraft, an amazing digital sandbox, to demystify the elements that make a game so successful. He'll illustrate how the design of various components enable players to learn how to play the game, as well as how the elements combine to create a fulfilling play experience. By looking at the game design, highlighting overarching themes and game play mechanics, and focusing on how “snackable” the gameplay is, he'll help us define a literacy of games as well as understand their value.

  • Presentation:
    FROM RIDICULOUS TO BRILLIANT: why we play at work
    Brendan Boyle
    , Partner and Co-Chief Creative Officer, IDEO, Inc. and
    Duane Bray, Partner and Head of Global Digital Business, IDEO, Inc.
    We often mistake play as the opposite of work. But at IDEO, one of the most innovative global design firms, the truth is quite the opposite. IDEO's designers use exploratory play, construction play and role play to develop strategies and products that make the world a more interesting--and playful place. Boyle and Bray will take us down their rabbit hole and show us how they look at the world through a lens that isn't about shoulds and can'ts. They'll give us real tactics that every classroom, company, and designer can use to push ideas from the ordinary to the extraordinary. And they'll show us, from their own experiences, how failure is as much a part of the process as success.

  • Workshop: Brain Pilates: Strengthen Your Core Thinking Muscles
    Workshop Leader: Bill Ritchie
    , CEO, Think Fun
    This hands-on play session is an exercise class for your mind, featuring logic puzzles and games from ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie. Learn how game play can fire up mental muscles as you isolate and activate specific thinking strategies to solve challenges. Work in teams to solve puzzles, then deconstruct how you did it. A little friendly competition is guaranteed to get your juices flowing. All levels, from Beginner to Expert, are welcome.
    Bring your iPad if you have one, so you can download and play Apps along with the physical games.
    Be prepared to work your core!

  • Workshop: Mad Science Lab: Watch a Transmedia Creation Come Alive
    Workshop leader: Jesse Soleil
    , CEO/Founder of Massiverse
    Jesse Soleil, founder of Massiverse (Dragons Vs Robots), and former head of Scholastic’s Lab for Informal Learning (The 39 Clues) will lead players through the multiple levels of engagement that can be created using content across different platforms. Prepare to mix the combustible worlds of digital media, traditional media and technology to yield horrifying and amazing results.
    * Menacing reciprocal engagement strategies
    * Grotesque business models
    * Twisted user acquisition strategies… and MORE!
    WARNING: This session may release bizarre ideas from the depths of your imagination.

For the complete agenda visit the Sandbox Summit website.  Space for additional attendees remains available; registration is $695 per attendee.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is proud to co-sponsor the 2011 Sandbox Summit.