News & Events / Blog

LCAD’s MFA Program in Art of Game Design presents : GAME LECTURE EVENING »

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 9.25.48 AM

Laguna College of Art + Design’s MFA Program in Art of Game Design presents

with special guest speakers, Max Geiger, Michelle Westerlaken, and Brian Upton
(pictured from left to right above)

Monday, July 10th
4:00–7:00 p.m.

Laguna College of Art + Design
Main Campus, Studio 1 (MC1)
2222 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Event Description
Attendees will engage with experts in the fields of game design and game development. In this particular session, we’ll engage with aspects of design, technology, and many of their surprising relationships from three different points of view: virtual worlds design, game design for entertainment, game design for academic research. Each speaker will be given 45 minutes plus 15 minutes to take questions and interact with the audience.

4:00–5:00 p.m.
Max Geiger
This talk covers the recent past, the present, and the future of producing commercial VR. Learn how to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing landscape full of disruption and innovation. VR and AR are already a quotidian reality for the tech world, but we’ve just begun to explore their commercial and creative potential.

5:00–6:00 p.m.
Michelle Westerlaken
Taking a critical approach to the way we treat other animals in society, she researches how the design of artifacts that mediate playful, joyful, or surprising encounters between animals and humans can inspire us to imagine alternative, non-speciesist futures. In her presentation, she will discuss the current state of her research which includes the design of games and playful artifacts with cats, dogs, ants, and penguins.

6:00–7:00 p.m.
Brian Upton
In this talk, Upton will lay out a new semiotic model that explains how meaning emerges through play.  In traditional semiotics, meaning is transmitted—it’s the product of a flow of signifiers from speaker to listener.  In ludosemiotics, meaning is constructed—it’s the product of a series of playful moves made by a player within a system of constraints and affordances.  This new semiotic model provides a useful methodology for the design of meaningful games, as well as fresh insights into how play affects our interpretation of other forms of art.

Speaker Bios

Max Geiger is a BAFTA and Proto award-winning producer of games and VR experiences. A graduate of USC’s Interactive Media and Games Division, he started his career in VR at WEVR, where he produced Gnomes & Goblins Preview (dir. Jon Favreau) and theBlu: Season 1 (dir. Jake Rowell) and launch titles for the Gear VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Touch. Currently, Max is a Senior Producer at Mindshow, based in Downtown Los Angeles.

Michelle Westerlaken is a PhD candidate in interaction/game design at Malmö University in Sweden.

Brian upton
Brian Upton
is 20-year-veteran of the game industry, and the designer of the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon.  He currently works as a game design consultant, helping teams around the world solve difficult design and production challenges.  He’s the author two books on game design, The Aesthetic of Play (MIT Press 2015) and the forthcoming Situational Game Design (CRC Press 2017).