Art Institute Gets Casual, Serious About Games

Taking place Thursday, May 25, at the Art Institute of California’Los Angeles, the latest session of the Animation 21 Lecture Series is dedicated to two presentations covering Serious Games and Casual Games. Speakers lined up for the event are Justin Lloyd, director of business development at Infinite Monkey Factory LLC; Sarah Baisley, editor-in-chief of Animation World Magazine; and Christopher Harz, VP of strategic development for IPv6 Summit, a high-tech company promoting the New Internet as a medium for gaming, multimedia and mobile communications.

The first session will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Lloyd will speaking about Casual Games, an industry that has reached nearly $1 billion in sales and is on track to out-sell the hardcore gaming market currently dominated by the males 18 to 34 demographic. He discuss what a casual game is, how much they cost to develop and where the market is currently headed. Other topics will include how cell phone games factor in and what the U.S. can expect in the next five years based on trends currently taking place in Japan and Europe. Lloyd specializes in cell phone games, casual games and advergaming development, and his 28-year career in software and hardware development includes 20 years of video game writing experience.

Baisley and Harz will then talk about Serious Games and where the market is headed. A specialist in animation for 17 years, Baizley has served as publicity director for Film Roman, Hanna-Barbera Prods., The Taft Entertainment Co., Ruby-Spears Ent. and Southern Star Prods. Harz helped develop SIMNET (SIMulation NETwork), the $240 million DARPA project that was the world’s first MMOG. He also co-produced online games for major productions such as The Fifth Element, Lost in Space, Titanic, and Xena, Warrior Princess. In addition, he was a pioneer of early interactive war games for military think tank the RAND Corp., and is now finishing his doctoral degree at Pepperdine University in Malibu in Game-Based Learning for first responders in emergency situations.

The Animation 21 Lecture Series session will take place in the Big Room at The Art Institute of California’Los Angeles, located at 2900 31st Street in Santa Monica, Calif. Immediately following the program, the IGDA LA Chapter will debate the future of the Games Developers Conference (GDC) during its monthly meeting at 7: 45 p.m., also in the Big Room. For more information about these events please contact Bijan Tehrani at (818) 613-4227 or [email protected]