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Global Game Jam Jan 25-27

We are co-hosting the Syracuse site for the Global Game Jam on January 25-27 along with the School of Information Studies and the Raymond von Dran IDEA accelerator.   We will have room for 50 people to come together and make games over one weekend, and we will be joining hundreds of other sites around the world making games this weekend.  It is open to anyone over 18; this is not just for Syracuse University students.


Participants can make analog or digital games, and can come with a group or find a team once we begin.  You don't need any programming skills, but will find that any skills you do have about design, art, music, programming, or just a knowledge of games are all valuable.   No prior experience is needed.

There is room for 50 participants, and the cost is $10.  Due to the limited security available, this will only be open to those 18 and over.  Additional information is at


To register, you will need to do three things:


1 – Visit and pay.  This is how you will guarantee your spot, so do this first.


2 – Create an account on the Global Game Jam site: .  


3 – Sign up to be a Syracuse Jammer by visiting your user account page at and choosing Syracuse University School of Information Studies in the dropdown for Jam Site 2013.



Spring Transformative Game Design Course

In Spring 2013, Dr. Nicholson will be teaching IST 400/600: Transformative Game Design.  

This is a project-based class about the design of games designed to transform, influence, or educate in non-profit or commercial settings, with a primary focus on non-digital games.  This course marries the traditional game design curriculum with the integration of information and motiviational techniques to transform a player. This isn't a programming class, but students wanting to make a digital game may choose to do so.

The course will be focused around three weekends during the semester, and then there will be work on Blackboard the rest of the time.

More information can be found on this PDF.


Join us on December 14th!

On Dec. 14th, we will have the next meeting of the Game Designers' Guild.

At 5:30, we will have a Wii U available for people to try.

From 6-7, we will learn about the ongoing Game Designers' Guild projects, and have a new pitch.  Lorne Covington, a local artist who creates interactive installations, will be coming to lead the charge for us to work with him to create a real-space game to run in the spring and engage passers-by.

Parking should be much easier, as classes are over!



Next Game Designers' Guild meeting is Nov. 16

The next meeting of the Game Designers' Guild will be Nov. 16th in 347 Hinds Hall.  Socialization will begin at 5:30, and the formal meeting will be from 6-7.  Afterwards will be work and playgroups.

 This meeting is open to the public, and budding designers can bring their games to pitch for playtesting.


Meaningful Gamification presentation at Cornell, Nov. 14

On Nov. 14th, I will be giving a presentation on Meaningful Gamification at the Interaction Design Lab at Cornell University.  It is open to the public, although I don't have parking information for you.

The presentation is free, and will be from 12-1:30 PM on Wednesday, November 14th at 301 College Avenue.   More information about the lab can be found at

 Here is the full writeup:


Meaningful Gamification with Dr. Scott Nicholson

Wednesday, November 14th
12pm to 1:30pm
301 College Ave. – Interaction Design Lab

Join Dr. Scott Nicholson, Associate Professor from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of the Because Play Matters game lab for a presentation about Meaningful Gamification. During this talk, Dr. Nicholson will explain the basics of gamification, talk about some of the risks of using reward-based gamification, and present his model for Meaningful Gamification, which is focused on using play and engaging game mechanisms to help people find meaning in non-game settings. Participants will also engage in activities exploring the concepts of making gamification meaningful.