As world-renowned American psychologist Charles Schaefer says, "we are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play." The city itself has long been conceptualized as a "playground," and play is an inescapable part of our current cities, which are a hybrid of physical and electronic spaces. How can play and gaming assist us in reimagining and cocreating urban environments, foster deeper engagement, propel education, and provide solutions to urban problems?
Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, Laundromat Project
Charles Renfro, Partner, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
Constance Steinkuehler, Associate Professor, Digital Media, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Eric Zimmerman, Cofounder and Chief Design Officer, GameLab
Kemi Ilesanmi is Executive Director of the Laundromat Project. With over fifteen years of experience in the cultural arena, she is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and change at the intersection of arts, activism, and community.
Charles Renfro is a partner at Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, which Fast Company has called the most innovative design practice in the profession and one of the fifty most innovative companies in the world. Renfro is on the faculty of Columbia University.
Constance Steinkuehler is an Associate Professor in Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin– Madison and codirects the Games+Learning+Society Center at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery. She was also Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she advised on initiatives related to games.
Eric Zimmerman is a game designer, entrepreneur, author, and academic who has been working in the game industry for more than 16 years.
Zimmerman's diverse activities have made him one of the New York Observer's "Power Punks," one of Interview Magazine's "30 To Watch," one of International Design Magazine's "ID 40" influential designers and one of The Hollywood Reporter's "Digital 50" along with Stephen Spielberg and Will Wright. Zimmerman recently was honored with a "VIP Award" by the International Game Developers Association for his years of work in the game creation community. Zimmerman has been called "The Lou Reed of Games" by author Stephen Johnson in Emergence and leading games scholar Dr. James Paul Gee has written that Zimmerman "is surely one of the smartest and most creative humans I have ever met."