There will be 3 keynote talks at this year's IGGI conference.
Tameem Antoniades - Psychosis and the Making of 'Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice'
This talk focuses on the approach taken by a small team of 20 to deliver a commercially and critically successful game that strives to deliver a compelling and thoughtful depiction of mental health issues and psychosis in 'Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice'. Backed by Wellcome Trust, Ninja Theory worked over the course of three years with people with lived experience of psychosis, psychiatrists and neuroscientists.
Tameem Antoniades co-founded Ninja Theory in 2000 and is the creative director behind Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC: Devil May Cry. More recently, Tameem is the writer and creative director of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which is Ninja Theory’s first self-published game tackling psychosis in collaboration with experts in the field. The game was met with universal acclaim and accolades including 5 Bafta awards.
Elisa Mekler - Emotionally Resonant Games – Past, Present and Future?
Games have come a long way since Space Invaders, and now afford a diverse range of emotional experiences. Some games have such a strong emotional impact on us, that they leave a long-lasting and profound impression. But what characterises such emotionally resonant games? And how might AI figure into the design of such experiences? This talk provides a brief overview of the history of emotionally resonant games and current research on emotional player experiences, as well as outlining avenues for future research.
Elisa Mekler is a post-doc and research director of the Human-Computer Interaction group at the University of Basel. Her research interests concern user experience and games user research, in particular with regards to what makes for emotionally engaging and meaningful experiences. Her publications have won Best Paper and Honorable Mention awards at the premier human-computer interaction conferences CHI and CHI PLAY.
Sebastian Risi - Playing and Designing Games through Bio-Inspired AI
Many recent breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) would potentially not have been possible without the help of games. Especially video games with their complex worlds and large action spaces offer unique testbeds for advanced AI methods. Breakthroughs that have first been invented to beat the best human players in games such as Go or Poker are now being applied in many different domains such as healthcare or improving the efficiency of power grids. In this talk I will present some of our work on creating agents that can learn to play games through bio-inspired methods such as neural networks and evolutionary algorithms. Additionally, I will show that these algorithms do not only allow agents to play games but also enable creating entirely new type of games and games that continually adapt to the player.
Sebastian Risi is an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen where he is part of the Center for Computer Games Research and the Robotics, Evolution and Art Lab (REAL). His interests include computational intelligence in games, neuroevolution, deep learning, evolutionary robotics and human computation. Risi completed his PhD in computer science from the University of Central Florida. He has won several best paper awards at GECCO, EvoMusArt, IJCNN, and the Continual Learning Workshop at NIPS for his work on adaptive systems, the HyperNEAT algorithm for evolving complex artificial neural networks, and music generation. He was a co-founder of FinchBeak, a company that focused on casual social games enabled by AI technology and recently co-founded modl.ai, a company that develops AIs that decide and respond like humans in a wide range of specific situations.