Next week, I'll be speaking at a very cool sounding local annual conference that brings together professionals and academics engaged in various different facets of the children's cultural industries: INplay 2012. Taking place over two days (May 15-16), the conference schedule includes presentations, panel discussions, case studies and a number of technology ‘show and tells.’ Here's an excerpt from the official website's About page:
INplay is a unique, international event that connects kids creative industries with insights and opportunities in the interactive space. From the video game business to the broadcast industry, from toys to toons, the INplay conference brings together leaders in the kids space to learn, network and be inspired by the future of kids interactive digital media. This year, our integrated programming allows attendees to learn about different dimensions of working with properties for kids aged 2-12 in a single session. Our panelists will connect the dots in these three essential areas: inspiration, investment, insights.I'm going to be giving a talk on the LEGO Friends controversy that erupted last Christmas, and try to give a bit of context and insight into the girls' games/play debate. This is largely based on a paper I've been working on intermittently since Jan, and will hopefully inspire me to finish it up and publish it somewhere. The talk (and paper) builds on previous work I've done on girls' digital games, and draws on some of my ongoing research on LEGO (but not just the digital versions this time!) and mediatization.
INplay 2012 boasts an extremely exciting lineup of speakers, including Warren Buckleitner (Children's Technology Review), Jesse Schell (Schell Games/Carnegie Mellon), Alison Bryant (PlayScience) and Lori Takeuchi (Joan Ganz Cooney Centre at Sesame Workshop), and including some of my usual partners in crime, Jason Nolan and Melanie McBride (EDGE Lab/Ryerson U), Jaime Woo (Gamercamp/Gamercamp Jr), Jason Kreough (Zinc Roe) and David Fono (Atmosphere Industries). I've been playing LEGO pretty steadily over the past two weeks in preparation ( ;) ), and am really looking forward to engaging with this diverse new audience.