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Future Play 2009

Serious Games Initiative's Ben Sawyer giving a keynote.

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON - FEBRUARY 10th 2009): Ben Sawyer, the co-founder of Digitalmill and the Serious Games Initiative, will be one of the keynote presenters at the Future Play 09 @ GDC Canada, this May 12th and 13th in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sawyer has long been a leading advocate for the applications of serious games, serving as the volunteer producer of the first Serious Games Summit that took place at GDC in 2004. He is currently the co-director of the Serious Games Initiative located at the Woodrow Wilson Institute for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. The chief aim of the initiative is to foster a new series of policy education, exploration and management tools by utilizing state-of-the-art computer game designs, technologies and development skills.

A prolific writer, Sawyer has authored more than ten computer trade books and a multitude of articles covering a wide swath of technology issues. He is a former contributor to Game Developer Magazine and its online counter-part Gamasutra. His expertise has made him a sought-after speaker and his observations have been important in formulating a better understanding of how the gaming industry's value chain functions.

Digitalmill, based out of Portland, Maine, is a technology project and software development company that was co-founded by Sawyer and Dave Greely in 1997. The firm is known for its strong focus on how new technologies, especially games, create new opportunities for businesses and organizations. Notable clients have included Lockheed Martin, Cisco Systems and the American Hospital Association. In his capacity as President of Digitalmill, Sawyer is responsible for strategy, business development and technology.

Prior to beginning his career as a freelance writer and technology consultant, Sawyer was active in politics. He was a member of the campaign staff for the victorious Clinton/Gore presidential ticket in 1992 and he later served as a news analyst for the then President-elect Clinton. He also worked on several other major campaigns, including the legislative reapportionment of the Maine legislature. A graduate of New York's Bronx High School of Science and a former student at City University of New York-Baruch, Sawyer is a sailing enthusiast who enjoys taking to the waters in and around Maine's Casco Bay during his free time.

Sawyer last spoke at Future Play 2008 on the topic of serious games, building his presentation around the question, "Are We Learning Yet?" Sawyer has also been a member of Future Play's advisory committee for several years.

Since its beginnings in 2002, Future Play has provided a home for cutting-edge researchers, game developers and theorists such as Ben Sawyer to share their ideas with an audience that includes industry-experts, students, investors and government officials involved in the digital media and games industry. Future Play focuses on the three major themes of future games development, future games impacts and applications and future games talent.

The Game Developers Conference® Canada (GDC Canada) is a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality games within their region and distributed globally. This event emphasizes studying the challenges and opportunities of creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases.

More information about Future Play 09 @ GDC Canada, including registration and submission guidelines for Abstracts and Panel Discussion Proposals, is available online at www.futureplay.org.

About Algoma University

Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic & Social Development, and Biology. Algoma U is committed to offering a personal education experience unlike any university in Ontario. As the Canadian home of the internationally recognised MSc CGT from the University of Abertay Dundee, Algoma University is at the forefront of computer games technology education. Algoma University also offers accelerated second degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science on its Brampton campus. To learn more about Algoma University, visit www.algomau.ca.


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For further information, please contact:

Donna Woldanski

Algoma University Divisional Director of Communications

705.949.2301 ext. 4120

Email: donna.woldanski @algomau.ca

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