In the midst of all my international travel came the Game Developers Conference. The 2-day Serious Games Summit drew roughly 500 participants -- more than ever before. Clearly interest in serious games is growing. For my talk on "Best Takeaways," I was able to put together a list of over 500 serious games! Raph Koster and Doug Lowenstien both gave good keynotes.
However for me, this year's GDC was dominated by Will Wright. First by his incredible algorithmic solution to the challenge of making a game about Emily Dickenson, and second by the revealing of his new game, Spore, which takes the player all the way from the primordial soup to conquering the universe (also mostly done algotrithmically). Sadly I missed this talk, but there is a great article on Gamasutra. Unfortunately, the pictures previously on Jasper Juul's Ludology.org site have been taken down.
It is wonderful to see ideas marching around the world! This spring my article Digital Natives Digital Immigrants, which is already a big hit (apparently) in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, was published in Croatian! Also in Europe, I gave a presentation at LearnTec in Karlsrue, Germany, and, after stopping back in NY to see the Central Park Gates
I headed off to Mexico to speak at the Universidad Virtual Tecnologico de Monterrey's Campus Toluca. What was really exciting about that speech is that it was sent electronically to several locations in Mexico and to a half-dozen countries in South America! The audience (mostly teachers) seemed very interested in hearing new ideas, and the few Digital Natives in the audience were excited to finally have their interests represented in a school setting!