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Researchers to showcase latest advances in interactive technologies and games

Nottingham Trent UniversityThe latest advancements in interactive technologies and games within education, health and disability are to be showcased at Nottingham Trent University on October 23-24. Experts and practitioners from across the country are coming to present a range of research, run workshops and exhibit their innovative projects as part of the Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) 2012 conference.

The conference – organised by the university’s School of Science and Technology and held in partnership with the GameCity videogame culture festival – has a specific focus on the use of gaming hardware and software to find solutions to aid everyday wellbeing.

Research being presented will include an investigation into whether home-based virtual reality systems can improve limb rehabilitation after a stroke and an evaluation of route-learning software for people with disabilities. Using assistive technologies to make music and the way in which desktop and mobile games can be used to develop ICT skills, will also be discussed.

Other projects will explore using audio-visual games to improve the understanding of degraded speech, the design of multimedia interactive educational videos for first time hearing aid users, and inclusive design to develop a serious game for those with intellectual disabilities.

Among the keynote speakers will be Professor Mark Griffiths, the director of the International Gaming Research Unit, based in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences. Professor Griffiths will discuss the role of context in online game playing and the implications for education, therapeutic intervention and addiction.

Keynote speakers Professor Pamela Kata and Professor Monica Whitty will talk about games and gamification in revolutionising healthcare, and whether all virtual play is psychologically healthy, respectively.

Organiser David Brown, Professor in Interactive Systems for Social Inclusion in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, said: “This promises to be a fascinating event. We aim to bring together academics and practitioners working in interactive technologies to explore and innovate in the areas of education, health and disability.

“We will introduce a wider audience to key findings and products resulting from research and won’t shy away from the more controversial issues, posing a range of challenging questions.”

The best papers from the conference, being held at Nottingham Conference Centre, will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning.

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