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Social Gaming Summit tomorrow – see you guys there!

Charles Hudson of Gaia invited me to attend the Social Gaming Summit tomorrow in San Francisco. Should be a lot of fun! I'll write a quick blog covering the conference, to sum it all up.

Agenda below:

10:00am – What Makes Games Fun?

We all like to have fun, right? What is it about games that makes them so fun? Is it gameplay? Social interaction? Achievements and accomplishments? Our panel of thought leaders will share their perspectives on what it takes to build a fun game and why building fun into games is more difficult than it looks.

» Erik Bethke – CEO, GoPets
» Dr. Ian Bogost – Founding Partner, Persuasive Games
» Nicole Lazzaro – President, XEODesign, Inc.
» John Welch – Co-Founder, President & CEO, PlayFirst
» Jeremy Liew – Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners (moderator)

11:00am – Casual MMOs and Immersive Worlds

Many so-called “casual MMOs” and immersive worlds are casual only in the sense that the point of the game is not to bash gruesome looking monsters or the game isn’t set in a sci-fi fantasy world. The engagement story around existing and upcoming casual MMOs is real and very compelling. This panel will discuss what it takes to build a successful casual MMO that users love to play.

» Min Kim – Vice President of Marketing, Nexon America
» Patrick Ford, VP Marketing and Community Development, K2 Networks
» Kyra Reppen – SVP and GM, NeoPets
» Craig Sherman – CEO, Gaia Online
» Joey Seiler – Editor, Virtual Worlds News (moderator)

1:30pm – Asynchronous Games on Social Networks

There are a lot of interesting asynchronous activities happening on social networks. Some of them are traditional games, others are games in disguise. Join us and hear from some of the leading voices in this space share their views on how to build great gameplay characteristics into social networking applications and what opportunities exist for gameplay to take advantage of the social graph.

» Siqi Chen – Founder, Serious Business (Friends for Sale)
» Blake Commagere – Founder and VP Engineering, Mogad
» Shervin Pishevar – CEO, Social Gaming Network
» Mike Sego – Developer, (fluff)Friends
» Andrew Chung – Principal, Lightspeed Venture Partners (moderator)

2:30pm – User Generated Games in Social Networks and Virtual Worlds


Games are one of the most popular activities on social networks and virtual worlds. Increasingly, users are taking it upon themselves to create games and entertainment of their own within the context of existing online environments. Curious as to what’s driving this behavior? This is the panel for you.

» Daniel James – CEO, Three Rings
» Jeremy Monroe – Director of Business Development, Sports & Entertainment, North America, Sulake Inc.
» Ted Rheingold – Founder, Dogster and Catster
» Cary Rosenzweig – President and CEO, IMVU
» Dean Takahashi – Writer, Venture Beat (moderator)

4:00pm – Building Communities and Social Interaction In and Around Games

Social networking and games go hand in hand. Whether it’s taking advantage of the relationship data in social networks to build novel gameplay or building community among people who play games, game developers are discovering clever ways to build real communities around the games they’re developing. Hear from our panel of thought leaders about what it takes to successfully integrate community and social interaction into the next generation of games.

» Jim Greer – CEO, Kongregate
» Amy Jo Kim – CEO, Shufflebrain
» Mark Pincus – Founder and CEO, Zynga Game Network
» Dave Williams – SVP, Shockwave, AddictingGames
» Brandon Sheffield – Gamasutra (moderator)

5:00pm – Monetization and Business Models for Social Games

There are a handful of viable (proven) business models for social games. How should game developers go about choosing the best business model for their games? Our panel of experts will share their thoughts on the various business models and how to think through the right one for a given game.

» Jameson Hsu – Co-Founder and CEO, Mochi Media
» Matt Mihaly – CEO and Creative Director, Sparkplay Media
» Mattias Miksche – CEO, Stardoll
» David Perry – CCO, Acclaim
» Ravi Mhatre – Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners (moderator)

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