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Game Design faculty and students excel at IndieCade Horizons 2023

This spring, the international gaming event series IndieCade highlighted the work of game design students and faculty at its conference and showcase, Horizons, amplifying their accomplishments and innovations in the field to the wider gaming community and industry.

At the Hidden Heroes Game Jam in late February,  seven Northeastern teams submitted games following the prompt to “share the never-before-told stories of older family members, mentors, or close friends,” with kick off remarks by Game Design professor Bob de Schutter. Resources were provided to integrate the jam as a project, extra credit, or assignment as well as category prizes such as individual portfolio review and mentorships.

Winning games from students in the Game Science and Design programs and the Northeastern Game Studio Club included:

The Showcase and Faculty Awards, livestreamed on Twitch on June 3, also honored De Schutter with the Faculty Excellence Award for Innovation for his work researching and advocating for “meaningful play” throughout later life. De Schutter thanked his partners at AARP and the Games for Life group at Northeastern in his acceptance remarks, noting that it’s been 20 years since he began studying gaming in relation to growing older.

There’s still work to do, though, he told Northeastern Global News after presenting on these issues at the AARP Games Summit in April. He suggests that the lack of accessibility to games for people over 50 could be mitigated by more inclusive development teams: “Bring older players in to brainstorm with them and see what they’re genuinely interested in and build their design around a broader demographic than just younger audiences.”