While the appeal of games may be universal and satisfy our innate desire to play, the powerful dynamics that govern our behavior within games is even more interesting than the play itself. Can we broaden our understanding of play mechanisms by applying the subliminal mechanics of play beyond games? In this episode, Christopher Weaver, Founder of Bethesda Softworks and who teaches engineering and computational media respectively at MIT and Wesleyan, explores these important issues in a lecture entitled “Amplius Ludo, Beyond the Horizon”. Prof. Weaver discusses how games work and why they are such potent tools in areas as disparate as military simulation, childhood education, and medicine.
Christopher Weaver is Research Scientist and Lecturer, MIT Comparative Media Studies, Visiting Scientist and Lecturer, MIT Microphotonics Center and Distinguished Professor of Computational Media at Wesleyan University.
Weaver received his SM from MIT and was the initial Daltry Scholar at Wesleyan University, where he earned dual Masters Degrees in Japanese and Computer Science and a CAS Doctoral Degree in Japanese and Physics. The former Director of Technology Forecasting for ABC and Chief Engineer to the Subcommittee on Communications for the US Congress, Weaver founded Bethesda Softworks, and developed a physics-based, realtime sports engine used to create the original John Madden Football for Electronic Arts. Bethesda is well known for The Elder Scrolls role-playing series of which Skyrim was the latest major installment. An adviser to both government and industry, Weaver holds patents in interactive media, security, and telecommunications engineering.