MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016 Activities by Category - Games, Gaming, and Tournaments

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Dance Dance Revolution session and fan gathering

Richard Matthew McCutchen

Jan/09 Sat 07:00PM-09:00PM 32-G449, Dress comfortably.
Jan/27 Wed 06:30PM-08:30PM 32-G449, Dress comfortably.

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Repeating event, particpants welcome at any session

Do you think you might enjoy throwing your feet around in time to your favorite music, or are you already a pro?  Join us in playing StepMania, the leading open-source clone of Dance Dance Revolution, the classic arcade game of stepping on panels to a beat.  This game can be a great thrill, engaging both mentally and physically.


If you're interested but this time is bad: I'd be delighted to play with you another time.  Just email me.

For information about future events: Join the mailing list or check my new DDR resources page.

Contact: Richard Matthew McCutchen, RMCCUTCH@MIT.EDU

Designing Addiction

Satayan Mahajan '96

Jan/28 Thu 04:00PM-06:00PM 10-250

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required

Have you ever wondered why some products succeed and others fail? How is Facebook able to get their average user to check their accounts 12 times a day? Why have Apple’s products been so wildly successful?
You may not realize it, but we’re all addicted. Many of the greatest product innovators have a deep intuition allowing them to build exactly what people want. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, it's often hit or miss. In this course, we’ll discuss a new framework and principles in product design and innovation focused on how to engage consumers and build truly addictive products.
We’ll use examples from real world products, but more importantly we encourage you to bring your own projects and ideas to work on.

Satayan Mahajan '96 is an American entrepreneur and inventor focusing on consumer centered products in the fields of video games, healthcare, and sports.

Register for this free event today!

Sponsor(s): Alumni Association
Contact: Elena Byrne, W98-206C, 617 252-1143, EBYRNE@MIT.EDU

Global Game Jam 2016

Rik Eberhardt, Studio Manager, MIT Game Lab

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/29
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Register now at:

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world's largest game jam event taking place around the world at physical locations. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.

We open our doors on Friday, January 29th at 5pm and run until midnight that day. Our site is open Saturday, January 30th from 9am until midnight, and Sunday, January 31st from 9am until 6pm.

The Global Game Jam is a 3-day event, but our site closes at night so participants can go home and get rested for the next day. Participants should plan to attend the entire duration of the event as your team will need you to complete your game!

Participants must register to attend:

Sponsor(s): Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Game Lab
Contact: Richard Eberhardt, E15-329, 617 324-2173, REBERHAR@MIT.EDU

Keynote & Kickoff Presentations

Jan/29 Fri 05:00PM-08:00PM 32-123

The jam begins with a keynote, presentations about the Jam, and reveal of the Jam topic.

Teams will be formed by 8:00pm.

Game Jam

Jan/29 Fri 08:00PM-11:45PM 32-124 & 32-144
Jan/30 Sat 09:00AM-11:45PM 32-124 & 32-144
Jan/31 Sun 09:00AM-03:00PM 32-124 & 32-144

Work days for the Jam. Participants will be working in teams to create their games.

Presentations & Postmortem

Jan/31 Sun 03:00PM-06:00PM 32-123

Game Jam participants will present the work they created over the weekend and postmortem their process.

This is open to the general public - no registration is required for this session.

Harry Potter Trivia Night

Katherine Stone

Jan/08 Fri 07:00PM-09:00PM 1-132

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Do you know what would happen if you added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?  The difference between a hippogriff and a griffin?  Show off your magical knowledge at the Quidditch Teams Trivia Fest!  

Sponsor(s): MIT Quidditch
Contact: Katherine Stone,

Integration Bee

Samuel Elder

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Contestants must qualify: see Tuesday Jan. 19
Prereq: need to pass the qualifying test on 1/19 to enter the bee

See individual session descriptions below.

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Samuel Elder,

Integration Bee Qualifying Testing

Jan/19 Tue 04:00PM-06:00PM 4-145

Stop by at any point during the session, for a quick test of your single variable integration skills. Top scorers qualify for the Integration Bee. No knowledge beyond 18.01 necessary.                                                               


Integration Bee

Jan/21 Thu 06:30PM-09:00PM 32-123

No enrollment limit. No advance sign up (but contestants must qualify, see Tuesday, Jan. 19). Come watch your fellow students match wits and single variable integration skills for prizes and the title of "Grand Integrator".          




Learn To Play Bridge!

Mark Throop

Enrollment: Maximum 24 Students
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: None

Contract Bridge is played at MIT both socially and competitively. MIT students have won competitions on the international level, and of course, have idled away precious hours in their living groups! The course teaches bidding and play. No partner is required. 

Sponsor(s): MIT/Draper Lab Bridge Club
Contact: Mark Throop, 508-308-4468,

Learn To Play Bridge!

Jan/05 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/07 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/12 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/14 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/19 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/21 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/26 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149
Jan/28 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-149

Transforming the work place through serious games

Laure Dousset, Visiting student, Scot Osterweil, Creative director - Education Arcade

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/26
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: None

Are you wondering how games will be used in your future workplace? Are you interested in changing the workplace through game design? This class is for you.

Through hands-on activities, you will experience how games will transform the workplace. The class will be divided in 4 sessions. Each session, we will explore games used in companies through a particular theme. Themes include:

Recruitment: How can you be more prepared for new forms of recruitment? How can games and gamelike experiences change the rules of recruitment?

Training: How can serious games, particularly simulations, affect workplace training?

Client Focused Innovation: How can you become more innovative in using games, while keeping the client's needs in mind? How will this new type of game will impact innovation in companies?

Disruptive Innovation: We'll use a creative method to be able to innovate while thinking out of box, creating new products or services with a rubik’s cube.

In every session, we will have a short presentation, an activity on the topic (testing serious games, using methods...) and a debate oriented with questions related to the topic.

The global objectives of those workshops are to make you able to evaluate serious games, have an overview of that topic and be able to evaluate their use in companies.

Sponsor(s): Game Lab, Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Contact: Laure Dousset, LDOUSSET@MIT.EDU


Jan/05 Tue 02:00PM-04:00PM 36-153

During this session, we will experiment with a playful assessment tool, and discuss its potential use for recruitment.

We will also explore and evaluate two outstanding recruitment games: America's Army and REVEAL. We'll end the session with a discussion on the advantages and limitations of using serious games for recruitment.

Laure Dousset - Visiting student, Scot Osterweil - Creative director - Education Arcade


Jan/12 Tue 02:00PM-04:00PM 36-153

Serious games first appeared in the workplace through training games and simulations: why? We'll explore that during this session, exploring different serious games from different fields.

Our objective will be to evaluate those games and be able to develop a critical point of view on them. We'll try at the end to identify the topics in which serious games could be powerful in training, imagining the future of those games

Laure Dousset - Visiting student, Scot Osterweil - Creative director - Education Arcade

Client Focused Innovation

Jan/19 Tue 02:00PM-04:00PM 36-153

During this session, we will experiment with a serious game that will lead us to innovate using technologies: Tech it! We'll use our problem solving skills in this accessible role playing game to meet a consumer need. We will also discuss the strengths of a new type of serious game: innovation games.

Laure Dousset - Visiting student, Scot Osterweil - Creative director - Education Arcade

Disruptive Innovation

Jan/26 Tue 02:00PM-04:00PM 36-153

During this session, we will use a creative method of innovation based on a game that we all know: the Rubik's Cube. We will collaboratively develop new business models trying to disrupt the market with this creative way to see innovation. As an interactive way to build business models, we will explore how far we can go with innovation games.

Laure Dousset - Visiting student, Scot Osterweil - Creative director - Education Arcade

Video Games as Media Hybrids

Michal Zmuda

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

Video games are deeply grounded in a culture of technological progress. They are promoted as a new form of entertainment, after all they introduce new aesthetics and new ways of engagement. This notion often overshadows the fact that video games are hybrids, not only games but also a conglomerate of different medialities, like movies, literature, drama, radio etc...

This series will explore how video games approach old media they were built upon. We will see how they implement, interpret and refashion them. We will try to examine: how the historical and sociological context of given media is adapted by games, how the gameplay influences and reshapes those medialities, what those medialities can tell us about video game medium itself.

The series of 3 meetings will consist of lectures and discussions. Sessions may be attended individually, but it is recommended that participants attend all of them.

Sponsor(s): Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Contact: Michal Zmuda, mzmuda@MIT.EDU

Jan/21 Thu 12:00PM-01:00PM 56-162

Video Games and Remediation

Introduction to Jay David Bolter's and Richard Grusin's concept of remediation. We will explore how it applies to video games.

Jan/26 Tue 12:00PM-01:00PM 56-162

Video Games as Interpretation of Literature

Can the concept of intertextuality be used for interpretation of video games? We are going to find out by analyzing games based on literary works.

Jan/28 Thu 12:00PM-01:00PM 56-162

Historical remediation

We will discuss how games create historical authenticity not only with gameplay and narration, but also with the use of different media languages.