MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017 Activities by Category - Games, Gaming, and Tournaments

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Bad Ideas

Hadrian Merced, Banti Gheneti, Jakob Weisblat

Jan/20 Fri 01:00PM-01:00AM
Jan/21 Sat 11:00AM-01:00AM
Jan/22 Sun 10:00AM-10:00PM

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Repeating event, participants welcome at any session
Prereq: None

A weekend-long celebration of awful events and projects. For more information, including times and locations for specific events, visit

Contact: Bad Ideas Chairs, 62M 118, 254 589-2669, BAD-IDEAS-17@MIT.EDU

Board Games with Epsilon Theta

Elaine Lin

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

Do you like board games? We do too! Epsilon Theta is a MIT independent living group, and we play a lot of board games, including chess, Dominion, Tichu, Codenames, and more. Stop by for fun games in a casual setting. 

Contact: Elaine Lin, ELIN1@MIT.EDU

Board Games on Campus

Jan/15 Sun 01:00PM-04:00PM (CANCELED)
Jan/22 Sun 01:30PM-04:30PM 4-153
Jan/29 Sun 01:30PM-04:30PM 4-153
Feb/05 Sun 01:30PM-04:30PM 4-149

Dance Dance Revolution session and fan gathering

Richard Matthew McCutchen

Jan/11 Wed 06:30PM-08:30PM 32-G449
Jan/21 Sat 03:00PM-05:00PM 32-G449

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Repeating event, participants 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.  See the photos from last year's event.


More sessions may be added later in IAP based on demand.

If you're interested but these times are bad: Please email me your constraints and I'll try to accommodate you in the future.

Contact: Richard Matthew McCutchen, RMCCUTCH@MIT.EDU

Designing Games to Affect Social Change

Richard Eberhardt, Studio Manager (MIT Game Lab), Mack Cameron, Facilitator & Instructor, Sam Liberty, Facilitator & Instructor

Jan/14 Sat 01:00PM-04:00PM E15-3rd Floor - CMSW

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/13
Limited to 40 participants

Hosted by the MIT Game Lab

Facilitated by Mack Cameron of MegaGames United and Sam Liberty from the Engagement Lab at Emerson College:

Due to the current events, many gamers have been asking how they can be more involved in affecting positive change in our new political climate. You can volunteer for worthy causes, you can contact your representatives, and you can design a game.

Games are unique mediums for story-telling. We love them because they are immersive and because they are interactive. Those same qualities allow them to have potent qualities in delivering a social message.

We’ll present some games that have been successful in this regard, talk about common pitfalls serious game designers encounter, start the ball rolling on having you design your own game to make a statement and have a positive impact on your society.

Registration is required at

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

Game on security technologies for the critical infrastructure (with Kaspersky)

Allen Moulton, Research Scientist

Jan/30 Mon 08:30AM-04:00PM E51-145
Jan/31 Tue 08:30AM-04:00PM E51-145
Feb/01 Wed 08:30AM-04:00PM E51-145
Feb/02 Thu 08:30AM-04:00PM E51-145
Feb/03 Fri 08:30AM-11:00AM E51-145

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Limited to 30 participants
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: Being an undergrad junior/senior or grad student

The modern critical infrastructure has been built during the last 20-25 years, but one may still see Windows 3.1 or NT operating on power plants that supply energy for world’s largest cities. However, hackers and malware writers do not wait—they are constantly improving their skills and toolset often at a faster pace.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) attack various organizations, banks, and industries for stealing trade secrets, causing damages, and interrupting the process flows. Most APTs are often discovered 4-6 years after being deployed. Yes, for 4-6 years, many power plants did not know that their systems were infected. On the other hand, antivirus technologies were not put into the Critical Infrastructure for a long time. Even today, most of the facilities rely on their luck and good karma.

During this activity, we will dive deep into security technologies such as malware detection and mitigation and a variety of penetration tests. We will also discuss interesting cases from our own experience. You will play Capture The Flag (CTF) competition game that requires out-of-box creative thinking—which helps you be ahead of your partners and competitors. The next interactive activity is the KIPS game that is a simulation of a real industrial power plant, providing a series of hands-on challenges of the modern ICS system insecurity. 

More information:

Sponsored by MIT-(IC)3: Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

Sponsor(s): Sloan School of Management
Contact: Allen Moulton, E94-1580, (617) 253-3471, amoulton@MIT.EDU

Global Game Jam 2017

Rik Eberhardt, Studio Manager, MIT Game Lab

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/19
Limited to 85 participants
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 20th at 5pm and run until midnight that day. Our site is open Saturday, January 21st from 9am until midnight, and Sunday, January 22nd 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: 

We have 30 free slots open for the MIT Community (must have an email address to register).

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

Keynote & Kickoff Presentations

Jan/20 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/20 Fri 08:00PM-11:45PM 32-124 & 32-144
Jan/21 Sat 09:00AM-11:45PM 56-154, 56-169, and
Jan/22 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/22 Sun 03:00PM-06:30PM 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

Madison Evans, Captain

Jan/10 Tue 07:00PM-09:00PM 1-150

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: Madison Evans, MEVANS7@MIT.EDU

Integration Bee

Samuel Elder

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Contestants must qualify. See Tues, Jan. 24
Prereq: need to pass the qualifying test on 1/24 to enter the bee

See individual session descriptions below.

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Samuel Elder, 2-340A,

Integration Bee Qualifying Testing

Jan/24 Tue 04:00PM-06:00PM 4-153

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/26 Thu 06:30PM-10:00PM 26-100

No enrollment limit. No advance sign up (but contestants must qualify, see Tuesday, Jan. 24). Come watch your fellow students match wits and single variable integration skills for prizes and the title of "Grand Integrator".




Interactive Fiction Readings

Nick Montfort, Andrew Plotkin

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

Interactive fiction is a text-oriented genre of videogame which has existed since the 1970s. We will get together to play one IF game each week during IAP. We'll play group-style: one player will read the story as it unfolds, but the group will decide what to do every turn. Each session will have 90 minutes of play time and 30 minutes for discussion.

We will play the top four entries of the recent Interactive Fiction competition. Two fantasy stories and two mysteries, each in a different IF format.

Sponsor(s): Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Contact: Nick Montfort,

Stone Harbor

Jan/11 Wed 02:00PM-04:00PM 14E-310

Stone Harbor (Liza Daly) -- an urban fantasy story constructed as hypertext.

Cactus Blue Motel

Jan/18 Wed 02:00PM-04:00PM 14E-310

Cactus Blue Motel (Astrid Dalmady) -- a Twine-based ghost story on the road.

Color the Truth

Jan/25 Wed 02:00PM-04:00PM 14E-310

Color the Truth (Brian Rushton) -- a parser-based police procedural.


Feb/01 Wed 02:00PM-04:00PM 14E-310

Detectiveland (Robin Johnson) -- a noir detective story built in a parser-like point-and-click interface.

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/10 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Jan/12 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Jan/17 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Jan/19 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Jan/24 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Jan/26 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Jan/31 Tue 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159
Feb/02 Thu 06:00PM-09:00PM 4-159

Mark Throop

What playfulness can change

Scot Osterweil, Creative director

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

This class is about exploring playfulness and its business applications. 

Playfulness is a very human value proposition that empowers people doing all kind of things. In this class, I'm offering to discover the Playful and all its possibilities: From the empowerment of your employees, your processes or your learning, the Playful design methodology can be a real leverage of empowerment.  

The class is open for all and divided in 3 workshops that are independent from each other but you are encouraged to follow all of them to have a better overview! 

Sponsor(s): Game Lab, Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Contact: Laure Dousset, +33681756009, LDOUSSET@MIT.EDU

Serious games co-design

Jan/12 Thu 02:00PM-04:00PM E15 - 315

Serious games are games that have another purpose than just pure entertainment. In this class, we will test a serious game about Blockchain, and try to assess it and find guidelines for when you're developing that kind of game. After that, I will share tips with you to design your serious game! Don't hesitate to come with a topic in mind.

Laure Dousset, Scot Osterweil - Creative director

Playfulness and your project

Jan/19 Thu 02:00PM-04:00PM E15 - 315

When you're designing something, it's important to take the user experience into account. What I'm offering you in this class is to come with a project you have in mind (a technology, a product, a service) and to empower the experience with the playful methodology. You will see how you can use the playful value proposition, and if you don't have an idea in mind, I have several interesting ones for you. 

Laure Dousset, Scot Osterweil - Creative director

Playfulness and your team

Jan/26 Thu 10:00AM-12:00PM E15 - 315

We'll see how to use playfulness in a team. How can you empower them using playful levers? Together, we'll practice by taking examples and try to use the playful design methodology to do this. We'll choose together practical use cases you can encounter in your daily routines at work and try to make a change in order to make them more playful!

Scot Osterweil - Creative director, Laure Dousset