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The First Utah Winter Summit on Games

February 4th through 6th, 2024

University of Utah Campus, Salt Lake City, UT

The First Utah Winter Summit on Games, a three-day initiative nestled in the breathtaking heart of the American Intermountain West, will be held February 4th through 6th at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.  The summit's two and a half day working session will bring together leading game scholars from around the world to collaborate with Division of Games faculty to define a new model for an academic unit intrinsically for and about the discipline of Games.

On September 27th of 2023, University of Utah President Taylor Randall announced a significant commitment to the growth of the Games discipline at Utah—an investment of $25 million to support our expansion from the teaching-focused Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program to the newly created the Division of Games.  This transition is intended to greatly expand Utah Games' mission by building new capacity for intrinsic Games research and scholarship in addition to EAE's historic record of success as games educators.   In the words of University of Utah Provost Mitzi Montoya:

Its new mission includes its old mission – to be a world leader in games education in higher education. But it also includes a new charge – to lead the progress in research and scholarship around games, to create a deeper understanding of games, and to apply that knowledge in teaching and research to change the lives of players for the better.

This institutional commitment is unprecedented in both character and magnitude. The investment holds the potential to catalyze groundbreaking creative work and scholarship at Utah that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in our Games discipline. The summit will bring together leading scholars in the field to share expertise and insights so that Utah Games may chart this course in a transformative and responsible manner.

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Utah Games students demonstrate VR games at Games Launch 2023.

The Summit will be held on the University of Utah campus, nestled in the shadow of the majestic Wasatch Mountains. As attendees engage in collaborative discussions in the warm confines of our conference centers set against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks and expansive canyons, they will experience the unique synergy that occurs when scholarly pursuits are paired with unparalleled landscapes. During their time here, attendees can also immerse themselves in a number of planned events and social activities that will be held across campus, throughout the picturesque Salt Lake Valley, and the nearby historic mountain town of Park City, which hosts the Sundance Film Festival every January.


The primary objective of the summit is to formulate direct judgements of quality, effectiveness, and potential impact over the planned direction of Utah Games, and its potential reverberations to the broader Games discipline. This includes assessing (1) what Games scholarship will look like at the University of Utah and beyond; (2) current and future curricular designs for the discipline, both within and outside Utah Games; (3) infrastructure needs to support planned initiatives; and (4) our responsibility to the State of Utah, the Nation, and the World via community, institutional, industrial, and governmental partnerships.

The Summit will provide an excellent opportunity for collaboration and knowledge exchange among Games scholars of national and international reputation. All confirmed attendees are welcome to submit optional position papers, panel proposals, and presentations that speak to diverse aspects of our disciplinary identity, including but not limited to our diverse knowledges, ways of knowing, goals, identities, relationships to stakeholders, responsibilities to our constituents, and more. Contributions will be edited into a proceedings document to be published collectively as a Utah Games Technical Report. We envision a highly creative and stimulating environment. Our hope is that new ideas and innovative perspectives can flourish in a way that scholars can continue to refine beyond the summit.


2024 Utah Game Summit Sponsors Include

Office of the President, University of Utah
Division of Games, University of Utah