There is a write-up on Edge of the recent ExPlay session that Auroch Digital’s Tomas Rawlings chaired:
It’s encouraging to hear from developers engaged with areas such as science and education who are so passionate about ‘traditional’ gaming values. The idea of closely aligning education with game goals – needing to know that copper conducts electricity in order to solve a puzzle, for example – is a simple, but powerful one.
The Games/Science/Society Panel at ExPlay (image by ExPlay UK)
Auroch Digital wants to say a huge thanks to the ExPlay people for making us feel so welcome and putting on such a great event!
The talk above happened the day before the games from the Wellcome Trust ExPlay games jam’s shortlisted game’s were showcased.
Tomas was curating/sharing a panel discussion at this year’s Crossover Summit as part of DocFest for the Wellcome Trust. Here is the panel information:
Exploiting the Feedback Loop
Tom Rawlings (Chair) / Jon Dovey (DCRC) / Kate Quilton (Channel 4)
Games like Bejeweled, Draw Something or Words with Friends are not one-off media events, but are on-going almost living entities. Being connected to the network they can collect huge amounts of data from players and so feed back to the designers which elements work and which do not. This allows them to respond, changing and improving the project in response. But while this ‘bio-media model’ clearly works for video games, can it work for filmmakers? By seeing video as data, a number of media thinkers are increasingly challenging the view that a film has to be a one off creation.
Plus there are some notes from the discussion online too:
The idea for the session is rooted in biological processes that happen around us (and in us!) everyday. For example, the image (right) is of 6 linked insulin molecules.
Computer-generated image of six insulin molecules assembled in a hexamer. (Source, Wikipedia)
These are part of a number of biological systems we have that together make up our homeostatic systems. This is a series of monitoring and control systems that measure various facets of the body (blood sugar, temperature etc) via feedback loops and trigger the body to respond to external and internal changes. So while the body is striving to keep a form of stasis (being alive!) the chemical composition of the body is in a state of constant flux.
There are similar ideas going on in how we create, consume and develop media. This biomedia approach sees the media form itself and something in flux, connected and responding to feedback loops. It sees media artefacts themselves (games, films, novels etc) as being part of (and evolving within) a complex ecosystem, a media ecology. …
There is more here.
Tomas did a talk today on games and charity:
From Wii Fit to Farmville, games are now common currency for millions of us; the average social gamer is a 43-year-old woman and 8 out of 10 UK homes have one or more games consoles. But they can offer more than fun, research found 52% of players report games help them think about moral issues. Sega raised $250,000 to help with the Japanese earthquake in a week. This session introduces the gaming sector and explores its potential for charities.
The notes with lots of links, from the talk are over on his blog. Thanks to Charity Comms for the invite to speak and also to those who attended!