The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development recently published their research findings form their games based learning trials. The results were incredibly positive – and as the person brought into design and run the Game Development strand, incredibly gratifying. There’s more detail in the shape of the program in a talk I gave at the 2011 Screen Futures conference.
This is the presentation I gave to the government round table at GCAP. Present there were representatives from Screen Australia, Film Victoria, The Office for the Arts, State Government, and others. During the discussion, PricewaterhouseCooper presented details from their Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook, the IGEA talked about their recent Digital Australia report looking at changing audience information, and I was asked to talk about games and culture.
Unlike last year’s talk where I tried to give a reframing argument of how to think and talk about games and culture, I – quite last minute – decided to look at the part of creative industries that haven’t had as much exposure in recent discussions about games and government support or interest – that of the essential maker communities.
This is the presentation I gave at GCAP 2011. It’s drawn from other blog posts & thoughts I’ve had, notably on industry, culture, and the language we use. There are some new ideas and facts – notably the early analysis of Film Victoria’s game funding program, which I hope to dig into more detail on soon – but it’s the first time I’ve collected it all together in a single talk. It also hit some of the beats from Mike Acton’s keynote, which was fortunate as we went on just after each other at the conference.
I’ll be uploading the talk I gave to the Government Round Table on the importance of maker communities to creative industries in the next few days, as well as the data I’ve collated from the Film Victoria reports.
If you’re anything like me, the two words games and literacy don’t really belong together. In my head they feel a little bit like 2 magnets vibrating as they try to repel each other, and I suspect it’s the same for many of you.
What I want to talk to you about this evening is not only how they do go together, but why it’s important that they do, as well as taking a look at the innovations that have made that necessary.
Flurry of activity before I disappear into a Freeplay wrangling flurry.
I’ll be running a session at the Emerging Writers’ Festival as part of their Business of Being a Writer Masterclass on Process and Organisation. This event has sold out (hurrah), but there are still tickets available for their myriad other events.
Early June, I’ll be up in Brisbane to talk at the IGDA / Creative Industry Precinct’sprogram. There isn’t much detail on the site, but this is what I’ll be talking about:
The words we use to describe the space we work in – development, industry, culture, community – all describe structures built, either deliberately or as a byproduct of other processes, by people. In the face of a shifting industrial landscape, how can we build new structures that might better reflect how we’d like to live and work, what would the values of such a community look like, and what does it mean to connect with a wider creative, critical, and artistic culture? This year’s Freeplay will explore these ideas – along with many others – but before it does, co-director Paul Callaghan will talk about some of the history and philosophy behind Freeplay, what to expect from this year’s event, and what to think about into 2012 and beyond.
After that, I’m going to be at the Continuum Speculative Fiction and Pop Culture Convention talking games and storytelling. Look out for the launch of their full program here.
And lastly, I’ll be running a workshop with ExpressMedia on as part of their Big Splash series.
In the meantime though, I thought I’d post a copy of the presentation I gave as part of the government round table to state and federal representatives titled ‘An Insight into Games in Culture’
Click through the fold for the content.
And if you didn’t hear – we announced this year’s Freeplay festival too.
As the year scrabbles to a close, the steady stream of conferences and presentations comes to an end.
World Congress of Science and Factual Producers
On Friday December 4th, I took part in a speed-networking event at the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers. What was interesting about this was being able to step away from the traditional pc/console space and think about new opportunities to use games and games technology.
In talking to the directors and producers, I had the thought that perhaps games were closer to documentary features than to narrative features. The topics explored – happiness as a contagion that can be tracked using network theory, or a man who built his own 300-million search-and rescue empire – were built on the film-maker exploring the world, creating theories, and constructing the narrative as they go, which is a clear analogue for what players do in games.
Not to say that there isn’t room for narrative in games, but modelling gameplay & the reveal of narrative in more of a documentary style might prove to be a useful template.
Game Connect Asia Pacific
Or GCAP as it’s less mouthfully known, took place at Crown from December 6th – 8th. I gave two presentations – one on games and games literacy (which was attended by only 5 people due to a last minute room change) and one on the creative process of writing and how that applies to games. Due to meetings and general schmoozing (and also pulling together my writing presentation), I saw almost none of the conference itself (other than Tim Stellmach’s keynote & the indie games that I was judging), but came away with the overall impression that from an art & design perspective, the content was unfocused and weak – which is reflected in a single stream that contained all of the art, design, and audio talks. As design is one of our local industry’s challenges, it would be nice to see an increased focus on it next year.
Details on the presentations after the fold.