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Showing posts from October, 2007

Future-Making Serious Games Tackles Successful ARG Design

Serious Games removing cues to fictionality

Via: Cross-Media + Transmedia Entertainment - Why ARGs Aren’t Hoaxes and Jeremy Vernon BlogARGs – Educational Tools

We Are Not Building A Game
We Are Building A Page Of Real Life
In 2002 at the Game Developers Conference, Elan Lee, the VP of 42 Entertainment, presented on the creation of The Beast and how they engineered the ‘This is Not a Game’ design aesthetic. Lee introduced three rules:

1. Don’t tell anyone.
2. Don’t define a game space.
3. Don’t build a game.

The first, don’t tell anyone, means to keep the fact that there is a project secret from co-workers, family, friends and the media. This approach, Lee explained, enables players to find what interested them, to take ownership of their discovery and to crave more information.
For the second, don’t define a game space, Lee speaks about not confining the game to the computer – indeed, a single medium. Although Lee doesn’t discuss this, the fact that the ‘game’ existed across a number of me…

Ben Sawyer Debunks Ten Myths About Serious Games

Helping to spread the truth about Serious Games

Via: The Escapist Magazine

Ben Sawyer, co-founder of Digitalmill, also co-founder of the Serious Games Initiative, and the Games for Health Project, has just published a superb article via The Escapist: Ten Myths About Serious Games.

As he states upfront, "The serious games field is rife with misconceptions because it encompasses so much. To help spread the truth about Serious Games, let's debunk 10 of the biggest myths about the genre."

The article covers most of the topics that have been object of ample debate around the Serious Games segment and deserves a thorough reading.
Amongst others, it challenges two most notorious myths: "Serious Games are for Learning and Training" and "Serious Games Aren't Fun".

Go for it!

EveryScape: Serious Games Building Immersive Relationships With Consumers

Serious Games changing the way people find your business

Miami's Crobar disco has quite an extensive inside tour with room after room of rich lights and sultry ambiance. As you navigate through the building, the map to the right shows which room you are in
Via: EveryScape

A company called EveryScape is launching today a three-dimensional local search site that lets people "drive" down streets and even "walk" into buildings.
What's a Scape?
A Scape is a three-dimensional, photo-realistic experience of a city, street or business. In a scape, anyone with a web browser can move seamlessly from street to street, into participating businesses and look around via a 360-degree panoramic photograph.
The insides of most business establishments can be showcased with a single panoramic photo. However, businesses with multiple rooms or multiple floors can convey the uniqueness of their space or breadth of product offerings by adding additional photos to their Scape.
EverySca…

Serious Games Helping Advance Technology In Biology Education

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education

Via: Genomics Digital Lab: Plant Cells

Genomics Digital Lab: Plant Cellsis the first in a series of GDL games, modules, and interactive simulations covering an array of topics in biology. GDL: Plant Cells, is an interactive game/lab about plants and how to keep them alive.

GDL: Plant Cells is an amazing tool to help begin talking about plants and why they are so important to us.

It is an interactive laboratory that allows students to alter the environment around a plant, zoom in and out of the major plant cell organelles, and use what they learn to figure out how to make the dying plant survive and thrive. The software is divided into three modules allowing you to learn from the perspective of the mitochondria, chloroplast or nucleus, while at the same time, reinforcing the "Genomic" concept that organelles are linked and dependant on each other.

From within the depth of a plant cell you will explore yjr chloroplast (the p…

Code3D: Serious Games For High Risk Occupations

Transforming Serious Game technology into realistic and engaging training

A glimpse into the future of "Security" viaCode3D - Virtual Training Software
Via: Sim Ops Studios - Registration is open for the Code3D v. 2.0 Beta release – Available for download Monday, November 5th, 2007 
Sim Ops Studios develops virtual reality training software for high risk occupations.

In a world of continuously changing threats it is a necessity for emergency responders to be adequately prepared to think on their feet, make decisions, and react in a well-rehearsed and timely manner.



A lack of proper training and preparedness can lead to fatalities, important property damage, and enormous response costs with a potentially catastrophic economic impact.

Individuals in high risk occupations can use Code3D virtual training software to safely prepare for security threats, industrial accidents, natural disasters and other hazardous situations.



The Sim Ops Studios team spent over three years at Carnegie …

Barry Joseph And GKs: How To Master The Art Of Serious Gaming

Serious Games challenging us to play a better world

Via: Global Kids' Digital Media Initiative
Blogs, wikis, social networks and virtual worlds are just a few of the burgeoning tools nonprofits use to connect, engage constituents, and collaborate. All have revolutionized the way people interact online.
Nonprofits are using Second Life to promote their causes, network with one another, and creatively further their missions — paving the way for other organizations to do the same.

Global Kids bring a global youth development model into Teen Second Life (TSL). They use TSL to develop awareness of global issues and leadership skills amongst teenagers who are currently in TSL and in their after-school programs in New York City.

They have a number of projects that use Second Life in different ways, all funded by either the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation or Microsoft.

Read Barry's insightful article extracts below.

Barry Joseph, Global Kids’ Director of Online Leadership Pro…

Non-Industrial Robotics Sector Getting Closer To Serious Games

Serious Games challenging us to play advanced technology

Via: RoboDevelopment 2007and Photos via CNET News.com

Non-Industrial Robotics, A Market That Will Be Twice The Size Of The Industrial Robotics Sector By 2010.

The RoboDevelopment is the first technical event for the robotics industry that is focused on the design and development of commercial mobile robots and intelligent systems products.

An Under-served Market

To date, events covering technical design and development issues specific to robotics have fallen into two camps.

The first event type serves the industrial robotics market and covers information related to the programming of non-mobile, robotic ‘arms’ involved with manufacturing operations in highly structured factory floor environments.

The second type of robotics technical events are academic conferences. While academic robotics conferences are not specifically dedicated to design and development issues per se, they often include design and development sessions within them.

Future Play 2007 Competition Embraces Serious Games

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

Via: FuturePlay - Research. Play. Share

FuturePlay 2007 - November 15-17, 2007 Toronto, Ontario, Canada

FuturePlay evolved from the former Computer Game Technology (CGT) Conference initiated and run by Algoma University College since 2002.

The goal of FuturePlay is to bring together academics, industry, and students to advance game design and technology through peer-reviewed research, creative and experimental game design and development, and formal and informal discussion on academic and industry-related topics.

The Future Play Conference focuses on three main themes.

The first theme, future game development, addresses academic research and emerging industry trends in the area of game technology and game design.

The second theme, future game impacts and applications, includes academic research and emerging industry trends focused on designing games for learning, for gender, for serious purposes, and to impact society.

Finally, the thir…

When Classics Become Serious Games

Serious Games building the child’s musical intelligence

Via: Computer Games For Music Lovers and Music Games International
Quaint Interactive’s breakthrough blends riveting Fun & Education Winner of over 40 children's entertainment and educational awards, the Interactive Classics™ Series has been called "a perfect marriage of music and technology."

Featuring the world's most beautiful music with thrilling games, captivating graphics and wonderful animation, the Interactive Classics™ Series invites children and parents to embark on a musical journey that may last a lifetime!

The Music Games embody the latest in 21st-century PC entertainment for children and a brand-new form of music appreciation.

Blending riveting fun with good, quick learning, they build the child’s musical intelligence through captivating games and activities. Timeless music, superb animation and hilarious narrative create an unforgettable experience kids will want to relive and replay time and time a…

Re-Publishing: Serious Games Help Find Missing Children - - And Adults

Serious Games Project: Lost & Found

This girl is missing right now! National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children www.missingkids.com
Via: Smartlab Digital Media Institute
Lost & Found--described as "a portable system to track missing and exploited children (and adults)"--works by using GPS and mapping technology within mobile phones.

Users can sign up for alerts when someone goes missing in their area, and if they see someone who resembles a missing child, they take a photo, which will alert authorities to the possibility that an abducted child is nearby.

The tracking system includes Skype links, mobile sensors and links to public webcams + podcasts and broadcasts where participants can see their own input to achieving success in FINDING lost community members, and to change the nature of play, and the sense of responsibility it entails.
The game also mobilizes groups to block roads, search fields, find those who are lost and report those who are hiding them.


Wha…

Four Out Of 10 Most Brilliant Gadgets 07 Are Serious Games Vehicles

Serious Games leveraging big ideas for a better world

Via: Popular Mechanics - Breakthrough Awards 2007

Popular Mechanics' third annual innovation celebration, is honoring eight inventors and ten products -"The 10 Most Brilliant Gadgets of 2007".

Coincidentally, or not, I had previously dedicated a post to at least three of these gadgets, as potential vehicles for Serious Gaming.

At the top of the list is the object of my prior posting Microsoft Surface: Serious Games At The Coffee Table .

Ranked 7th, is Nintendo Wii, object of Serious Games and the Wii Commonalities


Ranked 9th, Apple iPhone object of IPhone: A New Vehicle for Serious Games

The one I had not "blogged " about, and ranked 4th, is Ford Sync.



Ford has elegantly and inexpensively leap-frogged the competition when it comes to in-car infotainment systems.

Ford’s $395 Sync is essentially a small computer running the Microsoft Auto operating system that wirelessly integrates all of your mobile gadgets.
It enabl…

Serious Games For Domestic Robots and Driverless Vehicles

Serious Games and Willow Garage advancing the future


This is a prototype from Willow Garage of a personal robot whose hands, such as they are, can manipulate objects
Via: Willow Garage - Developing Technologies To Make Devices Behave Autonomously
A Silicon Valley start-up is taking a novel approach to building a business for domestic robots and driverless vehicles.
Based in Menlo Park, California,Willow Garage is a new, privately-funded research lab focused on developing the next generation of autonomous devices.

They are interested in applications that take computers out of the server room and enable them to more directly impact the world as robots.

Their initial projects include an autonomous car, an unmanned solar-powered boat designed to sail around the world and a personal robot that can do household chores (in collaboration with the STAIR project at Stanford).



Willow Garage's model for an autonomous vehicle, a Ford Hybrid Escape

The company also plans to start testing an autonomou…

Serious Games Improve Astronauts' Use Of Robotics

Serious Games and Augmented reality onboard the ISS

Via: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society- Improving Robotic Operator Performance Using Augmented Reality

According to a brief news release from Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, researchers from NASA and Lockheed Martin have successfully tested a software for a robotic extension device that has been shown to dramatically improve astronauts’ ability to perform remote tasks on the International Space Station (ISS).'

Their AR development was conceived to be used with the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM), which is scheduled for 2008.



The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) is a two armed robotic device that will be used as an extension to the end effector of the Space Station Robotics Manipulator
System (SSRMS), currently in use on the International Space Station (ISS). SPDM tasks include external orbital replacement unit (ORU) maintenance and temporary storage
management of ORU's and payloads. The SPDM reduce…

Serious Games For Medical Emergency Assistance

CASCOM - Serious Games as intelligent agents for medical emergencies

Via: German Research Center For Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

CASCOM is a sponsored project within the 6th EU Framework Program Agreement.

With a total budget of € 2.69 million, the project has an active term from September 2004 to December 2007. The participating partners include 8 other institutes and companies from Germany, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and Spain. The lead project coordinator is DFKI.

The aim of the EU research project CASCOM is to accomplish the intelligent, context sensitive coordination of medical services, in order to insure their availability at any time from any location.

The CASCOM project is working on the integration of application-specific services from intelligent software agents capable of efficiently solving highly complex tasks in dynamic environments. The ability to safely communicate sensitive personal data independent of an established stationary infrastructure opens a whole…