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Showing posts from June, 2007

Kongregate: A "Serious" Games Social Network

Via: GigaOM  - Inside the YouTube of Games
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Written by Blake Snow


Founded in 2006 and currently in a state of heavy development, Kongregate seeks to create the leading online hub for players and game developers to meet up, play games, and operate together as a community.

By wrapping user-submitted Flash games with various community features, Kongregate's site serves as a unique way for users to play great web-based games alongside friends. Anyone can add their own games to Kongregate’s library in a process that’s fast and simple.

Kongregate operates with an understanding of how difficult it can be for talented game developers - from the aspiring gamesmith to the independent studio - to get the recognition and compensation that they deserve. That's why Kongregate shares microtransaction and advertising revenue with contributing developers, who retain the full rights to their games.

The Market
Casual Flash games generate monthly page views in the hu…

Studio SFO: Serious Games Enabling Successful Meetings

Via: Studio SFO - Second Life Expo and Event and Conference Meeting Space

Specializing in fully integrated experiences that go from online onto the "real world", Studio SFO offers a complete solution for companies of any size wishing to hold meetings inside the 3D space.

Studio SFO produces events, content, and media relating to "virtual worlds" such as Second Life, IMVU, Multiverse and others that are currently emerging.

They have already produced more than 125 events in these virtual environments, some simultaneously with real-world events, and have expertly designed spaces based on experience - they know what works in this medium.

Bob Ketner, owner and creative director at Studio SFO, has a background rooted in interactive electronic entertainment, supported by an MA in Industrial Design.

Through Studio SFO he offers design and consulting for virtual world projects. He has been a main writer for the Avatar Fashion book series. He also co-chairs the Virtual World SIG…

Serious Games: A Sizeable Market - Update

On my previous post Serious Games, Serious Money: A Sizeable Market, dated March 12, 2007, I've tried to extrapolate a few "back of the envelope" figures for the actual size of the Serious Games market, departing from PricewaterhouseCoopers' media outlook report 2006 for the video game sector worldwide.

This report has now been updated, with the following major highlights:

Video Game Sector Projections
By 2011, the worldwide gaming market will be worth $48.9 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 9.1% during the five-year period. The compound gains handily exceed the 6.4% advance that PwC eyes for the overall entertainment economy during the period.
(Personal Note: As piracy rates subvert the actual market size, my best estimate for the worldwide video game market could rise to $58 bi by 2011).

Its data include consumer spending on games, but do not include spending on hardware and accessories.

Key growth engines will include online and wireless games, new-generation…

Serious Games Gaining Solid Traction in Europe

Serious Games Europe reports that Serious Games are gaining solid traction in Europe. In addition to the establishment of the Serious Games Institute in the UK reported in April, they have the following upcoming events already scheduled:
Apply Serious Games: Themes include: Effective immersive environments & virtual worlds. When to use platforms and when to build your own - with a debate on MMOGs vs Virtual Worlds and a shoot-out between Second Life and Forterra's OLIVE; Connected systems: web 2.0 with games and virtual worlds; How & Where mobile is best connected to make the full complement of interactive platforms. 28 June, London, UK

Serious Virtual Worlds: First International Conference on the Professional Applications of Virtual Worlds. 13 – 14 September 2007 @ The Serious Games Institute, Coventry TechnoCentre, UK.The theme for this first Serious Virtual Worlds conference is ‘The Reality of the Virtual World’ and takes a close look at how virtual worlds are now being u…

Serious Games Developing Leadership

The recent Business Week article IBM's Management Games  has been reproduced at large by several blogs and sites over the Web , therefore I have no intention to replicate it here.

Besides promoting Innov8, object of my prior posting Serious Games For Improving Business Process Management, in the middle section of the article a theme, that is close to my heart, is addressed: Developing Leadership.

It states that "McKinsey & Co. is using video games to test recruits for leadership potential and assess their team-building style. Royal Philips Electronics and Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, are using multiplayer games to improve collaboration between far-flung divisions, as well as between managers and their overseas underlings."

"What distinguishes the latest corporate forays into the gaming world is the degree to which companies are tapping virtual environments to hone the leadership skills of their workers."

"By 2011, 80% of Internet users will have avata…

Game Developers chase Serious Games Business Models

Via: Mass High tech News

The ideas for Serious Games technology -- from military simulation to personal health care -- are coming quickly for entrepreneurs, but establishing a business model is a different story.

The traditional model for many entertainment-based games -- a boatload of development before revenue, followed by huge amounts of marketing and retail distribution -- are not practical for the budding "serious games" industry.

Kent Quirk, for example, started CogniToy LLC in 1997 to develop entertainment-based games. The company was "moderately successful," according to Quirk, with a title called "Mind Rover," which sold about 20,000 copies in the late 1990s.

But now he is working on a game called "Melting Point," which has been built to educate both children and adults about the environmental factors of global warming by allowing them to experiment with various environmental, scientific and political factors in a simulation game. Quirk ori…

Forterra's Olive: An Attractive Platform for Serious Gaming

Via: Forterra Systems

Forterra Systems, the market and technology leader in private virtual worlds, announced early this month the immediate release and availability of its On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment - OLIVE™ 1.0 platform as a software development kit (SDK).

Forterra Systems builds distributed virtual world technology for the corporate, healthcare, government, and entertainment industries.

Over $50M has been invested to date in the OLIVE architecture, yielding one of the most scalable virtual world environments available. “This technology will be a transformative force for our customers. They are already indicating that they can achieve their business goals more quickly, less expensively, and with greater reach through creating their own virtual worlds,” said Dave Rolston, Forterra’s CEO. “Our customers and partners are already creating an amazing array of compelling applications around distance training, organizational exercises & rehearsals, virtual office collaborati…

Multiverse: Strolling Seamlessly Between Game Worlds

Via: Multiverse and The Economist

WHEN you sit down to play a “massively multiplayer online game” (MMOG) your computer connects to a distant server which holds all the data needed to model the synthetic realm and to co-ordinate the actions of different players. The “client” software on your computer updates the server with your every move, and the server keeps all players informed of each other's actions. This enables each player's computer to render a vivid, three-dimensional world.

The software that does this, however, is proprietary: each game requires its own client and server software. MMOGs and virtual worlds are, in short, like walled gardens. You cannot move from one virtual world to another.

What happened on the Internet was that the web came along and provided common, open standards for both client and server software, doing away with proprietary online services and bringing together previously separate communities. Now a firm called Multiverse Network hopes to do the s…

Serious Games Give Ancient Rome New Life

Via: Spiegel Online International
After 10 years of work, researchers this week unveiled a detailed 3-D simulation of ancient Rome, circa A.D. 320. Visitors can examine 7,000 buildings and even go inside the Colosseum for an in-depth tour.

It took centuries for Rome to rise up on the banks of the Tiber River to become one of the ancient world's most influential and advanced cities. But researchers from around the globe managed to recreate the jewel of antiquity in just 10 years -- in a digital copy.
The recreation, completed by the Rome Reborn project based at the University of Virginia, was unveiled earlier this week and allows users a unique look at what the city looked like in A.D. 320, a time when the city was at the peak of its glory. Fully 7,000 buildings were recreated for the project. Digital visitors can even take a detailed tour of the Colosseum and get close ups of the myriad bits of decoration and extravagance on monuments throughout the city.

"This is the first step …

Serious Games For Global Problem-Solving

Via: Microsoft - Microsoft, Games for Change Team Up to Encourage Global Problem-Solving Through Digital Gaming

Microsoft Corp. and Games for Change (G4C) announced early this week a joint commitment to explore new ways to bring together the world of digital gaming with the world of social change at the fourth annual Games for Change Festival at Parsons The New School for Design.

As part of the announcement, Microsoft outlined an all-new socially minded global gaming competition, Xbox 360™ Games for Change Challenge, to drive awareness for games based on social themes.

This worldwide competition, set to launch this summer to participants in more than 100 countries, will challenge college students to come up with the best game based on the theme of global warming.

Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, made the announcement during the 2007 Games for Change Festival Expo Night, following an introduction from Bob Ker…

Formula One Leveraging On Serious Games and Neuroscience

Via: The Guardian - Flawless Hamilton makes it look so easy
Lewis Hamilton may not be the youngest driver to win a formula one race, but his victory in yesterday's Canadian grand prix will take its place among the most remarkable achievements in the history of the sport. As the first driver whose approach to the job comes close to matching the sophistication of his machine, he has single-handedly raised the stakes for his own generation and those to come.

No one has ever made the business of driving a formula one car look so easy. Last Sunday he gave a performance of flawless composure in the most demanding of circumstances, controlling an afternoon in which the disruption caused by four safety-car interludes effectively meant that he had to win the race five times over.

Hamilton has been prepared for this and other aspects of the job with all the seriousness and some of the specific training techniques brought to bear on astronauts and fighter pilots.

Ron Dennis put at Hamilton'…

Microsoft Surface: Serious Games At The Coffee Table

Via: DVICE - Microsoft Surface to rock your dining experience

A few years ago at CES, Bill Gates demoed a future technology that would allow users to sit down in a restaurant, hotel, or airline lounge and use an interactive table surface to get work done. It was a very kludgey design at the time and didn't look like it would actually be made. Flash forward to May 29 when Microsoft's Steve Balmer officially unveiled Microsoft Surface.

Essentially Surface is a high powered computer built into a beautiful looking table with a 30-inch touch sensitive screen that can recognize objects placed on it. Using dynamic touch, infrared cameras, and physical objects, users can order food, browse photos, load their Zune with music, play games and a lot more.
While it would be great to have one of these as the new coffee table in the house, Microsoft is targeting retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues with a price range of $5,000 to $10,000. Availability? Beginning at the end of th…