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10 years ago
If you are a flash developer, it is an exciting time to take advantage of the new features of the latest round of Flash in the Adobe series. The next version of Flash Professional CS5 will enable you build applications for the iPhone and iPod touch using ActionScript3. So when is it available? A public beta of Flash Professional CS5 with prerelease support for building applications for iPhone is planned for later this year. You can sign up on the Adobe Labs website to be notified when the beta starts. Also, for further FAQs click here. To see some of the games already created using this technology watch the video below.
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10 years ago
Last Thursday Dr. Allan Collins spoke at Teachers College about his newly released book, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: He opened his talk with stories of students who are excelling in ways outside the traditional bounds of school. He advocated that this outlet of learning is where technology is having most impact, in that it is encouraging and cultivating self directed learners and the book is a look at what is going on with respect to these manifestations of learning. Building upon this argument that learning is extending beyond school, he shared a slide riddled with the incompatibilities between schooling and technology, some included: Teacher as the expert vs. diverse sources Standardized assessment vs specialization Knowledge in the head vs. reliance on resources Learning by absorption vs learning by doing Coverage vs knowledge explosion Just in case learning vs just in time learning He then went through a historical overview of the different eras of education including the Industrial Revolution (apprenticeship era), Knowledge Revolution (universal schooling) and up to the present Life Long Learning era. He continued to talk about how schools will become less important as we continue to enter the Life Long Learning phase. He outlined how the educational system has evolved as a preface to the future places of learning. So he talked about such changing characteristics of education as responsibility, pedagogy, assessment, location, culture and relationships and broke each one down into the different forms that corresponded with the learning periods. He then looked at both the Pros and Cons of how the learning in the Life Long era will impact larger issues. His pro list included that it will provide more engagement, less competition, allow more customization, increase individual responsibility, he also focused on using the example of the rise in homeschooling to support the notion that the current schooling system is depreciating. Collins' list of Cons for this system of learning included issues around, equity, citizenship,diversity, commercialization, and isolation. His projections for the future of schooling included a system of specialized certifications that was emphasized would be taken when READY, and not a mandatory or compulsory next step. This system would also allow for multiple ways to get certified based on ones own learning preference in that it could be at home or in learning centers or online He also projected that we need to rethink what is important to learn and how to ask new research questions that will reform the tech world to help foster and support manifestations of self directed learning. His ideas on whats important to learn included new literacies, negotiation for a globalized networked world, less memorization, and encouragement of habits of mind. Collins ended by summing up the Life Long Learning era as one that has three imperative characteristics, it embodies learning that is: Customized Interactive Learner controlled
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10 years ago
I wanted to share the opportunity to come and see Dr. Allan Collins speak tonight at TC. Dr. Collins is a Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and is a real leader in the fields of cognitive science and the learning sciences. His talk is titled "Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and School". The event will take place in Grace Dodge, room 179 at 7pm tonight for anyone who is interested. Click
10 years ago
OVERVIEW & TRENDS I recently attended the DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association) Conference in London and wanted to post a recap of some of the events. DiGRA is an association for academics and professionals who research digital games and associated phenomena. As it was a games conference, game play during the event was a necessary action. There were two conference games: a physical card collecting game that encouraged networking as well as a Twitter language betting game. 'Game of Games' was a game designed to get participants to collect specific type of cards by talking and trading with other conference members, once a full set was collected you gained points, and depending on how fast you were able to complete the task, the more points you received. The second game made use of Twitter (which I have found to be a common practice during the recent conferences I have attended-- a way to get real time feedback, good or bad on your conference presentation!). It was called 'BackChatter', the objective of the game was to sign in prior to a session and make a bet on a word that will be used in the next session. The frequency of the word used as well as how many other people bet on the same word were factors that affected the score of the word you bet. The conference itself featured many interesting talks from an international community. An overarching trend I noticed in the works presented included the notion of the need for the professionalization of game studies. One of the first talks I went to described using Erving Goffman's frame analysis model (1974) as a framework to evaluate and normalize a methodology for game studies. Working toward a more scientific model would include such factors such as predictability- that may currently be lacking in the way we study games. This idea of a methodology for game studies was fluent in most of the presentations I watched either being directly stated or as a suggestion for further research. A couple of examples of its ripple effect into other projects included projects that included the role of artists and designers in their creative process over having a prescribed method to how to do things. This tension highlighted a serious need to communicate professionalism, for designers and artists to be able to communicate to clients and the community that they have some sort of process and can justify and validate what they do. A balance is needed not to tell designers to follow cookbook steps to create but still to define a process. Not exactly a methodology for game studies per say but a methodology with a similar purpose, to exude professionalism. In addition, as a popular game form in the Nordic cultures, it was brought to attention the need for a methodology of documentation of Live Action Role Playing Games, or LARPS, as an important feature to learn and study these games. There really has not been an effective way to capture these events and again methodologies for documenting these events in on the agenda for future research. Other highlighted topics of the conference included: Comparative Studies: Film & Video Games Role Playing Games Game Design Frameworks Games in Education Game Critique Online & Social Networking Games Offensive Games Virtual Worlds Mobile Platforms: I felt the mobile platform was an untapped area at this conference only featuring one session devoted to this type of device, studies on Geocatching possibilities and Interactive TV applications (iTV)were presented. And many more I am sure I have left out, however if anyone is interested further reading full papers in any of these areas or just want to explore I would happy to lend you the disc of the conference proceedings.
10 years ago
I recently attended a session at a conference by Andrew Hieronymi, (bio) whose recent work focuses on the boundaries between games and art in physical environments. He is currently a professor of Interactive Design and Game Development at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. The particular project he presented was called MOVE. This project consists of a list of verbs that each embody a central game mechanic to make a series of installation art pieces. Each game is displayed as an installation using computer vision and full body interaction, allowing participants to experience six different types of actions usually performed by avatars in video games. These actions include avoid, chase, jump, throw, hide and collect. The simplicity of the games have allowed them to be accessible to a variety of different audiences around the world where he has displayed his work. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the kinds of interactions that are available and possible not only for interactive art but also for games. His focus on actually putting a person into the physical space of the game is an interesting approach and one that has long been valued by game designers in their physical prototyping phase. It is also becoming a more and more popular form of gaming as 'exergaming' or projects such as the Swarm that Saeed Zare shared recently in an EdLab seminar, continue to add more and more real world actions on the players part into games. Andrew is also interested in coming to NYC to do an installation, so I will keep you posted if he comes, so you can check out the installations for yourself. In the mean time, you can check out the videos of people playing the games on his website- just click on the linked actions below. Avoid Chase Jump Throw Hide Collect Also check out his website for other projects he is working on and if interested have a look at this paper. Playtime in the White Cube- Game Art: Between Interactive Art and Video Games.
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10 years ago
I recently attended the Games4Change (G4C) conference in New York, to present a poster that was part of the advanced video game design course I took this past semester. Our class wrote grants for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation challenge Games for Health. The group I was in came up with a mobile intervention game which uses breath therapy as an alternative treatment for smoking cessation. Our poster for G4C was featured during expo night. There were many other games and posters featured that night and I wanted to share some of them, so below is a small description and a link to the projects website. Enjoy. Budget Maze Gotham Gazette's Budget Maze challenges players to make their way through the maze of the city budget as the calendar ticks down to the budget deadline. The game has three levels: the first is a fairly simple level where the player must procure funding from a discretionary pool. The third level requires the player to travel to and from the state capital organizing support for their budget proposal. The goal of the game is to illustrate a complex policy issue with the ultimate aim of arming our readers with better tools to bring it with them into policy debates.play it here. Hurricane Katrina : Tempest in Crescent City This web-based game recognizes local heroes that emerged during the disaster while educating its players about the essentials of disaster readiness and of reporters. It is set in New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina Disaster of 2005. The game's main character is Vivica Water, a young woman from New Orleans who moved to New York after surviving the storm. The games takes place in a dream Vivica has where she searches for her mother and helps her neighbors as the hero she wishes she could have been. play it here. Real lives 2010 This is based on the latest version of the Real Lives simulation that enables you to live life in any country of the world, all based on real world statistics. This new version features an entirely new user interface, animated 3D graphics, family trees, graphs of personal statistics, the ability to create a business, integrated good maps and Flickr phones as well as other features requested by users. The purpose is to increase awareness of, and empathy for people living in different situations and the opportunities and constraints they face as they make life decisions. play it here. Caduceus This game transports kids to a virtual world where they take on the role of young healers tracking down the source of a mysterious plague. As they solve scientific puzzles, tweens experience the same hurdles that real doctors and scientists face in their work. They are challenged to track down the source of the disease, isolate its causes and miss and match ingredients to find a cure. As kids conquer each of the games levels, portions of their sponsors' pledges are unlocked and donated to Children's Hospital Boston. If they complete all five, they cure the virtual plague, earn the title "Master Healer" and win the full donation amount to advance to real-world cures for kids. All funds raised go directly to research to find cures and treatments for debilitating childhood illnesses.play it here. Homeland Guantanamos This is a game designed to spotlight the inhumane conditions being faced by 300,000 people in an immigrant detention as a result of unfair Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies. Players assume the role of an undercover journalist doing an investigative series who must uncover the true story of Boubacar Bah, an immigrant who dies in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody under questionable circumstances in 2007. The purpose of the game is to broaden awareness of the deaths and inhumane detention conditions that are the result of a DHS that lacks oversight and codified standards, in order to build support for legislative change. more information is available here. MILLEE mobile and immersive learning for literacy in emerging economies Literacy levels in poor countries remain shockingly low, and this game aims to address this issue by providing learning tools on more widely accessible platforms such as cell phones. This allows people to learn in more places and instances which are more convenient than only in schools. MILLEE, now in its 6th year, is taking a scientific approach to the design of immersive enjoyable language learning games on cell phones. The project is expanding to an amazing next level by conducting a controlled field experiment with 800 rural children in India and validation against standardized school tests. The lessons will permit the project to be scaled nationwide and replicated in other developing countries for other languages. more information is available here. PlayPower.org 8-bit learning games on $10 computers People need affordable learning games. There are 4.1 billion people worldwide who earn under $3,000/year meaning that even a $100 computer is often out of reach. Playpower is targeting a $10 platform that makes learning games affordable. It is so affordable because it uses an existing TV screen and comes with a full keyboard, mouse, game controllers and several game cartridges. These are currently available in street markets in India, China, Pakistan, South America etc. In the USA it is available through MAKE magazines Makershed.com. check it out.
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10 years ago
A new suite of tools to represent complex data sets VisTrails is a product of a National Science Foundation (NSF) supported project that takes on the challenge of organizing complex data sets into accurate and cohesive pictures. Vistrails was developed by University of Utah's Julianna Freire and Claudio Silva, both computer science associate. It is a program that has a suite of tools for data visualizations making it much easier for scientists to create complex visualizations that help viewers gain a better perspective on the research represented. You can watch a video of Freire, one of the systems creators by following this link and get some insight into the future of what they are working toward, such as 'Science 2.0'. Or check out their Wiki for more information.
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11 years ago
Just came across a funny video about the current tax season and some interesting responses in the form of 'teabagging'. Check it out.
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11 years ago
The UK has recently launched a nationwide campaign using shocking art depictions to get the message out that cyberbullying is a serious issue, and that social networking could be a be a promising avenue for change. Bullying prevention charity Beatbullying worked with advertising agency M&C Saatchi as well as youth to create a series of provocative ads that aim to resonate with young people and make them think about their actions as well as what they can do to help make a change. The campaign aims to promote a new social networking site CyberMentors, as the next step to educate victims that there is help available and for the bullies to understand that they can change. CyberMentors is the first nationwide online peer-mentoring social networking site for young people. According to this article, "56% of young people admit to having, at some point, been involved in bullying, according to research done according to research conducted by Beatbullying with over 2000 young people aged between 11 and 18. Of those who have cyber-bullied, the most common way is to send a hurtful message to a victim (26 per cent) followed by spreading rumours (16 per cent), editing a picture (15 per cent) and eight per cent have either filmed bullying or sent an offensive video clip about someone to their friends." CyberMentors has already experienced a great response with about 23,000 young people accessing the site to seek help and support from their peers. Amongst these young people, hundreds have openly admitted to having suicidal thoughts or harming themselves as a result of verbal and/or physical bullying they are experiencing both offline and online. There are also already over 700 fully trained CyberMentors and Beatbullying cyber councillors manning the site in shifts to provide support to victims. Emma Jane Cross, Beatbullying chief executive, describes social networking as a force for good in tackling cyberbullying: "Bullying in any form is unacceptable but sadly it is an issue that has only been propagated by digital innovations." Some poster examples below, feature silhouetted imagery of young people who appear to have committed suicide from the barrage of bullying taunts in youth language.
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11 years ago
A new application that connects New York State standards with games?
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