Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Brian xxx on benefits of working in teams. Having a group to playtest interactive stuff. Having the game in group memory. Shows you where the holes are. Designing interactive systems for groups of people requires people. Leads to a fuller design, taking into account multiple perspectives. Games take on a life of their own and are all about how they interact with other people besides the designer.
"I got home last night and I realized that I made a game! And it's a game that I want to play. And I never thought that I would be a game designer."
Creative, collective thinking. Creativity is a group effort. We all have good ideas, but the understanding of this collection of them is more powerful. Being in teams forces you to understand the way somebody else is processing information, and can lead to a better result. Sometimes working teams brings out unknown skills that you didn't realize individuals have.
Engaging in game activity is really hard at first - it's a totally new way for most people to interact at work. Playtest. Being part of a game is very different from planning one. When you imagine a game, you imagine a particular kind of play behavior - this is probably not what most people will actually do when they play. Iterative playtesting is essential. Experiment, fail, do it again. Without going through the testing process, you aren't going to know what works. Playtesting can be hard for game designers - watching you best-laid plans turned to chaos. This isn't what I thought would happen - this is bad - this is good, how do I get more of it - this person says they are having fun but they clearly are not. Takes practice to get good at facing it.
MOMA redesigned their meeting room. Was a big table. Now no table, various kinds of seating at various heights, one wall chalkboard wall. Has made meetings more relaxed.
IofP is making a game for MOMA visitors in collaboration with MOMA staff. Having done the game workshop beforehand made the process of collaborating on a game much smoother - they had a shared vocabulary, some understanding of constraints and what the game could do. Ability to focus on one narrow goal. "We want people to do this in the gallery." Not "we want lazers and lots of cool stuff."
A lot fo the challenges MOMA has are the same challenges you face in any large physical game. "How do we do engagement in the museum" and "how do we make a game" seem to be very similar problems. They ahve been playtesting the game with random museum visitors - walking around the galleries, walking up to people, "Hi. Would you test this game for us?"
Their workshops are usually 3 days long. They find that is optimal to create trust and engagement. But they have done shorter workshops, perhaps one afternoon. MOMA workshop was 3 half-days - people did their normal work in morning, workshop in afternoon.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Today Dr Susan Penner of the USF School of Nursing invited me to visit her class's SecondLife projects.
I was thoroughly impressed by how much this professor and her nursing students were able to create in a few short hours on SecondLife. What made it especially impressive was the fact that Dr Penner had only a few months experience on SL and her students had never used SL before this class.
Last February, JJ Drinkwater, CeAire Decosta, Rudolfo Woodget and I presented a workshop about using SecondLife for the faculty at the University of San Francisco. Dr Susan Penner was among the faculty who attended this workshop, and she decided to incorporate SL into her next course
In September, I visited her first inworld session. None of her students had ever used SL before. She provided them with premade avatars and brought them inworld as a group during a regular class session.
They behaved like typical newbies, mostly trying to figure out how to walk, run, and change their appearance. SL and the USF computer network were not very cooperative, and they kept crashing.
Frankly, I left thinking they weren't going to be able to accomplish much, using SecondLife as just one aspect of a one-semester course.
Today I was invited to view their class projects. I was blown away - these total newbies, most of whom spent less than 20 hours inworld, had created interesting projects with good builds.
How did Dr Penner accomplish this? She used one of SL's major strengths - the willingness to share, teach and help that is such a striking part of our SecondLife culture. She teamed her students up with experienced SL builders, who were happy to share their knowledge, teach basic building techniques and help with the more advanced aspects of each project. This allowed her students to create builds that went far beyond what most could have accomplished in a single semester.
Here's what I saw:
A tatoo parlor that dispenses information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases. San Francisco recently started dispensing this type of information if real life tatoo parlors, so this build couldn't be more timely.
A tent that provides one-stop preparation for health workers being sent overseas in an emergency. Here they can get their inoculations, arrange their visas, and obtain other necessary information and equipment. If such places don't already exist in real life, they definitely should.
An ambulance that displays slides about the F.A.S.T. protocol for assessing trauma. FAST is a set of observational tests that are used by paramedics and first responders. Dr Penner created this project, working alongside her students.
An informational build for expectant mothers. It includes billboards about such topics as nutrition, fetal development, and government assistance programs for pregnant women and young children. In real life, a set of posters like this would be a wonderful addition to a medical clinic or WIC intake station. It's not possible for many nursing students to visit these facilities in real life, so visiting them on SecondLife is a useful substitute.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
1. EDUCAUSE Review - Back to Virtual School
Review by Lyr Lobo
2. JISC - Serious Virtual Worlds
Author: Sara de Freitas
Publication date: 3 November 2008
Publication Type(s): Reports
JISC theme(s): e-Learning1
The Serious Virtual Worlds report focuses on virtual worlds for educational uses, and explores the ‘serious’ – as opposed to leisure-based – uses of virtual worlds.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Implementing Web 2.0
The presenters spoke about how they do this at the Columbus Public Library.
I thought their job titles said it all, actually-- I don't think any libraries had job titles like this as recently as five years ago.
Joy Marlow - Digital Experience Analyst
Sam Davis - Applications Programmer
Selling ideas to administratiors and staff
Your personal learning curve & your staff's learning curve
Keeping up with new technology
Bring customer along – if they don’t know how or don’t get what they want, they won’t use it
You’re at the mercy of 3rd party vendors & content providers – ex. Using twitter for updates on your site, when Twitter is down, your updates won't be visible to your staff and patrons
Unclear strategy – who will do it (implement) what will you do, how does it fit in, how does it fit into brand
Engage your staff
Their staff is using the training program developed by Helen Blauer – Learning 2.0 – 23 things
Response has been very enthusiastic. They put short videos up on their staff website about people who are using the new technologies and how they are using them.
Engage your customers – Powertools page (blog—post “what technologies are you using, what would you see use do?)
Believe in what you do – show your passion, to aqdministrators, to customers
Beta – experiment – Their toolbar is in beta, so people know it’s a work in progress, solicit feedback from customers, perpetual beta?
Tips and tricks
Prototyping – create working models of your applications, tools – give people something they can put hands on, look at – Cigtywaall – large multitouch stouch screen == Helsinki Finland – users can interact, move photos around, crop them, interactive—mulyi-touch, multi-functional – put prototype together using youtube videos, took cardboard bos, laptop, vwebcam
Let it be torn apart, get feedback, empowers customers, let’s tool keep making itself better
Don’t be afraqid to fail
Some of this stull won’t work
Keep up with the literacy
Identity has two components:
What I say abut me
What others say about me -- this is the more important**
You do not own your online identity – but you do have ways to influence it
Personal branding – stuff you do to define who you are
Managing your online brand
1. Have a homebase. May be a blog, a website, a Ning. If you want to have your own domain, purchase your domain today, don't wait.
2. Own your username -- use a consistent username across the sites
3. Aggreagate your lifestream – provide a single place where somebody can go and find everything you do online – some sites that work well for this are Friendfeed, libraryland
4. Join the conversation – get online, get involved in various media
5. Follow what others are saying about you—Some ways to do this -- Google blog alerts (Google will email you whenever a blog mentions your name), technorati, twitter search feeds
6. Be authentic -- be yourself
Allows searching in other languages
Very useful for those of us who only read English
Google Timelines has been improved
Now has authoritative dates
Gives timeline of mentions of word or phrase in Google news
Useful because you can limit your search to the specific time when a particular topic might be in the news
Google Graphing the news
Looks for frequency of a particular topic in news
#times people searched for wd or ph
Shows news volume
Shows where you were when you conducted the search
Relative # of mentions of search term by city
Useful for seeing when people cared about a topic
Gives suggestions for related or complimentary search terms
[yahoo brackets]=words in brackets must appear in the same order, but may have unlimited words in between
Google India's search result interface
Groups search results into related sections
Wikipedia box is by itself
Images in right column
Major websites such as How Stuff Works may be broken out (sites vary with query)
Blogs are broken out
Search results are listed
Live.com product reviews
Includes user reviews--broken out and classified
Allows you to add an extra word to change relevance ranking
Does not change results
Ex: hybrid cars prefer convertible
Not an and or an or – dies not limit or expand - just re-sorts the search results
Can help disambiguate works with multiple meanings
Ex: sun – breaks out astronomy, astrology, Sun Corp, computer, business, stocks
Runs on Wikipedia
Another sense-making engine
Contains, makes, crops
Automatic search algorithm
Can be used to expand or narrow search based on meanings shown
Recently purchased by Microsft
Groups keywords in search results
Almost like a tag cloud
Can show where to go next – use as first tool
Lets you choose the clustering algorithm
Gives up to 400 search results (Normal is 100)
Default is Lingo algorithm, or you can choose from a list
Each algorithm gives somewhat different results
Aggregates current news and tries to make sense of it
Shows hotspots on map
Background fact sheets on popular topics
You can narrow to just news on a particular topic (Environmental Science)
You input your search terms into a cloud
Larger the text you put your term in = the more important that term is to you
Used to locate public wifi networks near you
Looks at your ip addres & locates other public wifi networks
Does not run on Firefox 3
Web 2.0 rsearch engine
Runs a metasearch on web 2.0 tools
Gogleblog search, youtube, technarati, etc.
Searches discussion boards
How to find conference buzz
Figure out blog tag for this conference
Aggregator – pulls together everything you say about yourself in various media
Put in email address
Shows items about you from blogs, photoshop, sales on Amazon, flickr, Amazon wishlist, yout ube, Facebook, etc.
There have been some great speakers here. Howard Reingold gave the keynote address this morning, speaking about how the web, cell phones, instant messinger, etc. connect people. He spoke about "flash mobs" where people use IM, Twitter and other online connections to organise action groups. Most of what he said was already familiar to me, because I follow him on Twitter andrecently heard him speak on SecondLife. But it was marvellous to hear him live.