Friday, November 10, 2006

It is the month of gaming

I guess that it is not planned. But there are a lot of gaming events and announcements in the Netherlands during this month. There was already a seminar on serious gaming with some good examples. An announcement for the development of a mobile educational game. And last but not least the Dutch game industry holds its annual conference in Utrecht (photograph of the Dom during last years Game Days) at the end of November and uses all available PR tools, including YourTube.

The seminar on Serious Gaming was different from the ones I have attended so far. There was more stress on simulation in business and management and less stress on the internals of serious games. Game developer Douwe Buis says: “Serious gaming is a very interesting way if you need to implement a new strategy in an organisation. You create a safe environment in which employees can experiment. Usually people think that a day of business gaming is a day full of fun; but it is hard day’s work with a valuable learning experience as a result”. The best part of the seminar were the cases. Four of the presentations have been put online (warning: they are in Dutch and movie parts can not be played). One is on the development of a product on diving instruction. The second one is a ship simulator which is used for training, but also promotion. The Dutch police force has developed a serious game for training. The last one is most likely the most interesting one as it is about developing a serious game for a mission to Mars. It gives a lot of insight in the development process (it is a pity the presentation is in Dutch)
Virtual Driving Instructor - Jorrit Kuipers - Green DinoShip game en simulator - Pjotr van Schothorst - VstepProfcheck Opsporing en Profcheck Basispolitiezorg - Harry Lassche - PolitieacademieProjectmanagement door een missie naar Mars - Paul Ras - Simenco

Yesterday there was the announcement that a pilot of a mobile educational game has received support to develop the 3G location based game to a full blown product. The pilot had attracted much attention already. It was for example one of the Dutch entries for the World Summit Award of 2005. In the Frequency 1550 mobile game, students are transported to the medieval Amsterdam of 1550 via a medium that's familiar to this agegroup: the mobile phone. Amsterdam schoolkids equiped with a 3G mobile and GPS discovered interactively historical venues in Amsterdam and shared the experience with each other. Apart from adding to historical awareness and knowledge we hoped the pilot would enhance communication and collaboration skills (game tactics) and educational abilities (interpreting historical sources and references). Throught this pilot, De Waag Foundation was researching whether actively experiencing history through the immersing qualities of a (location-based) game and the creation of your own media (pictures, sound, video) adds to the understanding and appreciation of the city and its history. The pilot will now be developed into a full blown game with a grant of 1 million euro; in the project will collaborate the City of Amsterdam, Waag Foundation, telco KPN and two Amsterdam schools. In the second year the game will will be avaialble to other Dutch schools.

Last but not least, the Dutch Game Days in Utrecht at the end of the month. It will be a very creative conference as you can see from the announcements in English (!).Over the last 9 months television makers, game developers and concept developers have formed 4 teams to create innovative concepts to combine television and games. Craftworld: What do you get when you mix games with television. The Spill Group created an award by requesting a game for the Clinilowns in the NLGD Development Rally. More than 100 teams registered. A jury of kids will help pick the winner. Rally: more than a 100 registrations. Speakers like Margaret Robertson, editor of EDGE, and Wim Veen, professor education and technology at the TU Delft, will talk about the convergence of research ánd entertainment regarding games. And completely in style with Web 2.0 the organisers put a trailer on YourTube, proclaiming that the city of Utrecht will burn.

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Blog Posting Number: 565

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