Monday, March 20, 2006

Day 1 - GDC Serious Games Summit

I've heard some great things today and have a bunch of fun ideas rolling around in my head. Here is a brief overview of some things I'd like to look into further:

  • Teaching People How to Program: Three interesting programs were demonstrated in a session.
    1. Alice is a 3D programming environment that helps kids (especially girls) tell stories by animating characters using program prompts. Alice has been around for a while, but the story-telling mode is new.
    2. MIT's Scratch presents a programming environment for developing simple games and other fun interactives.
    3. Rapunsel presents a coding enviornment in which kids can create their own dance moves for characters. In a creative twist, dancing is controlled by programmable "clothes", such as the rumba pants.
    All this great work makes me wonder what can be done with a programming tool on the iPod... can we have kids create mini movies similar to Alice Storytelling and then make podcasts? How can we use some of that sitting on the bus time to increase understanding of problem solving? Hmmmm....
  • Peripheral Devices: Again, 4 great examples of creative peripherals.
    1. Nokia's Juha Arrosavuori gave some ideas of using mobile phones in health, such as a GPS game where kids have to walk to different zones to pick up "cards" to play with in their game. He also mentioned MUPE as an open-source program for phone app dev.
    2. Dominic Greco shared the very exciting Smart Brain Games wherein ADD kids can don a helmut and play regular games on the PS or XBox, and when they aren't paying attention, the game gets harder. Thus, the kid learns how to focus their attention and when to recognize their attention is waning.
    3. The presentation that really got my brain going was Sonic Studio's (of the Interactive Institute) Interactive Climbing Wall. They used touch sensors and LEDs in the grips on the wall, then programmed a fun array of activities, like "playing" music or hearing poetry, playing pong between bodies on a wall, and "chase the light". It made me wonder what we could do with interactive buttons on a big wall in the hallway of a school... could we do some of the same ideas to get kids moving, but on a less-grand (cheap) scale?
    4. UC Irvine shared their EcoRaft tool for teaching about ecology... kids can destroy an ecosystem on one of 3 screens by pressing a button, but can restore it by taking a tablet pc over and planting a seed, or releasing a bird, etc.

I'll post again tomorrow with some of what I hear... so much fun stuff, it seems unfair to cram it into one post!


Post a Comment

<< Home