"What do games teach us about creative culture?" By Andrew Phelps- Serious Play Conference

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  • 08/31/12 20:18 © 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This presentation is for informational purposes only. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, in this summary.

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  • 1. What do games teach us about creative culture? Andrew Phelps Professor & Founding Director School of Interactive Games & Media College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of TechnologySchool of Interactive Games & MediaB. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information SciencesRochester Institute of Technologyigm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 2. Hi, I’m Andy, and I Make Games. Andy approximately 1978-1981.School of Interactive Games & MediaB. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information SciencesRochester Institute of Technologyigm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 3. RIT HISTORY of GAMES EDUCATIONDEVELOPMENTWinner XNA GS Innovation Award 2007HONORED REPEATEDLY BY MSR and othersNATIONAL REPUTATION of EXCELLENCEINCREDIBLE RESEARCH RECORDNEW EXCITING NATIONAL PROJECTS EVERY YEAR Picture the Impossible Just Press Play Preserving Virtual Worlds IGDA GameSauce Challenge Top 10 PAX 10 Challenge Top 10NETWORK OF ALUMNI MAKINGTHE GAMES YOU PLAY Halo Transformers Guitar Hero Spongebob Several Kinect® Titles… School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 4. OUR GRADUATES ARE CURRENTLYCREATING THINGS AT:Microsoft X-BOX & MGS Artificial LifeElectronic Arts Northrup Grumman Undersea SystemsVicarious Visions United States Military and the CIARed Eye Studios Booz Allen HamiltonSquareEnix IBM OdopodSony Computer Entertainment Lockheed MartinHigh Moon Public Broadcasting Station (PBS)Volition Nickelodeon MTVBlizzard Entertainment Cynergy Systems Inc.Edios GoogleActivision mySpace / Fox InteractiveBig Huge Games …and many more!Zynga Valve School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 5. Alumni Example: Katie Linendoll Katie Linendoll is an Emmy award-winning TV personality and technology expert, appearing on CNN and the CBS Early Show and regularly contributing her expertise to magazines like People, People Style Watch, Marie Claire, Shape and Fitness. Prior to working on-air, Linendoll gained behind-the-scenes experience with ESPN and won an Emmy as Associate Producer for SportsCenter. Knowing what a producer wants and what it takes to create a show helped her transition to her new role in front of the camera, where she develops and creates all her own segments. Linendoll also co-hosted the Emmy nominated series, We Mean Business on A&E and has blogged forCLASS OF ‘05 Dell and Oprah.com. She has also worked on projects with AOL, Gizmodo and HP. She recently agreed to a one year deal with Lincoln and signed as a spokesperson for Polaroid, and just started her own show on SPIKE TV.School of Interactive Games & MediaB. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information SciencesRochester Institute of Technologyigm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 6. Alumni Example: Josh Gilpatrick Josh was a GDD student who went to work at Microsoft Games Studios. Built the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ mechanic for Kinect now inCLASS OF ‘09 Sports & Kinectimals School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 7. First, are gamers creative?• ‘Learning’ the game?• Training a response? / Cultivating a response?• Isn’t it just ‘discovery of a rule-set’?• Optimization? School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 8. “Take for example the basic notion of a quest.Within a typical MMOG, a quest provides adescription of a task to be performed, basicinformation about what resources are needed, and areward to be received when the task is completed.One of the key traits of a questing disposition is thewillingness to find, analyze, and evaluate resourcesneeded to complete a task. One’s disposition towardthe world is characterized by the belief that if you tryhard enough you will find what you need along theway, that the world itself will afford the resourcesthat are needed to solve it. Accordingly, a questdisposition is one which is tied to resources andwhich focuses on the contingency and possibility, butalso which demands a high level of situationalawareness.” – Doug Thomas and Seely Brown USC School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 9. How do we explain• Rocket Jumping?• Corpse writing?• Wall Hacking?• Gnome Scouting?• …and several other forms of emergent play? _What seems obvious in hindsight_ _is not predictable_ School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 10. Engagement• Obviously, a lot has now been written about engagement, flow, motivation, etc. School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 11. Flow as Game Addiction• In an irony of ironies, the element that is often misrepresented as “responsible for game addiction” is the very same element that makes games a powerful catalyst for learning, and which forms the basis for scientific inquiry• Human beings are “happy” solving challenges and feeling rewarded. School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 12. Creativity• “enjoyability replaces usability” – M. Gough, Adobe Systems• Directed replaces dictated• Our “10,000 hours” doesn’t necessarily produce anything out of the ordinary, but “playing around” often does School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 13. What we used to say about computers• Once you’ve unlocked the power of the desk-top computer, you’ll be using Apple in ways you never dreamed of. You don’t want to be limited by the availability of pre-programmed cartridges. You’ll want a computer, like Apple, that you can also program yourself. … The more you and your students learn about computers, the more your imagination will demand. So you’ll want a computer that can grow with you as your skills and experience grow. – original Apple ][ literature, courtesy of Ian Bogost, GaTech School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 14. The Assessment Trap• One of the biggest challenges is assessment. A lot of times we are asked to prove the ‘effectiveness’ of a given title or experience by comparing it to a more traditional measure using a standardized instrument. Educational games are a prime example here. And if you aren’t careful, you fall victim to organizing everything around the assessment mechanism – you start off designing a game to teach a mathematical concept, and produce a game that makes someone very adept at taking a standardized test about that concept, but not necessarily better at actually employing that concept in their own work or study. School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 15. The Sheeple Trap• And… the continual challenge of allowing for creativity and gameful solutions: players are smart, motivated, and engaged (if you built a good game). That means they will do things you didn’t expect or design for: often times I see folks trying to account for all possible actions or paths, when a more flexible and less-detailed approach might be the better way to go in addressing the content. School of Interactive Games & Media B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology igm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 16. 10 years of Games@RITSchool of Interactive Games & MediaB. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information SciencesRochester Institute of Technologyigm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 17. Thank You & Questions andy@mail.rit.eduSchool of Interactive Games & MediaB. Thomas Golisano College of Computing & Information SciencesRochester Institute of Technologyigm.rit.edu | www.rit.edu
  • 18. Useful Links:www.seriousplayconference.comwww.seriousgamesdirectory.comwww.seriousgamesassociation.comContact:sbohle@seriousgamesassociation.com