2screen - what games know about split attention

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A talk I gave at 2screen - a conference tackling the question of how to design when an audience's attention is split across multiple screens - approaching the question from a gaming perspective.

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  • Talking about new screen. Exciting. Properly new.
  • People always assume games are new, but they’re not. But new is hard.
  • Vetoed a couple of crazy things. Was going to do a two screen thing by having live twitter heckling as I talked.
  • Contemplated a split personality costume.
  • Decided instead to dodge the problem of talking about new 2 screen stuff by talking about old game stuff. Games have been using two screens for a while. Pacman Vs - very clever.
  • Four Swords +, knows how to take attention to and from main screen.
  • But then I realised that was totally the wrong thing to do. These aren’t about meaningful two-screen experiences.
  • They’re just a way of giving you different windows onto identical worlds. Which is cool, but not as interesting as some of the stuff that’s possible.
  • But that made me realise a thing at the heart of what makes this hard to talk about, at the heart of why this conference really has the wrong name, and it’s this. Fridges are irons. Well, fridges aren’t irons. But we understand them as totally seperate pieces of technology. And we still tend to think that way about TVs and laptops, or phones, or whatever. And they’re not.
  • But that made me realise a thing at the heart of what makes this hard to talk about, at the heart of why this conference really has the wrong name, and it’s this. Fridges are irons. Well, fridges aren’t irons. But we understand them as totally seperate pieces of technology. And we still tend to think that way about TVs and laptops, or phones, or whatever. And they’re not.
  • But that made me realise a thing at the heart of what makes this hard to talk about, at the heart of why this conference really has the wrong name, and it’s this. Fridges are irons. Well, fridges aren’t irons. But we understand them as totally seperate pieces of technology. And we still tend to think that way about TVs and laptops, or phones, or whatever. And they’re not.
  • But that made me realise a thing at the heart of what makes this hard to talk about, at the heart of why this conference really has the wrong name, and it’s this. Fridges are irons. Well, fridges aren’t irons. But we understand them as totally seperate pieces of technology. And we still tend to think that way about TVs and laptops, or phones, or whatever. And they’re not.
  • And this to me is really important, and why this conference - sorry everyone - rather has the wrong name. It’s not about two screens. It about where people’s brains go while they’re watching or playing.
  • If we stay focused on the screens we forget the important thing, which is to explore what happens when people’s attention is in more than one place at a time.
  • And what really brought that home to me was X factor. Reason it’s so shit is that it’s so good. It’s repetitive and shallow because it knows that the audience’s attention is split between the show and the conversation they’re having in the room (or on SMS or Twitter) about the show. It’s calibrated to allow for that. And when you bring that realisation into your design methodology
  • You can make good things. 221b designed to accommodate people’s social activity - it hinged on the fact that people are already in touch with each other via all kind of ways, and we could build on that rather than try to disrupt or replace that.
  • You see it in things like WoW- really smart. Accommodates the split attention within one screen.
  • Because actually, we’ve been designing for split attention for years.
  • I’m doing it right now. I’m doing it everytime I make a powerpoint. That rule about not saying the things on your slides is because we have to deal with split attention all the time. Teachers have been doing it for years.
  • I’m doing it right now. I’m doing it everytime I make a powerpoint. That rule about not saying the things on your slides is because we have to deal with split attention all the time. Teachers have been doing it for years.
  • I’m doing it right now. I’m doing it everytime I make a powerpoint. That rule about not saying the things on your slides is because we have to deal with split attention all the time. Teachers have been doing it for years.
  • I’m doing it right now. I’m doing it everytime I make a powerpoint. That rule about not saying the things on your slides is because we have to deal with split attention all the time. Teachers have been doing it for years.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.
  • Designing for split attention is easy, you just have to know why you’re doing it. Six main categories, depending on what you want to do with the stuff you make.

  • 2screen - what games know about split attention

    1. 1. Hello! margaret@hideandseek.net @ranarama
    2. 2. New!
    3. 3. No!
    4. 4. =
    5. 5. =
    6. 6. =
    7. 7. Brains not screens
    8. 8. Attention not technology
    9. 9. Old!
    10. 10. I’m not with her
    11. 11. Seriously, she’s a bit nuts
    12. 12. Didn’t you read those tweets?
    13. 13. All the same thing
    14. 14. All the same thing Keep all their attention
    15. 15. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens
    16. 16. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens All your stuff, but not all the same thing
    17. 17. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens All your stuff, but not all the same thing Let them use their screens to customise your thing
    18. 18. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens All your stuff, but not all the same thing Let them use their screens to customise your thing Use different screens to make your thing into different things
    19. 19. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens All your stuff, but not all the same thing Let them use their screens to customise your thing Use different screens to make your thing into different things Only half your stuff
    20. 20. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens All your stuff, but not all the same thing Let them use their screens to customise your thing Use different screens to make your thing into different things Only half your stuff Design for half their attention
    21. 21. All the same thing Keep all their attention Split your thing across their screens All your stuff, but not all the same thing Let them use their screens to customise your thing Use different screens to make your thing into different things Only half your stuff Design for half their attention Use your thing to change the other thing
    22. 22. Thanks! margaret@hideandseek.net @ranarama

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