Edinburgh Interactive Festival 08, EICC, Day two

It’s day two of EIF08 and via a walk through the Edinburgh gorgeous rose gardens and lawns we made it to the EICC for just after 9am. It’s been full on and I’m struggling to take in all the information from the speakers – it’s been an awesome day and I’ve heard some great presentations.

It seems of most of what I’ve heard today has been about innovation and what is changing in the games industry / community – new ideas & audiences that are turning traditional attitudes on their heads – I’m suffering from information overload and it’s going to take a while for me to 1. unravel my notes 2. look & upload my photos / videos and 3. pick out the best bits so I don’t write a really verbose post!

Here’s some highlights from a couple of the presentations:

Opportunities in the new digital age: Chris Deering:

New trends for the expansion of immersive gaming experience:
* 6-10 age games, family and grey gamer sectors grow
* High definition enabled homes spawn combi console / STBs
* Ubiquitous wifi powers ‘anywhere’ gaming
* New game engines, physics, lightning and lip-sync tools
* Voice recognition, GPS and ‘location aware’ servers
* Massive worlds, cinema-real ‘thinking and speaking’ characters

New trends drive new gaming business innovation:
* Behavior tracking will enable ‘pinpoint’ marketing
* Micro-payments and cash online transaction modes
* Advertising subsidises consumer spending
* Gambling becomes a source of development funding
* User enhanced, user generated and user published games
* Games for special niche communities

Opportunities in new experiences where gaming culture will be relevant:
* GPS on mobiles and ‘location aware’ servers
* Ubiquitous screens and high definition redefine TV
* Females become the biggest paying audience on the web
* ‘Concierge’ services about as time becomes a precious commodity
* Monestisation of streaming unleashed the ‘long tail of live’
* Revolution in user interfaces and input including voice
* Mobile phone communities go massive and global


Too Cool for School – A New Look at Games in Educations – Derek Robinsonhttp://hotmilkydrink.typepad.com

Derek Robinson gave us a great talk about Learning & Teaching Scotland has been looking at a different approach to games and learning.

Traditionally, games have been frowned upon in schools, but in Scotland they’ve seen some remarkable results by allowing kids to play off the shelf games such as Nintendogs, Guitar Hero, Brain Training and Endless Ocean. They found that these games helped flatten out the divide between different skill streams in the classroom . It was found that with maths games, for example in Brain Training & within Nintendogs, kids learnt quicker, became faster at solving problems and overall had more confidence and engaged more freely with other members of the class.

Playing these games has inspired the kids no end, they’ve set up blogs to talk about their experiences, such as how their pet dogs in Nintendogs are getting on and accessories for them. Derek emphasised how off the shelf games should not be dismissed and to be careful of thinking that ‘worthy’ educational games are the right or only choice for education.

Learning and Teaching Scotland have formed The Consolarium – a centre for gaming and learning.


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