Tag Archives: EIC08 edinburgh interactive games gaming

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.

Edinburgh Interactive Festival 08, EICC – Day One

I’m fizzing slightly – no it’s not due to too much bicarb, it’s because I’ve been up since 5am and via a bus, a very fast flight and the 100 bus I’m back in lovely Edinburgh.

About two hours ago it was unbearably hot and as I battled my way through performance artists and tourists up those bloody steep stairs to the top – the Golden Mile – I felt like a packhorse with my stoopidly heavy backpack and hot like I was going to faint like a pale wee thing, but although pale I happily made it to the fantastic Backed Potato shop for my vegan haggis potato with lashings of vegan marg J

I love the Baked Potato Shop, so much that was top of my list for things to do on arrival I ate it whist watching a rather eccentric man engage his audience with knives and humiliation of passing tourists – he was very funny! Then on the way down the other side it pissed down and now I’m soaked – the Mac, DS & GP2X are okay – I angled my prolly to protect my precious cargo before saving myself – well I’m waterproof mostly and can take it. Oh the fizzing? That’s me full of diet coke that got shaken up on the way and caffeine has never really agreed with me!

You’re not really here to read about my baked potato habit or the weather though, so here you go… The ‘Screening Day’ of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is a mixture of industry talks and fun gaming opportunities. Nintendo, Sony & Microsoft are all battling for attention. It’s a mixture of kids n dads & longhaired gamer types. There’s a few girls here, but not many and they seem to be stewards or demo-ing the games.

So picture a chef from Nintendo cooking up a storm with his Cooking Guide, he’s in a makeshift kitchen with all the shiny apparatus you’d expect, surrounded by a breakfast bar complete with about 15 pristine white DS and menus – hey we’re going to cook together!

The burly chef offers me some chicken tikka masala as an incentive to join them, but I smile sweetly and just watch – I don’t think a conversation about my being vegan would enrich the flow of his patter – anyways I enter the Nintendo competition to win lots of swish kitchen appliances instead! Bar the chicken, I wonder if I’m his target audience J

There also a whole island FWOABW of screens and cosy seating for Little Big Planet – ‘The Next Big Thing’ from Media Molecule for PS3 – I have a chat with one of the designers to find out what’s going on – he tells me that it’s the most fun eva – basically it’s a very cute MMO (or play on yer own) where you swing around, collect things and the best thing is it’s got user modification coming out of its ears! Through various menus you can change the whole look and feel and via the eyetoy you can put your ugly mug at the centre of the action! If that’s got you all excited then the release is sometime in September, apparently.

Oh I must mention the Wiis, they’ve got very sporty looking ladies & gents manning them in white tracksuits. From watching they’re very popular with the uninitiated and so I feel I should wait till later in the festie to show of my 1337 WiiFit 5|<i11z – oh yes, they get you to put on special while socks with those grippy spots on to play – I like these people, they understand my OCD tendencies towards other people’s feet ;-)

There’s also a square full of XBOX 360s playing various car games, very laddy and from where I’m sitting I can see that it’s been populated by schoolboys for most of the day. I’ve seen one girl play so far – it comes forth in my choice of hangouts – ho hum…

Okay, before I forget I went to a couple of interesting talks today, one was about advertising and gaming – product placement and ads within games – I took photos of slides instead of notes as I was a bit doolally from my 5am start, so I’ll let them do the talking.

I also went to a talk/demo of Multiwinia, by introversion – the fine people responsible for the excellent, but very difficult Defcon ‘everybody dies’ game ;-)

Will write some more on these later – running to the last session of the day!