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Games of Improvisation and Bodystorming for the Future of California

We have the questions, we know the answers and Specimens for Improvisation are two games about the future of California that I have been developing and prototyping during my internship at the IFTF.

We have the questions, we know the answers

Jan 12 SF event, The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active

In just under a week, on January 12, leaders in the areas of fitness, science, health care, game design, video games, and education will converge to talk about the Power of Play, especially active gaming. 

Playing with games for health

For the past few years, we've been keenly interested in how games can be used to encourage healthy behaviors.  My colleague, Jane McGonigal, even developed and prototyped a street game called CryptoZoo on behalf of the American Heart Association.

5 Innovations Inspired by Liberation of Data



The air was electric. Voices buzzed in anticipation. I had never seen so many people in once place that were all excited about health data. I actually felt a bit giddy.

The Humanities Gaming Institute: A Model for Lightweight Innovation in Highly Traditional Organizations?

IFTF colleague Sean Ness recently drew my attention to an interesting lightweight innovation event being held this summer at the University of South Carolina, the Humanities Gaming Institute. During three weeks in June, a group of 20 fellows selected in a competitive selection process with work with three gamedesign experts to prototype new online games that can be used to conduct research and teach the humanities.

Ends vs. Means and Persuasive Games

A video featuring Carnegie Mellon Professor of Entertainment Technology Jesse Schell has been making the rounds this week, and it touches on a number of themes that I think are central to understanding the intersection of games, education, and persuasive technology.

Games and Education / Games as Education

Last week the New York based Games for Learning Institute, in conjunction with NYU, hosted a lecture by game developer Will Wright. I've been thinking a lot about games and education for our upcoming Future of Persuasion conference, and my ears perked up when I saw that the lecture had been put online, and after watching the hour long video, I was definitely not disappointed.

Life as a Persuasive Role Playing Game

Here's a video of an energetic and provocative talk by Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon Professor, and former Disney Imagineer, on how we will be persuaded by ubiquitous interactive games.

"What do these have in common? A variety of psychological tricks," explains Schell, who then goes on to examine how these various gaming successes take advantage of humans instincts, and how we hunger "to get to anything real." He goes on to examine how gaming has extended to grading a class, driving a car, shopping and socializing, ending at a future where everything is a kind of game."

The Future of Social Networks is Storytelling Part 2

Last week, in Part 1, I wrote about my frustration with the ephemeral nature of social network conversations (cacophony would be a better word). There remain very few possibilities for layering stories on top of the raw torrent of data being producing by the real-time web.

Space gaming takes a step closer to reality

In the recent Signtific games on the future of cubesats (described here), a number of people suggested using them for games. At the 2009 cubesat conference

As reports,

[Space entrepreneur Jeffrey] Manber announced plans for Nanoracks, a company developing games incorporating CubeSats. The idea is to take advantage of recent advances in nanotechnology and hand-held communication devices like the Apple iPhone to allow people on Earth to participate in games of skill or chance that, in one way or another, involve an on-orbit CubeSat. "The CubeSat is a standardized platform that has an emerging base of developers," Manber said. "We think it's analogous to 20-25 years ago in the personal computer industry. If we can get people interested in games in zero gravity, there is a proven business model for using entertainment as a way to develop a market."

The Kentucky Space Blog adds,

There is, as he points out, a proven business model for using entertainment to pioneer new markets. His presentation is short and to the point.

In response to a question about why not simulate gaming in a weightless environment, a young member of the audience blurts out "because space is fun!" and talks about how zero-gravity games could be held using real time space to ground communications.

The argument that cubesats are like the personal computer is one that's circulating in the cubesat community now. It highlights the long connections, both technical and imginative, between computers and space: recall that one of the first personal computers was the Altair.

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