"Set for release this winter, the documentary film Us and the Game Industry promises to explore the motivations of indie developers like thatgamecompany. Filmmaker Stephanie Beth tells us what she learned from a new era of rebellious entertainment"...
This article makes a great companion piece to yesterday's Bang, bang, you're dead: how Grand Theft Auto stole Hollywood's thunder. Taken together, the articles provide an interesting look at the diversity of content & companies within today's gaming industry.
I also like the glimpse we get of the New Zealand filmmaker, Stephanie Beth, who made Us and the Game Industry because she "wanted another big project," "wanted to spend [her] sixties productively".
World domination through learning? An alliance of educators and innovators are using a version of 'SimCity' to stem students' boredom and electrify future U.S. scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
An unprecedented agreement between two influential foundations, leading academics, two global testing firms and the video game industry could redefine how schools teach basic skills.
Tinkering for the past several months at the Silicon Valley offices of one of the world's largest video game developers, the alliance is pushing to develop materials based on off-the-shelf video games that will get kids ready for "college and career success," a key, largely unmet goal of the USA's education system.
The nation is not producing enough well-rounded scientists, engineers and mathematicians for all the high-tech jobs expected to develop — an estimated 8 million in the next five years alone.
And school is boring kids to death.
In its latest report, Indiana University's High School Survey of Student Engagement found that 65% of students are bored "at least every day in class." One in six reported being bored in every class.
Into that chasm this week enters GlassLab (Games, Learning and Assessment Lab), an effort that envisions using video games to spur a new generation of students to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
"Researchers from Samsung’s Emerging Technology Lab are working together with the University of Texas, Dallas, to develop mobile devices that can be controlled using your mind. Innovation is a huge aspect of the tech world and Samsung is looking to jump miles ahead of its competition. This technological advancement will be beneficial to people who suffer from various mobile impairments. and would be a huge game changer for the tech industry."
Alec Lisy's insight:
This can have some interesting implications for the game industry, especially if mind based controls are actually feasible in a game.
"EA wants to invest in your future by preparing you for your entry onto the job market, and gives you the opportunity to join the professionals.
EA is launching the second edition of “EA Campus”, a two-month intensive training program that combines in-house training at Electronic Arts and professional skills training at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria.
Do you enjoy working as part of a team? Are you looking for an experience in an international environment? If the answer is yes and you fulfill the set requirements, we’d like to ..."
How do you manage a very large, very complex organization that is geographically disbursed in many different countries around the world? You already know that the outdated hierarchal organizational structure won’t work and if you are like many companies you are probably beginning to realize that the matrix type structure has its own limitations. Electronic Arts established cross-company virtual communities that provide the benefits of coordinated decision making while preserving the independence required for creativity and innovation.
In a fiery speech at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas last week, David Cage told an audience of game developers and industry executives that it has a "Peter Pan complex." Big-budget videogames, he said, were being made for teens and kids, not adults. If games were going to be played by more grown-ups, they needed to tackle more mature themes, with mechanics that go beyond shooting and platform-jumping. If they didn't, Cage said, they'd see more of their audience move away from consoles and onto smartphones and tablets.
Cage, at least, has put his money where his mouth is -- and lots of Sony's, besides. His last game Heavy Rain married colossal production values to a decidedly non-traditional genre, sort of a combination of point and click adventure and quick-time event in which you solved the mystery of your son's kidnapping. While players are divided about its merits, I found it to be a positively entrancing experience, something I'd never seen before..."
I am concerned at what would happen if Apple were to get in control of some more of the game market. We've already seen a portion of the industry dumbed-down for touch devices, I'd rather not see what could happen if they get any closer to the core. The controller would probably cost $200 too.
In his statement, Mr. Moore begins by questioning the merit of Consumerist readers’ opinions on what constitutes a “worst company.”
“This is the same poll that last year judged us as worse than companies responsible for the biggest oil spill in history,” writes Moore. He’s obviously referencing the 2011 champ BP, except BP wasn’t even in the bracket last year. In response to Moore’s statement, we’d like to take a moment to explain that our “Worst Company in America” contest exists within the context of this website, which is about consumers and their relationship to the marketplace and to businesses. Just to be clear: The point of this contest, now in its 8th year, is to enable consumers to send a message to a company that provides goods or services to them. Winning this contest means your customers are trying to tell you something. And that something is that you, out of all the companies, most deserve a plastic poop trophy."
Mr. Moore continues, “The complaints against us last year were our support of SOPA (not true), and that they didn’t like the ending to Mass Effect 3.”
Actually, our analysis of the reasons for EA’s inclusion in last year’s finale makes no mention of Mass Effect 3 or SOPA. Instead, it looks at EA’s history of buying up smaller, successful developers with the intention of milking — and arguably ruining — the intellectual properties that made these acquired companies so attractive. It also discusses EA’s exclusivity deals on popular sports games, that some say effectively sets the bar for retail prices for the rest of the gaming industry.
Then there’s the issue of microtransactions, in-game purchases that EA has made no secret are at the center of its business model. Many customers believe that EA’s view of microtransactions isn’t to simply charge customers a little bit of money for something that is additional, but not integral, to the core game, but rather to put out broken or deliberately incomplete games with the ultimate goal of selling add-on content that should have been included in the $60 price tag to begin with.
In today’s post, Moore contends that microtransactions are okey-dokey because “tens of millions” of people are enjoying EA’s free-to-play games that include microtransactions. We’d counter that just because people are allowing you to nickel-and-dime them it doesn’t mean you should be doing it.
From Gamasutra's sister publication Game Developer magazine, this article from Steve Therodore, technical art director at Undead Labs, explores the history of game artist salaries, and where they're headed next.
Alec Lisy's insight:
Bad time to be a game artist apparently, but the trend is seen in several other areas of the industry.
Hacking and cyber warfare are well-worn themes, but new titles resonate with current fears.
Alec Lisy's insight:
This relation of videogames showing us our current fears directly mirrors the movie industry and their approach to world events during the cold war. Decades ago we were worried about an accidental nuking of the US or the USSR, so people made movies such as "Dr. Strangelove" to try and talk about these fears. Now we fear people gaining contorl of our entire lives, so we make a story like Watchdogs which show what could happen if these things become a reality.
"Some enterprising teachers are using Minecraft to teach subjects like physics, geography, and English language, and with promising results. Yet if we're to believe much of the mainstream press, then video games are little more than a plague upon our youth, a disease that turns delightful, law-abiding young citizens into diabetes-ridden,sociopathic adolescents without a firm grip on reality. There's far less focus on the positive aspects of games--and there are many--just like the increased hand-eye coordination and social problem solving that my esteemed colleague Cameron Robinson discovered. Here at Minecon, some attendees have taken the next step by using Minecraft to aid them in teaching children. It's a bold move, and one that's encountered some resistance, but they've seen some very positive results: increased attention levels, better collaboration with other students, and of course, better grades." | via GameSpot
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