Here are the slides for the presentation I gave last week on online communities and the issues/concerns around building them.
Unfortunately I was not able to get down to GDC 2012, but I was following some of the chatter online and spoke to people upon their return. I’ve compiled a few things that I think are noteworthy and one should keep an eye on. If I was at the conference itself I’m sure the list would be quite different.
When the Consoles Die by Ben Cousins. About a half hour and worth the watch:
- Gamasutra’s 5 key takeaways from GDC 2012.
- What’s going on in MMOs as seen from GDC.
- Humor, meaning, cooperation and ambition: the microtalks
And then there’s more:
A procedural world generator called Outerra that can put Minecraft to shame .
It also looks like the world of mind reading is improving with a game of mental tug of war.
CryEngine, which powers the Crysis series and military simulators had a new tech trailer on display and it looks impressive – would you expect anything less? The new tech trailer for CryEngine3 can be seen on GameTrailers.
This post is copied and pasted from Things Are Good:
Playing games is tons of fun and enterprising people are finding ways to better humanity through gameplay. I just found out that Tetris can be used to help people deal with traumatic experiences – cool!
Research tells us that there is a period of up to six hours after the trauma in which it is possible to interfere with the way that these traumatic memories are formed in the mind. During this time-frame, certain tasks can compete with the same brain channels that are needed to form the memory. This is because there are limits to our abilities in each channel: for example, it is difficult to hold a conversation while doing maths problems.
The Oxford team reasoned that recognising the shapes and moving the coloured building blocks around in Tetris competes with the images of trauma in the perceptual information channel. Consequently, the images of trauma (the flashbacks) are reduced. The team believe that this is not a simple case of distracting the mind with a computer game, as answering general knowledge questions in the Pub Quiz game increased flashbacks. The researchers believe that this verbal based game competes with remembering the contextual meaning of the trauma, so the visual memories in the perceptual channel are reinforced and the flashbacks are increased.
The ever-excellent Mare Sheppard from Metanet and the Difference Engine Initiative gave a talk on the trials, issues, and complexities of integration of women-only events focused on women gamers at GDC yesterday. Gamasutra has a good write-up of her talk.
Another reason for the underrepresentation is pervasive stereotypes, which are automatic, misleading and often ingrained. Stereotyping “underscores the feeling echoed throughout our culture that women are abnormal, unusual and different,” she says. “This feeling that they don’t fit or don’t belong keeps many women from entering game development and similar fields.”
Sheppard says people are less likely to make eye contact with her or to shake her hand than they would be to engage with her male colleagues, especially in groups of people where she’s the only woman. People interrupt her more frequently in conversations and express doubt that she’s a programmer. “This certainly doesn’t happen at all times or with all people, but it happens a lot.”
I really wish I was able to see this talk, the word on the internet is that her talk was crowded and some people couldn’t get in!