Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: culture(Page 1 of 2)

Game Makers In Toronto: Attend The ArtsVote Mayoral Debate On Culture

ArtsVote!
The Toronto municipal election is happening next month and this coming Monday there will be a debate between mayoral candidates regarding support for arts and culture. Hosted by ArtsVote at the TIFF Lightbox, the candidates will answer questions from culture leaders in the city.

Each candidate will be able to discuss their plan for the future of culture in the city – and that includes games!

The best part is that the moderator is Damian Abraham from the band Fucked Up!

Date: Monday, September 29
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM

Location: Cinema One, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West (map)
Tickets: free general admission seating. Box office opens at 10:00 AM. Doors at 11:30 AM.

More info.

Progress is easy when we’re all working together toward something we all believe in. The ArtsVote community cares about mobilizing our collective talents, ideas, and passions for the benefit of Torontonians – and it’s not hard to see how much energy and enthusiasm the people of Toronto have for arts and culture. You can see, hear, taste, touch, smell, and feel it in parks, schools, churches, community centres, alleyways, markets, sidewalks, and all kinds of other spaces around our city. So where do our municipal candidates fit into this picture? Do they believe they have a role to play in growing audiences for the arts, and encouraging cultural participation?

Check out ArtsVote!

Disclosure: I’m an ArtsVote committee member.

PBS Short on Indie Video Games

The video game industry is now bigger than Hollywood, with hundreds of millions of dollars spent developing these interactive experiences. But there are also small-scale developers working in the indie game realm, creating unique and experimental video games without the budgets of the larger “AAA” games. These indie game developers devote time, money, and take great risks in a quest to realize their creative vision. They deftly balance game mechanics & systems, sound & visuals, and an immersive storytelling experience to push the gaming medium into revolutionary new territory. Much like indie music or indie film, the indie gaming movement provides a creative outlet for game designers who want to work outside of the mainstream.

Via bOing.

Profile Pictures Reflect Differences in Culture

A small study from researchers from two American universities examined Facebook profile pictures to see if cultural differences are visibly reflected in the pictures. It turns out that difference is obvious and, according to the authors, reflects larger cultural patterns of thought.

I wonder if what they found for Facebook users is true for other online communities, particularly gaming communities. Do player-made avatars have differences that reflect culture?

From the abstract of their paper:

Here we have demonstrated that such systematic cultural variations can also be observed in cyberspace, focusing on self-presentation of photographs on Facebook, the most popular worldwide online social network site. We examined cultural differences in face/frame ratios for Facebook profile photographs in two studies. For Study 1, 200 digital profile face photographs of active Facebook users were randomly selected from native and immigrant Taiwanese and Americans. For Study 2, 312 Facebook profiles of undergraduate students of six public universities in East Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan) and the United States (California and Texas) were randomly selected. Overall, the two studies clearly showed that East Asian Facebook users are more likely to deemphasize their faces compared to Americans. Specifically, East Asians living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan exhibited a predilection for context inclusiveness in their profile photographs, whereas Americans tended to prioritize their focal face at the expense of the background.

From ABC News interviewed the authors:

“These are not conscious choices,” Dr. Park wrote in an email to ABC News. “This represents the lens through which the two cultures view the world. This relates, we believe, to a cultural bias to be more individualistic in the U.S. and more communal in Asia. We believe these values fundamentally sculpt one’s thought and choices, including design of a Facebook portrait.”

What does all this mean? Huang and Park write of the U.S. as an “individualistic and independent” culture, while people in Taiwan “deemphasize the face and to engage more contextual field information.” Social media — Facebook, in this case — make a giant lab for showing the differences.

digifest Toronto Oct. 26-30


The first annual Digifest is happening in Toronto at the end of the month and it’s shaping up to be a nifty event. The festival aims to encompass a wide spread of the interactive digital scene and is well timed to match up with other events (X-summit and Art, Science, and the Brain) happening in the city.

From the Digifest website:

Digifest is Toronto’s international festival celebrating innovation and digital creativity. From October 26-30, we will be bringing together some of the world’s best and brightest to showcase next generation digital art & design. Established and emerging designers, technologists and artists will come together during Digifest for presentations, incredible demos, interactive exhibitions and parties.

Looks like the end of October is filled with digital, interactive, and gaming conferences!

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