Digifest Toronto 2012 starts this Thursday and runs right through to Saturday evening. I attended and presnted at last year’s Digifest and had a great time and I’m looking forward to this year’s fest. Check out the speaker list and the schedule, and don’t fret as there are still tickets available.
Digifest 2012 is Toronto’s international festival celebrating innovation and digital creativity. From October 18-20, the digital community will be gathering at Corus Quay for presentations, hands-on demos, interactive exhibitions and workshops.
Digifest showcases digital media creativity in Toronto, bringing together academic, industry and the public to experience the convergence of interactive & mobile media, gaming, art and design, architecture, simulation and more. Digifest will celebrate the latest achievements in visualization, simulation and interaction in many fields, inspiring and connecting all involved.
Here’s a video of one of the talks from Digifest 2011:
After Dark is about new horror, sci-fi, action and cult films so if you’re into any of that you should check it out, and if you have game related to any of that, submit it.
For the Darkcade we seek this year’s most unique and thrilling indie videogames that fall within our festival’s genre mandate. We want HORROR games, SCI-FI games, ACTION games and CULT games! Selected games can look forward to considerable exposure. The Darkcade will be a key part of nightly social events at this year’s festival, which expands to 9 nights and is expecting to break last year’s record of over 10,000 fans in attendance. In addition over 100 Press and Industry members also attend Toronto After Dark annually.
More information and how to submit can be found here.
The Toronto Star recently published an article on companies creating serious games and the impact that they are having on education. I was interviewed for this piece about the work we’ve done at Wero Creative. Also interviewed was Jeremy Friedberg at Spongelab and the great work that they’ve been up to, they have a fantastic new web service for connecting educators to good interactive content.
Studying history gives us patterns that we will repeat if we don’t learn from those existing patterns (yup, those who don’t learn history are bound to repeat it). For example ,if we cut funding for social programs that deter gangs then the number of gang-related crimes will increase. That doesn’t take a long time to play out, but we do tend to forget. In the long-view of history we can find time and time again that civilizations that don’t address environmental concerns will eventually collapse, yet here we are in the anthropecene and experiencing insanely radical weather around the world (sadly, we lack the political will to do anything about it, but that’s a different post).
We need to study history in order to survive as a culture and as a species. We can use technology to help people understand the significance of the past, but before we get there we need people interested in history. Let’s use technology to get people at least interested in the past.
There are companies and organizations that are looking into the use of technology to get history on the minds of everyone. This is obviously a positive thing as far as I’m concerned. I’d like to note two recent strategies that I’ve come across this past week.
My City Before is an app for iOS and Android that literally shows the user images from the past. The app geolocates a user and then shows them pictures in their current area. Of course, it’s possible just to browse the collection at anytime.
It shows images with a brief description about the content of the photo, which will hopefully whet the user’s appetite for historical context and inspire them to find out more. I’m sure that the ability to see different time periods will entice people to wonder “what did it change?” and act on their newfound curiosity.
My City Before has a good scalability factor insofar that it’s the same tech applied to different cities; all it requires is a local historian to fill in the details.
In Toronto there is a project using QR codes to get people engaged with history being done by the Toronto Dreams Project. In essence, they are using creative posters with catchy titles to get people to stop and learn. If the person is interested enough they can scan a QR code to learn more.
I like the idea of using posters placed around town to entice people into a more digital and immersive experience than just stoping to read.