Note: For some time I’ve been meaning to write some notes up about how there all these different gaming communities. Each one is busy innovating in their own little world but not always fully aware of what is / has happened in the other communities. Some of these include: LARP, Megagames, BoardGames, UrbanGames, Alternative Reality Games, Corporate Games, Educational Games for Science, Escape Games, Immersive Theatre, Traditional Video Games etc. Clearly there are overlaps between some of these but with some many separate communities not all are in contact and fully understand what each other is doing.
Wow – it’s just 2 weeks until Ecsite 2018 in Geneva. Ecsite is the largest science communication conference in Europe and is where the worlds Science Centre professionals gather to sharpen their critical mind, recharge their batteries and let off steam on the dance floor – their words not mine 🙂
I’ll be returning for my 3rdyear to assist in the pre-conference workshop on Live Action Games on Tuesday 5thJune and also to be part of a panel session on Escape Games where we’re going to have the entire audience playing and deconstructing games in 90 minutes.
A fantastic project to share real-world game making with students and museums in Warwickshire. You’ll have seen me (on here, twitter & at talks) ‘banging on’ about how successful Escape Room-inspired games would be in museums and here was an opportunity to create them in just a couple of days and then share with the public at MuseumsAtNight.
If you want to get straight down to the making you can jump to my somewhat thorough tutorial on Escape Games in Museums.
Maker Monday Commission: Magdalene Laundries I’ve recently finished an artistic collaboration with multi-discipline Birmingham-based Live Artist Kate Spence. Kate is embarking on a new long-term direction of work connected with the Magdalene Asylums of the Catholic Church. Kate was able to begin this work thanks to being chosen as one of four recipients of the Maker Monday Commissioning Project (a fantastic achievement as it was highly competitive). As part of this commission we were able to focus on building one aspect of Kate’s big vision.
I’m a big fan of predominantly audio experiences in real spaces. Staying connected with the real environment while augmenting it with audio can be powerful. Definitely preferable to being distracted by a mobile screen!
You can see this in some of my recent projects:
Farmer George’s Flock A Moment of Madness Take & Make is a current project (on behalf of West Midland Museum Development) and running until December 2016 working with 4 museums across the West Midlands.
[While I’m on a blog posting roll – here’s some details of another project that I’ve been collaborating on – again with interactive theatre makers ‘The Other Way Works’]
The idea: Cuddly Sheep as the Game Controller We were fortunate to win a competition earlier in the year to develop a ‘playful experience’ to bring ‘The Great Pagoda’ to life. The competition website is still up if you want to take a look at what we had to work with.
Agent in a Box – spy thriller game / theatre experience Some time ago I was collaborating on an exciting real-world game ‘Agent in a Box’ with interactive theatre company ‘The Other Way Works’. The observant among you may have already found (one of the very few) blog posts I wrote about this very project. Back then we made a simple 10 minute prototype that illustrated the core concepts and allowed us to test this original idea with players.
I was very fortunate to be selected by West Midlands Museum Development to work with and mentor museums across the West Midlands. This began by museums attending one of three different workshops and then applying to be one of the 10 museums to get further mentoring from me.
The introductory workshops were broadly defined by 3 topics:
Maximising use of free online tools, virtual reality and touchscreens Hardware e.g. ibeacons, NFC, Raspberry PI, audio tours Digital & Analogue Games
Generally I build more high-end playful experiences for museums (sometimes leading and other times as the technical partner) so it was a great experience to work with a wider range of places – a bit closer to home.
As with much of Birmingham, it’s famous Stratford Road has seen radical change over the past 80 years. Sampad’s Heritage Lottery Funded MyRoute Project remit was to investigate and archive this heritage. Using interviews with residents and examining the changing use of buildings it is hoped that these histories can be captured for others to learn from and enjoy.
Groups gather around the touch table – sharing their own history of the Stratford Road.
The Magna Carta Unification Event might sound more like a Pay-Per-View American-Wrestling event but it was in fact an event at the British Library where the 4 remaining copies of the 1215 Magna Carta were brought together for the first time in their 800 year history.
Unfortunately, this event lasted for a single day and only then if you were one of the 1215 lottery winners selected at random. If you want to view these 4 originals you still can but you’ll have to travel to the British Library, Lincoln Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral, as they each have their own exhibitions.