Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Game Developers Conference talk

Hey all -- yesterday I gave the reserach + design keynote at GDC (the first woman in the 21 year history of the conference to keynote!) -- and the topic was ubiquitous games, naturally, and how they might play out in the future.

Thought you might like to see some of the press and my notes on it, so feel free to check out this story (a cool CNET summary) and my blog post here.

4 comments:

Lizardparty said...

I am very interested in the application of 'collective intelligence' in the educational system especially at younger ages (such as elementary school). Since computers, cell phones and the internet are being introduced to kids earlier, the capacity for team-based learning/play through technology is already there. I am curious about how this application of 'collective inteligence' might affect everyday social interaction in school, perhaps for the better.

In slight relation to the subject I read an article in the SF Chronicle the other day about 'cyber-bullying' within this and older age ranges in school. Kids are now being harrassed through MySpace and Facebook by finding pages dedicated to the humiliation and proliferation of malevolent commentary towards these individuals. Some of these 'bullies' go as far as violent threats, and some of the victims have moved schools to avoid such treatment only to see it spring up at the new schools. I find this might be relevent to consider when thinking of new social interactions via technology like collective intelligence.

patricknm said...

I am also interested in the idea of "collective intelligence," I am curious about the place for the individual in a collective. I can appreciate the benefits of many people coming together to solve common goals, but as an artist, I dwell in individuality. When we start using words like collective intelligence and technology together in the same sentence I start to get nervous, and I am one who embraces technology. If we can only come together as a collective through technology are we really advancing? (insert visions of star trek's Borg here)

The concept of learning and working together through play is an interesting and time tested one, though. And if the goal is to create games that will help us meet challenges of the future, we should start designing games that teach the skills we will need to face those challenges.

lisatized said...

The idea of creating "Learner Centered" classrooms has been around since the 70's, but it is only in the last decade or so that this style of teaching and learning has really been embraced. There are still schools and universities that teach classes with a talking head (lecturer) at the front of the class and information thrown at the individuals in the room without much interaction even though it has been proven that we will remember and "own" information better if we discover it ourselves or at the very least are part of the process. When students are given a problem, challenge, or puzzle to figure out in a group they learn much more than just the answer to a question. They learn how to communicate in a group, how others think from different perspectives, how to see something differently, etc. I like what the CNET article states that Jane said about "rewarding participation, not success." Everyone has a different style of learning and communicating. Recognizing this and letting game play or grading in a classroom evolve organically with the activity, means that more people will feel supported.

The idea of harnessing these benefits of collective intelligence to solve problems in situations outside of a school setting makes a lot of sense. Having hundreds of eyeballs scanning a coast guard image of the sea in search for a missing boat, or Amazon hiring people to help categorize images that a computer can't are excellent uses of collective intelligence. Wikis and the slew of e-pinion sites are taking over the way that we look for information. How else will technology be effecting the way we collaborate?

Jake said...

Along with everyone else I too am interested in this idea of 'collective effort', i use the word effort here intentionally instead of intelligence. By classifying this more as an effort rather than an intelligence i think it is a little more precise because it deals more with the energy that each satellite puts forth toward a common goal. Collective intelligence, to me, seems more like a group of minds completely committed to a particular cause.
I think that this differentiation can serve useful to the game design industry. By creating incentive for the players to add to the collective, a much larger common knowledge.
I think that incentive is vital to the magnitude and duration of a game. This should be a very weighted factor in our own collaboration of designing our final game.