Presentation on theme: "Untitled Presentation 2 Oliver Moran. Development of idea took dramatic turns Original ideas for shooting galleries using finger as gun, light sabre mouse."— Presentation transcript:
Development of idea took dramatic turns Original ideas for shooting galleries using finger as gun, light sabre mouse pointers for overheads … Settled by Liam late Feb.: told me to go back and look at politics => starting idea of the Information Age: what does it mean? does it exist?
Old essay on idea of inequality in the Information Age: content of media (US architecture, images of prosperity) access to technology (digital TV, computers in the home) application of information (dole cheats, TV license, shopping coupons) Video Games meaning myth/misunderstanding untapped medium location within Computer Science
Information Age Inequality (Power/Access) Video Games Creating Computer Games
To understand why I’m looking at creating games in terms like inquality, I need to give a little of my own history: Sinclair Specturm got one when I was ten culturally different to the way computers are consumed today encouraged experimentation with computers use of BASIC language was an explicit and expected part of computing creation of own games
By the early ninties I was this type of computing disappear among my friends and be replaced by a culture of video game consoles.
Video game consoles a culturally very different to the home computers of the ’80s: mechanism of computer is hidden player is cast solely into the role of an audience dichotomy of player vs. author of games implicit tone that the player could not make a game like this
Computer Games: Despite the furore about the damage computer games apparently do precious little has been written about games or player in an accademic context. Computer games occupy a cultural space marked out by their history: misapplication of ‘important’ technology the ‘hacker’ tradition Tennis for Two, Space Wars – early games and game playing tollerated because of the necessity of the ‘hacker’ community to business.
Computer games, even more that television, are seen as a waste of time. Despite the logical process that is needed in order to be successful at a game. Despite the creative application of technology in order to make a game. Despite the social/cultural understanding in order to design a game. Playing computer games are seen as a non-application of intellect.
Playing computer games requires problem solving. In order to be successful at a computer game it is necessary that a player becomes familiar with the algorithm of the game environment. A good player needs to be able to understand computers and the essntials of a program code. programmers in reverse
Skillful players are able to use their understanding of the capabilies of technology and programmers to win games: learn the AI algorithms of computer controlled competitors discern what is significant by judging the polygon count of graphics Some games play on this: Medal of Honour cheat to see the game in wire-frame with numbered opponents (the engine can only hand 5 enemy sprites on screen at once) Metal Gear Solid 2 (one of the end levels turn surreal where the central characters admit that they know you know they are only a program)
What I am arguing is that computers games are not a ‘mindless’ activity. Playing computer games and being successful at them is a nesseccarily intellectual activity. Comparison study of 75 self-reported ‘game addicts’ against two control groups between 1989 and 1994 show that the ‘addicts’ did better educationally, more went on to university, and then into higher-ranking jobs. (Shutton, 1994) Other studies into computer game-play and academic achievement show that playing computer games has no effect on academic results. Playing games won’t make you stupid!
However, they type of computer ‘fluency’ (Resnik, 2000) gained from playing video games I argue is stagnant. For the generation of gamers that belonged to the Specturm era, the ‘fluency’ that they had could be exercided creatively by designing their own games. The console keeps the player apart from the technology. This is part of a much wider picture of the relationship between computer users and the uses they take from the technology.
Criticism of computers in the class room: focus on learning skills such as typing/word-processing sole focus on specifically ‘computer’ skills, not other parts of the curriculim software not suitable for children (ie. design for adults, eg. Windows ’98 shools, Word) use of software closed-ended (Bagel, 1997, Roe, 1999, Rosnik, 2000) Computers are at best used as ‘information machines’ (Rosnik, 2000) in a way that misses the point of the potential that is embedded in the technology.
Rosnik (2001) uses the example of finger-paint: if you say ‘computer’, ‘television’, and ‘finger-paint’ and ask someone to pick they odd one out they will pick ‘finger-paint’ because they will associate computers and television as equivalent mediums. but until we stat to tink of computer as more akin to finger-paint, computers will not live up to their true potential Roskins argument is bases on the work of Piaget: “… learning is not a simple matter of imformation transmission. Teachers cannot simply pour information into the heads of learners; rather, learning is an active process in which people construct new understanding of the world around they through active exploration, experimentation, discussion, and reflection. In short: people don’t get ideas; they make them.”
Computer games as a representation of the world: computer games are often a depiction of a world (real or imagined) imagined by the creator and explored by the player as an actor within that created understanding/expression of reality the taks of a game are ones meaningful to that understanding of the world games are meaningful as a depiction of a persons learning/understanding of the world
The usefullness of design activities to learning (Resnik and Rusk, 1996): engage youth as active participants encourage creative problem solving avoiding the right vs. wrong dichotomy facilitates personal connections to knowledge since designers often develop a special sense of ownership for their designs often interdiscipliary beinging together concepts from the arts, maths, and sciences promotes a sense of audience, encouraging youth to consider how other people will use and react to their creations provides a context for reflection and discussion, enabling youth to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying ideas
My proposal is then to create a non-directed environment in which cildren can create computer games collaboratively in the class- room that they will be able to play, save and share. Criteria – open-ended / non-directed allow collaborative learning useful across the curriculum a directly manipulable computer-based environment Need to step away from the screen/keyboard/mouse (collaborate, direct manipulation disadvantage).
A graspable user interface for designing games: physically manipulate objects / characters that have appropriate properties and characteristics eg. a gorilla character will be solid, have a certain weight/strength, be able to run, jump, pick things up, etc. eg. a wall object will be solid and immovable eg. a crate object will be solid but the gorilla might be able to push it By arranging a collection these objects on a place mat the children would be able to design a game among themselves by discussing the characteristics and capabilities of the various objects and characters: the above objects could for example be arranged to make a maze game where the gorilla would have to escape from the maze by arranging the crates to allow his exit
Limits of programming and use of variables: more over to the layout of a game and the arrangement of characters within one, it is the code and use variables that make a game come to life Three styles of programming (McNerney, 2000): imperative – oldest style, line by line order of events, and side effects functional – constituent parts of the environment are described as mathematical functions of each other rule-based – the constituent parts of the environment are given individual rules for dealing with situations easy to learn, would allow children to program together without getting in each others way
Tabgible programming bricks (McNerney, 2000): program ordinary objects like microwave ovens, VCR, etc. using LEGO bricks Influence on how I would like to go about doing this: create a similar interface in real space recreate a similar interface virtually (prototype possibility) Cost of McNerney’s bricks are too costly for the intented purpose of this projects. May possibly leave this area open, so that the children would recreate the code / variables themselves imaginatively.
Idea of a ‘train of thought’ that would plug into the characters heads based of McNerney’s bricks.
Time Frame – do not intend on having a finished product by the Summers end want a working prototype for demonstration and testing possible Wizard of Oz demonstration for some aspects test the system with less than 5 groups of 3 – 4 children (aged 6 – 8 yrs.) Next Step: fix an initial design Late June: have a working prototype of interface Mid July: prototype game environment Mid August: complete testing