Listening to the panel discussion With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The Future of Video Games, I once again feel I’m listening to a major entertainments industry very slowly catching up with what ARG and pervasive gaming creators have practised for some years: that games can be physical, that games can be social, that gaming can teach you stuff, that games can be cross-platform.
Shock news, alert the media. Surprising, isn’t it that these very basic realisations are being expounded as ‘the future’ by a panel of professionals who include the exec. producer of Spore and Sims2 (Lucy Bradshaw of EA)?
Here’s the panel members and the basics of what they are saying about themselves:
Jim Bower: created Whyville – 2D casual gaming world for kids which is ‘educational’ and has 6.2 million registered accounts. “The video game industry has been slow to pick up on the culture around video games.” “Games in which you learn something and gain cultural standing are interesting.”
Tiffany Barnes: uses ‘video games’ to teach computer science “games are more effective than traditional learning for science and computer science students.”
Anne McLaughlin: cognitive scientist working with older people and cognition. “Games are more and more physical activity. Video games and social interaction is very interesting”.
Lucy Bradshaw: EA Games – Spore, Sims2. “With user creativity being recognised, the landscape of video games is changing dramatically. We’re interested in how games go beyond the box, how they spread onto the internet. It’s democritising. Games utilise the latest technology, like twitter.”
In some ways these comments are all encouraging. I’m very glad to be working in a gaming world that is financially very poor but which is considered by the megabucks ‘video game’ industry to be THE FUTURE.
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