Friday, September 24, 2010

Obama game challenge, OLPC/Sugar and other platforms

Just a quick cell phone update from the airport on the way to Maker Faire. I sent a note to the organizers asking for clarification on reaching underserved populations etc and here's what came back. Short answer is olpc/Sugar is definitely acceptable

The ability to reaching underserved communities is a focus of this prize and part of the judging criteria.  How to do that is part of the Call to Action on the part of the applicants.  We're looking for innovation in how to reach the underserved, as so many previous attempts have failed.  We are not going to limit the specs, devices, etc.  OLPC would be great if you're able to make a fun, educational game.  If you create something for the iPhone, you should explain how your project can still reach underserved populations (maybe it is also available on another device?).

Friday, September 17, 2010

STEM Game Competition, OLPC and Android

This, naturally caught my eye...

Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media to Award 
Youth and Developers Prizes for Creating STEM Based Video Games

Even better, there are two categories, one for middle schoolers (grades 5-8) and one for college students and adults.

Even Mo Better!!!!!!

"Special emphasis will be placed on technologies that have high potential to reach underserved communities, such as games built  for basic mobile phones that address urgent educational needs among at- risk youth."

While this mentions phones specifically I'd bet that OLPC could qualify as well, especially since AMD sponsors ths contest and was an original sponsor of OLPC

Full information below...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer Recap, New Course Pointers for the Fall, New Open Content Project on Game Mechanics

1.  Summer Recap
It was a busy summer, most of which was detailed in these Center for Student Innovation and FOSS@RIT posts by the student teams and their coordinator.  One of the many cool things about the Symposium was the number of projects using Python and other Open Source Technologies.  We'll be reaching out to those students and faculty to bring them into the FOSS Box during the upcoming academic year.

Undergraduate Research and Innovation Symposium was huge! 

We worked on several FOSS projects during our visit to Boston

FOSS@RIT returns to OLPC HQ 

and FOSS@RIT was a clear leader in Open SOurce and Government Transparency on the Senate floor this summer too. 

2.  The New FOSS@RIT page on Teaching Open Source 

It briefly covers history and current status of course and other FOSS educational efforts since we began
There is, of course, a direct link to the new syllabus on Teaching Open Source too.  

Some new assignments in it include a community architecture assignment, extra credit for involvement in, and blogging about, Software Freedom Day and blogging or presenting at Bar Camp Rochester on top of regular blogs, wiki posts, etc.

Looking forward to  comments and feedback on the new Wiki content.

3. Open Content Game Mechanics Database Project

This will emerge from a seminar in Gameplay I'll be teaching at RIT this fall.  The design and implementation of the DB will be done by my research collaborators Dr. Erik Vick of RIT and Thomas McDaniel of UCF with me shouting from the peanut gallery. The students will be supplying some content and acting as initial consumers to force iteration in the design.
 There are numerous static lists and a few community wiki resources in this area already.  The downside to them is that they are not structures to serve as underlying tech for larger projects and/or they are somewhat idiosyncratic.
We want ours to be a bit more flexible and to support the work we began in our paper "Using semiotic grammars for the rapid design of evolving video game mechanics"  Its one of two Vick, McDaniel and myself have written  on Semiotics and Game Design over the past 18 months.  They were both  accepted at the Games Papers sessions on SIGGRAPH 2009 and 2010.

We'll likely run it through a few versions between now and Thanksgiving during the run of the course, then open it up to a larger test group and finally the community as a whole to beat up.