Roo Reynolds – a must!

I’ve just watched Roo Reynold’s closing keynote at the ReLIVE08 (Researching Learning in Virtual Environments) conference and I’m just so smitten!

Firstly – you just have to be impressed that he came with nothing and worked through the entire conference by taking notes so he could sum up the whole conference as a closing keynote. That’s ballsy! What a gift for a conference!

Roo Reynolds is in charge of social media at the BBC (I think that’s a good way to sum it up), but he himself says: “I look after social media for BBC Vision, which is the TV bit (e.g. there are people with similar roles to mine in news, radio and the central ‘future media & technology’ teams, and I work closely with them)”. If you’re working with social media in any shape or form you have to follow Roo Reynold’s blog. He’s smart, reflective and a whole lot of fun!

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Life is beautiful

I’m just running through my feeds before I start cracking on some more “serious” blogsposts and I’ve caught myself muttering “How adorable – beautiful – incredible!” on several of the articles I’m reading – so thought I’d just share some of them here. I don’t know – perhaps its the beautiful weather that’s put me in the lovey dovey mood – either way – I’m having an incredibly lucious Sunday!

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I do enjoy a good YouTube drama

I can’t help myself, I just can’t. There’s a new YouTube-series called “Hooking Up”. It seems to be a gathering of the who’s who of YouTube-stars, at least Lonelygirl and What the Buck guy – I’m not sure if the others are well known from something else. I love the way Facebook is such an important feature og the script. I can’t help wonder if they’re maybe sponsored by Facebook. But I enjoyed it anyway – I’m such a sucker for simple high-school drama.

Public Broadcasting goes gaming

And it’s about freakin time too!

NRK the Norwegian Public Broadcasting company will be releasing a free computer game for kids this fall, called Superia.
writes that they want the game to give kids creative freedom to make videos, animations and drawings a.s.o., and this will then be shared on the childrens tv channel or something. I’m also presuming that content will be shared between players as well – will they be able to interact with one another in the game, you think?

Either way… I’m so so so so so happy that nrk is brave and innovative enough to explore this direction. I’ll have to dig a little deeper. I was just about to close down for the night when I read about this – so excuse the rushed sentences.

The gameplay that has posted doesn’t really seem all that creative or adventurous, to be honest – but I’m sure the real fun’s in there somewhere!!

It’s apparently created by the BBC – hmmm…. – it must be Adventure Rock, right? I wonder if the lovely Mildly Diverting and Wonderland had their interactive hands on this at some point.

Norwegian folkdance in AoC

Well…I guess there’s just no doubt that Age of Conan is going to be released on schedule – May 20th – because Funcom is sneaking in more and more little peaks to the press. I feel like a day doesn’t pass by without there being something in the news about Age of Conan. Funcom is notorious for being super duper freakishly paranoid secretive, so they wouldn’t start releasing stuff unless they knew they were ready.

The funny thing is that I really thought I was bored with it all now. I was very adamant in my opinion that teasing the fans for sooooooo long would slap them in the face because they would just get bored and annoyed by all the delays. I was wrong.

Just look at this – they’re including Hallingdans. It’s a Norwegian folk dance. I’m so impressed. My overly national romantic heart has officially melted. Video bellow is in Norwegian from, where you can distinctly hear that the movement director (?) for Age of Conan, who came up with this great idea, is from my neck of the wood – of course he’s a Bergenser!

I’m excited now. I just might get over the testosterone overload feeling I have against Age of Conan and go out and buy it! I adore details like this!

I wouldn’t have noticed this if it wasn’t for Nina’s twittering, so thanks!

49% Casual Gamers play everyday

Chris Bateman’s got some interesting results from a survey they’ve done for a new player model, with 1040 responses.

Of those who classify themselves as casual gamers 49% play every day! Sounds like a statistic Jesper Juul would be interested in.

Also only 1.25% enjoy games without stories. I think that’s interesting.

We’ve received 1,040 responses to the survey, of which 55% (576) are from North America, 30% (317) are from Western Europe or the UK, 5% (52) are from Australasia, and a few responses from everywhere else in the world besides.

The majority of respondents play games every day (66%), with many of the others playing every week (26%). Interestingly, of those that self-identified as “Hardcore”, 81% play every day, and of those that self-identified as “Casual”, 49% play every day. It seems that even people who see themselves as a Casual player are still playing amazingly often.

The most popular approach is to play alone (40%), with just a few playing single player games with pad passing or some similar group play (7%). The remaining players all prefer some kind of multiplayer format, whether in the same room (17%) or over the internet (19%, of which 5% is team or clan play), with the remaining 16% preferring virtual worlds and MMORPGs.

On the subject of game stories, there is overwhelming consensus, with 93% saying either that stories are very important to their enjoyment of videogames (36%) or that stories help them enjoy videogames (57%). A mere 5% say stories are not important, and just 1.25% say they prefer videogames without stories. Clearly, story occupies a vital space in the modern world of videogames gamers love stories!

So you’ve lost a ring ey?

ARG-guru Jane McGonigal has designed a new game for the 2008 Olympics, The Lost Ring.

At the moment it seems like a sort of collective-blogging/web 2.0-story-game.
We’re introduced to six characters. Ariadne, Markus, Noriko, MeiHui, Diego and Lucie. They all woke up in some form of labrynth with amnesia, some funky white fitness suit, white goggle that you can’t see through – blindfold and a funky tattoo on their arm which reads: Find the lost Ring in Esperanto.

I’m quite pleased that this is truly international. French, English, German, Spanish, Chinese and I think Japanese (I can’t be bothered to look up right now). I also like the way they use many different types and brands of web 2.0 media. I’m astonished by how much work they’ve put into it and how thorough they’ve been. I think Jane McGonigol’s genious is clearly evident.

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Bow Street Runners

Congrats to Channel 4’s Public Broadcast Gaming initiative! And Alice Taylor!

I just tried Bow Street Runners and by golly it’s amazing! I really enjoyed it! It’s really good lookin’ and even educational! Which seems to be the point of Public Broadcast Gaming – creating games that educate. For example – I didn’t know gin had such a societal impact on London in the 18th century. I learned that just by clicking on a bottle – they called it Madame Geneva. So after the game episode I looked it up and listened to a BBC podcast on the subject – apparently it was a female craze. Really interesting!
The game is in unison with the Channel 4 series, City of Vice, which I ofcourse aim to see now that I’ve played the first episode of the game!

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Accessibility In Virtual Worlds

BBC reports that IBM has designed a device that gives 3D sound “to create a sense of space” for the blind to be able to enter virtual worlds.

“Characters in the virtual world can have a “sonar” attached to them so that the user gets audible cues to alert them to when they are approaching, from which direction and how near they are. “

That’s just so cool!