Wow! I woke up this morning and started writing this blog post in my head! I haven’t done that in soooooo long! I suppose it’s a sign that it is my last week at work and my own thoughts and desires are starting to come out of their protected shell.
Two weeks ago I was fortunate to catch the back end of an amazing symposium in Bergen called “Data is Political” organised by Amber Frid-Jimenez and Ben Dalton. I suppose I had been too wrapped up in my own life to notice that this event was happening so thank goodness for the fabulous Jill Walker Rettbergwho tweeted from the event. After work I stopped by to catch the panel discussion and get some form of conclusion about what they had been talking about all day. I mean … what an interesting subject for art students and scholars to be discussing? I was so impressed and rather excited!
I’m not completely certain of what to make of this. But there’s been a UK Serious Games event (link not working as I’m writing this – EXTREMELY annoying) and among the participants have been Nokia, BP and McDonalds Interactive – that turns out to be a hoax, which to be honest infuriorated me to begin with. I’m a believer of serious games and I didn’t like anyone taking the piss out of the event. But after further review, I have to say that I’m overwhelmingly impressed and I also can’t think of a better way to actually promote Serious Games.
Andrew Shimery-Wolf (ehm…), Director of McDonalds’s Interactive gave a presentation which he entitled “The Most Serious Game”. And I truely believe the clue lies in one of his opening remarks about what McDonalds was doing to improve:
“…we undertook to become a more visibly responsible company, and adopted a platform of Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR – just like Nokia and BP, who are also represented at this conference.
Much as Nokia have pledged not to exploit Far East workers, and BP are exploring alternative fuels, so we responded to various critics by looking “beyond beef” on our menus, trying new packaging, and even experimenting with environment-friendly refrigeration.” (links added by me)
So he ends up presenting a game which was a simulation of the fast-food marketplace.
“This is the game that resulted. Players adopt the avatar of a fast-food company, and make business decisions in highly accelerated time. The game calculates the effects of those decisions on the overall market, collates them with other players’ decisions and rewards the best players with profits.”