Political game: Hong Kong Occupy Central

Awesapp released the “Yellow Umbrella” game on Tuesday, about the protests in Hong Kong. Personally, I am curious to try it and see if it actually articulates a critical point, or if it is just a simple reskin of similar games.

Daniel Medina writes: “Named after the protest’s ubiquitous symbol of resistance, the game features protesters standing behind steel barricades and repelling violent attacks from police officers, triads, anti-Occupy protesters, and Chief Executive CY Leung himself”.

Read the article at http://qz.com/285458

Download the game for Android and iOS at https://umbrella.awesapp.com/

Thanks to Patrick Coppock for sharing this!


Talk: The Ludic City (Q. Stevens, RMIT Melbourne)

A talk by Quentin Stevens: “Urban play is not so much a specific set of actions, places or regimes, but is, rather, a distinctive mode of engaging with people, spaces and built forms, and developing new relationships to them. This mode involves curiosity, a richness of multi-sensory experiences, and active bodily engagement. It is characterized by liminality: freedom, openness, exploration, improvisation, and transformation.”

Watch the video at http://vimeo.com/54131664

MA Thesis: Evoking Playfulness in Public Space by Ludic Intervention

Sylvan Steenhuis is an Amsterdam based designer of interactive performance. After being exposed to Urban Games, at the Bachelor Interactive Performance Design, he got hooked on public space and physical play. He went on to study these fields in the practice based research ‘Evoking Playfulness in Public Space by Ludic Intervention’ at MA Performance Design, Utrecht School of the Arts, Netherlands. His thesis may be found at http://www.sylvansteenhuis.nl/its-done

Free serious game: Aqua Republica

Aqua Republica is a serious game to promote sustainable water resources management by sharing knowledge, to raise awareness and build capacity in some of the most critical issues in water resources management through serious gaming, where participants can experience making decisions in managing a catchment in an interactive and engaging way, and in doing so learn about the connectivity and importance of water resources, as well as the need for careful management.
While the world of Aqua Republica is fictitious, the challenges of sustainably managing a limited supply of water resources in a situation of growing demand between multiple users and uses are very much based on real life scenarios.

Play the game at http://aquarepublica.com/

Free Serious Game: the Migrant Trail

The Migrant Trail is a single-player simulation game examining the life of migrants and border patrol agents on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of The Undocumented transmedia campaign. The player may choose to play as one of several individuals on either side and is always first introduced to a prologue explaining that character’s history and motivations.

Read more about the game at http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/the-migrant-trail/ and play it for free at http://theundocumented.com/

Blog: Can games be venues for dialogue and conflict management?

Helena Puig Larrauri is a peacebuilding practitioner, focusing on innovation design and technology-enabled programs to promote peace, support civic engagement and prevent conflict. On her blog, she presents PEACEapp, a competition for game designs to support dialogue and understanding.

Check the PEACEapp homepage at http://www.unaoc.org/peaceapp/ and Helena’s blog at http://letthemtalk.org/2014/10/01/peaceapp/

News: “Endgame”, Google’s worldwide augmented reality game that begins today

“At its simplest, Endgame: The Calling is a novel about 12 teenagers scattered around the globe, participating in a high-stakes competition with the threat of the apocalypse and near-certain death looming. But the Endgame universe sprawls much further than a single book. Endgame will eventually combine three novels with a host of other material, including shorter novellas, movies, and alternate-reality games (some of which lead to massive cash prizes of real gold) put together by Google’s Niantic Labs. It’s an ambitious, sprawling, potentially messy, potentially engrossing project that could only take place now, in a world where billions of the Earth’s inhabitants carry extremely powerful computers in their pockets everywhere they go”.

Read the full news at http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/7/6927605/welcome-to-endgame-google-worldwide-augmented-reality-game

Blog: The year of narrative design theory that went into ‘The Vanishing of Ethan Carter’

“The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is unlike many other first-person adventure games you might have played. There’s no violence or combat, but rather, the story unfolds as the player explores the various environments, and discovers how certain bits and pieces work alongside other puzzles”. Its author Adrian Chmielarz says:”[The virtual world] allows the players to feel both as voyeurs and guilt-free intruders, and also forces them to build mental models of both the environment and the action. All of that results in the deeper sense of presence in the world, helping the trinity of presence, immersion and engagement.”

Read the full article here

Thanks to Ivan Girina for sharing

Ebook: How selfies, blogs and lifelogging devices shape our selves?

“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” is a book by Jill Walker Rettberg. From the abstract: “Selfies, blogs and lifelogging devices have become important ways in which we understand ourselves. Jill Walker Rettberg analyses these and related genres as three intertwined modes of self-representation: visual, written and quantitative. Rettberg explores topics like the meaning of Instagram filters, smartphone apps that write your diary for you, and the ways in which governments and commercial entities create their own representations of us from the digital traces we leave behind as we go through our lives”.

Download the ebook for free at http://www.palgraveconnect.com/pc/doifinder/10.1057/9781137476661

Thanks to Frans Mäyrä for sharing

If video games want cultural legitimacy, we need to concede it’s not all about fun

Leigh Alexander writes “If video games want cultural legitimacy, designers will have to concede it’s not all about fun. […] Cart Life, Howling Dogs, Dys4ia, and their contemporaries are touching and occasionally brutal, antithetical to games’ holy doctrine of fun. But they are important. The high-end triple-A gaming business will hopefully start to learn from the brave experiments of ­indie artists with everything to say and nothing to lose, folding some of the movement’s most resonant lessons into its experience design. That’s the road to a healthy culture and a genuinely mature, artistically legitimate games industry”.

Read her full article at http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/playing-outside/