Saturday, August 05, 2006

A few words about WiG 2006

I attended Women In Games conference in mid July. This was the third time WiG conference was arranged. Some of you might be aware of Women's Game Conference (Austin, Texas, US). WiG is somewhat alike the WGC except it takes place in the UK. Some of you might wonder is there a need to arrange a separate conference for women? Of course not, but both WGC and WiG aim at:
1. Give a voice to women in the games industry.
2. Analyse and monitor the role of women in the games industry.
3. Provide networking opportunities, especially for women developing and researching games.
4. Support and encourage students, researchers and developers to explore and redress the game industry's gender imbalance.
5. Disseminate research into games (past, present and future), especially (but not exclusively) with reference to the experience of women playing, developing and responding to games and game culture.
6. Disseminate information on the latest technologies and the best design and development practices (from:

Even though (IMHO) the conference was weakly advertised there were 50+ participants -- most of them from the Scandinavia and the UK. The focus of the conference was more on educational and QoL issues. For me the most rewarding presentations were Click2005! (Betsy DiSalvo&Anuja Parikh) and Agent O by Elisabet Nilsson. Both presentations described playable, 'ubi-comp' LBS-applications which itself were actually nothing that special. The same ideas have already been explored in UncleRoy All around you, Can you see me now?, Urban tapestries, NodeRunner, MobileHunt, Pirates! etc. etc. Anyhow the nice things about Agent O and Click 2005!: 1) they focused on 'users-as-innovators' (I believe in users as innovators to be the future for games as well) and 2) they had a fresh ideas how to use games in schools / to enable more free and active learning. At least Agent O - probably also Click! will be developed further. (Also super-nice and charming Mirjam Vosmeer's presentation was somewhat related to these mentioned, if you are into prosumerism, educational game design you should definitely follow what Mirjam is up to!)

My own presentation was about girls' game clubs, users as innovators (what a surprise!) and participatory game design. I wrote a short paper describing my work. The work continues. All commentators will be highly cherished :)

No comments: