Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seminar on game design and usability in Helsinki

Those who are not at the Igda-mailing list but are interested in games design and usability issues, this event might be interesting for you?
From the Igda.fi:

Would you like to know what Insomniac has learned from Ratchet & Clank or Resistance: Fall of Man on game usability and interaction design? How to test mobile and online game community MoiPal? What are the best usability and interaction design practices at Sulake?

Welcome to IGDA Finland Presentation session organized in association
with SIGCHI , Remedy Games and Sulake! This time the theme is game interaction design and usability.

We have a mind blowing lineup of speakers:

Ryan Schneider (Insomniac)
Ryan works as Community Director at Insomniac. Insomniac is famous for Ratchet & Clank series and Resistance: Fall of Man which was one of the PS3 launch titles.

Joakim Achren (IronStarHelsinki)
Joakim is the CEO of IronStarHelsinki. Ironstar Helsinki is the first company in the world to have successfully launched a cross-platform game that allows branded virtual goods in both online and mobile environments.

Inka Vikman (Sulake)
Inka works as Concept Designer at Sulake. Sulake is an online entertainment company focused on virtual worlds and social networking. They run popular online community service Habbo in 32 countries.

Olli Sinermä (Heavy Metal Helsinki / Pelit magazine)
Olli works as lead designer and game analyst. He will talk about usability from game reviewer's viewpoint.

After the presentations we will have open microphone session where YOU can give quick presentations (max 5 minutes) on your usability challenges or solutions! If you would like to have you 15 seconds of fame: let us know by 6th November. E-mail: sonja.kangas@igda.fi

NOTE: This time pre-registration to the IGDA Finland Presentations session is mandatory. Please register at: http://igda.fi/?page_id=16

The IGDA gathering aka after party is at Cuba cafe!


Place: Valkoinen sali, Aleksanterinkatu 16-18, follow the IGDA signs
Date: Tuesday 11th November
Starts: 16.00
Ends: 19.00 — the chat will continue at Cuba cafe!

Place: Cuba Cafe, Erottajankatu 4, 00120 Helsinki (map: http://igda.fi/?page_id=5 )
Time: Tuesday 11th November, doors open at 19.00

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Children & Youth - media use in a nutshell

Hello world. Lately I have been writing "Children's and youth and their media use - in a nutshell" report together with The Finnish Society of Media Education. It has been a challenge to describe the youngsters' media landscape to the assumed readers. For those who do not spend time at the internet -- except reading e-mails or surfing at "Google" -- it is difficult to express that internet is actually many things. It is not just one. It is both data transmission network and a platform for many services. Or that the graphical browser environment is not the totality of the internet. Or that internet is not done. It has relatively short history and the development is in connection with the technical and cultural evolvement. I am really pleased with the result. The report will be put out on Friday -- keep your eyes open if you are interested to check it out. I will post the report to my blog as well.

A couple of days ago I met one soon-to-be internet idol: Marko Forss aka -fobba-. He started "neighbourhood police" activity at the popular IRC-Galleria online community in September. The experiment has been a solid success. Today it is Tuesday and -fobba- is offline but nearly 1500 persons have already visited his profile page this week! It was really interesting to hear how police have been accepted within the online community and what type of best practises has he already found. Besides -fobba- case we have several excellent web pilot cases here in Finland. Check out my presentation at the Slideshare to get an idea of the range of experiments to combine commercial services with communal / public activities.

Besides work: I have been playing Little Big Planet and I have to say I really adore that game and the Sackdude. The game is SO funny, cute, interesting, challenging, diverse... MM really did a great job with the game. Related to games I could also mention that 11 of November will be a special IGDA Finland Presentations session. If you are interested in game design and usability -- keep your eyes open. We will have something special for you :)

As a final note I though of mentioning that I will be working with a MMO / online community project called Guppylife.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogging at Tilt.tv

I have started writing a blog for Tilt.tv in Finnish. Those interested in games related discussion should check it out. The other Tilt blogger is MMO-guru Susi. So far I have been writing about Will Wright, educational games and user generated content.

Spore was released a couple of weeks ago. A week ago I met professor James Paul Gee and Elizabeth Hayes in Helsinki. We had a good talk about educational games and gender issues in games. During this week I have been playing Little Big Planet (oooh, it is so lovely!), partying with IGDA-dudes and doing some preparations because I am moving to Copenhagen after two weeks.

Oh, and I also had a good talk with a friend of mine about exergames. In 2005 I predicted that exergame markets are expected to grow signally within 5 years. My friend questioned if exergames will anyhow remain marginal. Sure we have Nintendo Wii Fit and some dance gaming but where's the beef? How to really generate new business out of that? Since then I have been pondering the case and will write about it next time. Soon -- I promise!