Thursday, October 29, 2009

GDC 2010: Social, iPhone, Serious Games And More

GDC 2010 Debuts Call for Submissions for Summits

Via: PR Newswire 

New Summits for Social & Online and iPhone Games Now Open for Submissions, Along With GDC Mobile/Handheld, Independent Games, and Serious Games

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Game Developers Conference® 2010, presented by Think Services, has announced that the call for submissions is open for GDC's suite of Summits, which take place on the first two days of GDC week in San Francisco, March 9th-10th 2010. This year's GDC Summit line-up includes two new events in the form of the Social & Online Games Summit and iPhone Games Summit, alongside the GDC Mobile/Handheld, Independent Games, and Serious Games Summits, which are all accepting submissions through November 13th.

The multi-track Social & Online Games Summit is focused around current and new opportunities for games on social networking services such as Facebook and MySpace. The Summit brings together leading thinkers and business people to examine how social games have expanded the audience of gamers to encompass tens of millions of mainstream users, many of whom are not conventional gamers. This much-demanded Summit will also cover how online worlds have conquered the children's gaming market, and how the casual gaming space is also feeding in to the next generation of mass market multiplayer games.

The iPhone Games Summit, first held at Game Developers Conference® Austin 2009 to significant acclaim, marks its San Francisco debut at GDC 2010. This Summit will bring together top iPhone and iPod Touch developers from around the world to share ideas, business tips and best practices and discuss the future of Apple's increasingly important game platform. The Summit will include a first day dedicated to detailed sessions from some of the iPhone game industry's top technical architects, with the second day of the iPhone Games Summit focusing on vital business and marketing strategies behind successful game companies in this extremely competitive market.

"GDC is in a constant state of evolution, just like the game industry itself," says Meggan Scavio, event director of the Game Developers Conference. "This year's exciting slate of summits speaks to the rapid growth of online & social network games, and the increasing importance of the iPhone as a gaming platform."

The two new summits represent a notable addition to the already comprehensive selection of GDC 2010 Summits, which take place immediately before the three-day GDC 2010 main program. Other Summits also held at GDC 2010 will include one or two-day events on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Game Localization, and the IGDA Education Summit.

More information and registration specifics on the 2010 Game Developers Conference can be found at

About the Think Services Game Group

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the Think Services Game Group offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Webby Award-winning,,,,,, the Game Developers Conference®, the Game Developers Conference® Austin, the Game Developers Conference® Europe, the Game Developers Conference® China, GDC Mobile, the Game Career Seminars, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. To learn more, visit

About Think Services, a division of United Business Media

Think Services connects specialized communities worldwide using educational events, consulting, training, certification, membership, and innovative media. Providing comprehensive opportunities for people to learn from, network with, and inspire each other, Think Services builds strong brands and works within communities to foster a unique affinity with its products and services. The division's flagship products include the Game Developers Conference, the Webby Award-winning, Game Developer magazine, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), and HDI. Think Services is a subsidiary of United Business Media, a global media and marketing services company with a market capitalization of more than $1.6 billion. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

IMAGINA 2010: Serious Games Impact On Mangement

Serious Games opening up new frontiers for 3D technologies

Via: IMAGINA - The 3D Community Event

IMAGINA is a major European « 3D Community Event » centered on solutions which assist in designing and reaching decisions through visualizations and simulation.

IMAGINA 2010 will be held on 3-5 February 2010, at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Again this year, the think tank will be a partner of this event, organizing a round table on the impact of Serious Games on management.

IMAGINA 2010 - Round Table Organized by La F@brique du Futur

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The Revolution Of Management Through Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds find more and more applications in enterprises in order to facilitate and optimize management. Nowadays, virtual worlds are adopted by all functions: Human Resources, Marketing, Production, R&D, etc. This move is fast and irreversible.

Altogether in 2007 these virtual worlds have raised funds in excess of 1 billion $. And according to Forrester’s latest survey they shall become as important as the Internet today.

Following this round table, the ceremony of the IntraVerse Awards will take place. This Award distinguishes best managerial projects dealing with collaboration and co-creation thanks to virtual universes. This will bring additional interest to this event.

About La F@brique du Futur

La F@brique du Futur is a young association created in 2006 and whose purpose is to reconcile innovation and sustainable development. Its unique positioning is clearly evident. La F@brique du Futur is not another think tank, but rather a "think network" for sticking as closely as possible to what is happening in the field.

About Imagina 2010

The usage of 3D technologies and solutions for Visualization and Simulation are now essential in numerous industrial sectors such as Aeronautic, Automobile, Transportation, Architecture, Urbanism and Territory.

Those technologies as well as the representation models coupling Real/Virtual are under democratization as this evolution supports the growth and value added development of the European industry. The transition towards the 3D virtual representations allows us to appreciate the Products in a digital decision cycle by the involvement of the Visual, Tactile, Audition senses and from recently by their applications into immersive worlds.

Technological bridges appear between industrial sectors like Transportation and Territory or Automotive and Media Entertainment.

Those means and processes are contributing in structuring our domains, from most artistic to most industrial, from conceptual design to production via styling, engineering design, scientific calculations of 3D modeling of physical phenomenon, the digital mock-up, the virtual prototyping, validation , the simulation of complex assemblies and structures, manned or not, under various processes and the animated and virtual communication for instance in the immersive worlds of co-creation and collective co-operation.

The conference is segmented into 4 areas of interest: industry, Architecture & Urbanism, Landscape & Territory, and Media & Entertainment.


3 topics are proposed for that edition. Each theme shall be structured into two sessions: R&D / Marketing and Products/Applications:

Digital Mock-up & Simulation (Wednesday)

3D STYLING and DESIGN : Engineering and Visualization review from first styling sketches until finished product (Thursday Morning)

Virtual Prototyping (Thursday Afternoon)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


"The page you requested has been redirected to this page

You may want to update your bookmarks."

My deep apologies to the multiple Serious Games communities I'm connected with, since I'm in the process of consolidating Blogs & Website, Feeds & Tweets, and Social Networks.

As of today my Blog SERIOUS GAMES PORTAL no longer exists.

FUTURE-MAKING SERIOUS GAMES, my main Blog was redirected and will be gradually migrated to SERIOUS GAMES MARKET, where I'll be DIGGING THE BEST OF SERIOUS GAMES PROMISING MARKET.

My renewed apologies for any further inconvenience this transition may cause.


Serious Games @ Calculation Nation

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education

Via: Mark Oehlert RT @iThinkMedia: [Blog] Trust Me: Math Can Be Fun w/Calculation Nation!

Calculation Nation is a free, easy to use, mathematics game site, offering Serious Games for most K-12 students. Calculation Nation offers students the opportunity to practice their mathematics skills individually or in a head-to-head format playing against other students. For parents and teachers, Calculation Nation offers suggestions for using Calculation Nation.

Calculation Nation™ uses the power of the Web to let students challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing fundamental skills. The element of competition adds an extra layer of excitement.

The National Council of Teacher’s of Mathematics (NCTM) hired Interactive Knowledge (IK) to design a system for middle school students to play math-related online games against live opponents. The site features five online games and a customized game room where thousands of students can challenge one another to test their math skills. Before going live, Calculation Nation was tested by hundreds of math teacher’s during NCTM’s annual conference held in April 2009.

The game Factor Dazzle, for example, is dazzle-icious! Find all the factors of a number to earn points. Then, choose a number for which your opponent must find the factors.

Factor Dazzle

In the game Slam Ball, the math concepts covered are symmetry, reflection, angles, and patterns but I wouldn't have guessed this when I started playing because it was so much fun and I wanted to win!

Slam Ball
Hit tokens, collect points! Slam the ball into the sides of the game board, and use your knowledge of angles, symmetry, and reflections to choose the best path.

Another great feature of the site is the supporting material and information. As a parent or educator this site provides you with the math concepts each game addressed along with giving you hints and tips on pointing to these concepts when using the site as a teaching tool.

“The games on Calculation Nation™ provide an entertaining environment where students can explore rich mathematics,” said Jim Rubillo, Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). “Through these games, students are exposed to the same mathematical topics that they see in class as well as those that are recommended in Curriculum Focal Points.”

Calculation Nation™ “Governance”

Calculation Nation™ is part of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Illuminations project, which offers Standards-based resources that improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students. Its materials illuminate the vision for school mathematics set forth in NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and Curriculum Focal Points.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership and professional development to support teachers in ensuring equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students.

Illuminations is also part of, a comprehensive educational website funded by the Verizon Foundation to provide free educational resources to parents, teachers, and students. is the cornerstone of Verizon Foundation’s literacy, education and technology initiatives. The goal of is to improve student achievement in traditional classroom settings and beyond by providing high-quality content and extensive professional development training.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#SeriousGames Will RT @google

Via: Official Google Blog - RT @google: Tweets and Updates and Search

Google Blog posted a couple of hours ago:

10/21/2009 02:09:00 PM

"At Google, our goal is to create the most comprehensive, relevant and fast search in the world. In the past few years, an entirely new type of data has emerged — real-time updates like those on Twitter have appeared not only as a way for people to communicate their thoughts and feelings, but also as an interesting source of data about what is happening right now in regard to a particular topic."

"Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results. We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you'll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information."

Last April, TechCrunch in a certain way anticipated this move, under the post Sources: Google In Talks To Acquire Twitter (Updated) , reporting rumors sourced from two separate people close to the negotiations: "Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter."

On the same post, Michael Arrington explores the reason why would Google want Twitter:

"We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game."

In a prior post called It’s Time To Start Thinking Of Twitter As A Search Engine, Michael Arrington also wrote:

"More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. And all of it is discoverable at, the search engine that Twitter acquired last summer. People searching for news. Brands searching for feedback. That’s valuable stuff."

According to Michael, "the deal Google wants: a real time feed of Twitter updates to speed indexing."

"Without that feed Google must independently index each Twitter user periodically to look for updates. That means it’s dreadfully slow in grabbing all those Twitter posts. And it’s also very expensive from a computing resource standpoint. A real time feed would be of huge value to Google, and they’d be smart to nail down a long term deal sooner rather than later."

"A real time feed of Twitter posts would negate much of the head start Twitter has in the nascent real time search space. It would be a coup for Google to get the Twitter milk without having to buy the cow. The real question is, does Twitter fully understand the value of this feed?"

3D Browser Serious Games For Senior Executives

Serious Games building knowledge about the role of the CEO

Via: Visual Purple - 3D Browser-Based Virtual World, Winning in Wireless: Year 1

A few months back I highlighted Visual Purple’s launch of the downloadable Serious Game Winning in Wireless: Year 1, on my blog post Serious Games For Senior Executives

They are now releasing a beta version of the 3D browser-based application and here is today's press release.


Visual Purple Launches Beta 3D Browser-Based Virtual World

San Luis Obispo, CA – October 21, 2009 – Visual Purple, LLC. a leading advanced simulation technology firm proudly announces the launch of its first ever beta version of a 3D browser-based virtual world Winning in Wireless: Year 1. Initially launched in April of this year as a downloadable application, Winning in Wireless: Year 1 is a pilot program that BTS and Visual Purple embarked on by taking an existing BTS Computer-based training (CBT) simulation and transferring the content into a realistic virtual world environment complete with Non-Player Characters (NPCs).

This entirely 3D based virtual world application allows for automatic updating. Advanced features that are offered include a custom plug-in for behind the firewall, ability to work off of an LMS, playability on private networks and a standalone mode.

In following the trend of virtual worlds moving into the web browser this is just one more distinct advantage that Visual Purple can offer its clients by allowing its customized and low cost virtual world simulations to be viewable in any browser. This is a big step in offering companies full deployment behind their firewall or through a firewall plus the ability to run a typical PC. This complete 3D browser based virtual world solution allows for anytime, anywhere play.

Winning in Wireless: Year 1, provides an interesting environment and experience for the single-player (can be designed in a multiplayer format) and, at the same time, will show how a single-player can be taught key skills and develop empathy for the roles and skills of others within an organization. Successfully navigating Winning in Wireless: Year 1, the player learns critical insight and knowledge about the role of the CEO and why a strong CEO is valuable and important; it will provide a refresher on developing forecasts and plans, decision making using an “iTool”, and alignment of the company’s vision, values and mission. Three months after its initial beta launch to the public with a downloadable version of Winning in Wireless: Year 1 is now an entirely browser-based 3D virtual world that runs directly from the browser.

About Visual Purple, LLC

Visual Purple is an industry leader in advanced simulations and technologies throughout the Virtual World, Embedded and Decision-Based training sectors. The Company’s core technologies allow for the rapid development of training objectives within its simulations through a collection of 3D elements, videos, and other high-fidelity content. Visual Purple training solutions allow for the most complex training missions in a manner that is cost and time efficient for the organization and enjoyable and effective for the trainee. Training packages are designed to accelerate the ability of corporate and government employees to master complicated material and increase performance in making appropriate work-related decisions. Visual Purple, LLC is certified on the Central Contractor Registration database as a Women-Owned Small Business.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Accenture's Serious Games

Accenture’s Forgery Serious Game

Via: Accenture - Interactive Wall Technology: Seeing the Big Picture

Inspired by: Interactive Multimedia Technology

Accenture’s Interactive Wall is a scalable in size, networked, high resolution, touch screen interface. It gives users the "big picture," whether in a strategic decision-making context or a retail and advertising environment.

Strategic Decision Interface

The Interactive Wall has a role to play in strategic decision-making, as a command or nerve center for controlling operations. The "big picture" view draws decision-makers together, whether in relaxed debate around the screen in an office or tuning in through wireless connections via locations in the far corners of the globe. The Interactive Wall fosters collaborative practices, allowing data to be manipulated and quickly assimilated by broad groups of people in diverse locations.

By mimicking the Web in its ability to track usage patterns and user preferences, the Interactive Wall offers personalized, targeted, information while integrating with other networked or mobile devices to create innovative solutions for users and organizations alike.

The Interactive Wall's super-sized, physical screen combines with Accenture's groundbreaking patent-pending software to deliver greater insight, faster.

Whether applied to advice consumers about products and services or employed to act as a nerve center for command and control operations, the interactive wall is more than just a pretty face.

Read about the technology behind the Interactive Wall and how industries can realize benefits from its massive scale and versatility.

Seeing the "Big Picture": Technical Talking

Developed by Accenture Technology Labs, the Interactive Wall is hardware agnostic and massively scalable in size as well as being low maintenance.

Different types and sizes of screens from a variety of vendors can be used. The hardware that powers the software player for the interactive wall can be any type of Microsoft or Intel-based server.

High-end graphics cards are required to drive displays, along with high-resolution cameras and off-the-shelf software to provide the touch capabilities.

The touch screen can be rugged enough for outdoor use or rendered child-proof for use inside. Accenture has developed patent-pending software that developers can use to build custom applications for the Interactive Wall.

Recent Application

Accenture’s Interactive Wall for the Louvre Exhibit at the High Museum

Louvre Atlanta used Accenture’s Interactive Technology to explore the changing nature of masterpieces, with a 7-by-10-foot touch screen that enhances user experience at “The Louvre and the Masterpiece” exhibition.

The wall enables visitors to select their favorite “masterpieces” from the works on show—and then compare their selections with those made by other visitors as well as curators from the Louvre and High.

Visitors vote for their favorite art with interactive touch screen

Based on the visitor’s preferences, the wall offers recommendations on pieces that may interest them from the High’s permanent collection.

Interactive Wall helps to educate visitors about art

In this way, Accenture harnesses the power of technology innovation not only to enhance the visitor’s experience but also to provide a way to capture and manipulate information that could help museum curators and art critics understand viewers' trends.

Forgery Game (find image at the top of this post)

Visitors will also get a chance to experience another technology innovation from Accenture: The Forgery Game is a new, interactive game that presents the visitor with a mystery to solve. The game not only educates, but provides a fun, engaging experience as players investigate a possible forgery by comparing two pieces of sculpture linked to ancient Egypt.

The game can be played at four 32-inch individual touch screens kiosks along-side the works of art in the exhibition. Visitor can view and analyze the same data collected by the museum experts and arrive at their own conclusions.

Serious Games As Immersive Internet

Via: LinkedIn Group - NORTEL's Web.Alive Developers and Users

Immersive Internet Overview PPT Presentation Excerpts

Immersive Internet is a collection of emerging technologies - Virtual Worlds and Campuses, immersive learning simulations, Serious Games, 3 D business applications - combined with a Social Culture of IMs, twitter, and blogs that deeply engage the user, providing experiences that people feel are real.

The expected results would be new dimensions in engagement that would lead to increased workforce collaboration and stakeholders, retention.

Immersive Internet is a nascent technology – projected to be mainstream in 5 years.

Major Drivers (according to the presentation):

- Kids playing multiplayer videogames and engaging in social networking – are tomorrow’s business leaders, partners, employees, decision makers . They will expect this technology.

- Pressure on corporate costs require different ways of doing business – travel expense hit hard. Companies are becoming Carbon Aware!

- Large technology companies are getting involved: Accenture: 2nd life for recruiting, ROI in 5 or 6 world events; Microsoft: ESP training simulation; IBM: University Collaboration and 2nd life; Sun: Wonderland Open Source; Nortel: Web.alive.

Consumer Trends

Immersive Internet can also help you and consumers connect in an immersive shopping experience., facilitated by:

-Increasing consumer consumption of product information online versus in-store.

- Increasing desire for continual touch points with brands online (e.g. expect more than just a simple website today).

- Increasing expectation of after purchase support (e.g. Apple Geniuses).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Serious Games Transforming Learning Ecosystem

Serious Games changing Singapore's learnscape


Transforming the Learning Ecosystem through Media - MDA Sets Aside S$6 million to Champion the Use of Games for Learning

Memorizing the important parts of the periodic table of elements in chemistry may soon become child's play for students with the roll-out of more games titles to aid education and learning.

As part of efforts to champion the use of media in work, learn and play, the Media Development Authority (MDA)'s new initiative - Media in Learning - will support the development and deployment of up to 24 game titles over the next three years to aid effective learning in not only traditional school-based education, but also other domains such as defense and healthcare.

At least S$6m will be set aside for this initiative, which includes the setting up of a resource centre to facilitate the growth of this niche sector. To be ready mid next year, the resource centre will guide the development and building of games titles by providing developers with access to toolkits, platforms and facilities to accelerate the project development efforts. The centre will also partner with local and international organisations to conduct courses to increase the awareness and competencies in the Media in Learning Space.

"The Media in Learning initiative represents a paradigm shift in the way we promote the media. Beyond media for entertainment purposes, we are leveraging on media being a powerful tool to be pushed out in the learning and education sector. Through this initiative, not only would we see the pervasive use of media extensively, it will help to groom the publishing industry further. We hope to capture a significant slice of this market for Made-with-Singapore content," says Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer of MDA.

The move to promote the use of games in the learning sphere comes against the backdrop of growth in the overall games industry. A study by PricewaterhouseCooper* shows that by 2011, the global games sector is expected to grow to $48.9 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 9.1% during the last five year period. Conservative estimates show that the market for "serious games" is about $9 billion.

Another change driven by the Media in Learning initiative is in the transformation of the business model to a large-scale distribution model, which will enable Singapore made learning games to reach a global audience in the most effective way. Currently, the traditional model for development of serious games is a work-for-hire model, with the contents highly customised for and owned by a single client.

With this initiative, MDA will collaborate with publishers to co-invest in promising projects which can be "re-skinned" and re-developed into generic commercial off-the-shelf titles of a similar nature for different clients and purposes. A Call for Proposals (CFP) will be launched on 23 October together with other Future-of-Media CFPs. 

Industry players have applauded the initiative. "The Media in Learning initiative is a very timely move. ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems) has been actively involved in the Simulation and Education space for over three decades. We harness the benefits from the use of new interactive & digital media, such as simulation, games and virtual world in training, teaching and learning; and have seen very positive and significant outcomes for our learners," says Mr Eric Chan, Senior Vice President from ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems) Pte Ltd.

Local games company Playware is glad to see the games ecosystem taking new shape as it moves into the education sector. "Education is a multiple trillion dollar industry worldwide and is many times larger than the entertainment industry and given the goodwill enjoyed by Singaporean education, Singapore is singularly well-equipped geographically, culturally and economically to not only do well in this space but to emerge as a world leader," says Mr Siddarth Jain, co-founder of Playware.

For Games Exchange Alliance, it is confident that such initiative will be beneficial to the growth of the games industry. "The GXA is looking forward to collaborating with the MDA to cultivate the industry awareness of Serious Games. While the initiative is able to accelerate the process of adoption, the education of the end-user (B2B) customer is needed. Most brick and mortar companies are unaware of the potential savings in communication, training and education. Real world examples need to be demonstrated and the value proposition to potential buyers explained," says Mr Aroon, co-founder of GXA.

* Figures are from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report 2007.

About MDA

Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote developments in film, video, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation, media services and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. 


“New Media is a trend that can be harnessed for positive learning outcomes. MDA's Media-in-Learning initiative can help schools to consider new ways to engage students through pedagogically sound methods. For RI, it would be interesting to consider if games can be developed for imparting and honing 21st century skills such as leadership,” says Lim Lai Cheng, Principal of Raffles Institution.


"It is difficult to instill passion into learning. However, good game designers are trained to bring out the passion in gamers. The same approach may be used in support of learning. IAH welcomes Game-In-Learning initiative by MDA and believe in its ability to make a difference by instilling passion in learning while making it fun and exciting,” says Mr Roderick Chia, Vice-President of Strategic Projects at Infocomm Asia Holdings Games.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Serious Games For Architecturally Accurate Environments

Via: MellaniuM - Titanic Leap For Virtual Worlds - MellaniuM Infohub on NORTEL's web.alive

NORTEL's web.alive is now hosting a MellaniuM environment which not only contains models with well over one million polygons but also supports anti-aliasing for superbly rendered immersive quality and can accommodate 300 concurrent avatars.

With just one click on you can be walking around this trial domed environment.

There have been innumerable announcements about virtual worlds to support the meshes import, which allows for development of truly realistic and architecturally accurate environments.

NORTEL's web.alive is a web-browser embedded client which is based on the UNREAL 2.5 platform and is capable of dealing with models generated with static meshes in millions of polygons. So the ultimate question to be addressed now is not whether a virtual world platform can import meshes but if it is capable of dealing with large numbers of high polygon models needed to create a rich, detailed space.

The MellaniuM Infohub environment now available contains almost 2 million polygons and the Titanic model (especially when viewed with the anti-aliasing feature) can be examined by zooming using the mouse wheel in the finest of details.

As you may well imagine in a not-so-distant future MellaniuM is poised to add more domes containing various areas of interest to architects, engineers and museum curators with models of a most detailed nature.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Enterprise VWs: Serious Games To The Value Of $10 bi

Via: GigaOM Pro - Report: Virtual Worlds for the Enterprise Market
Serious Games, Serious Business

Report Summary: Enterprise 3-D virtual world applications have proliferated during the past several years. What began as fun and games is becoming a serious business with a lot of upside.

A host of new, innovative 3-D virtual world applications have been introduced to the marketplace targeting the enterprise. Some of these applications have been created by established technology companies, such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Nortel, while others are being developed by emerging players, such as Forterra Systems, ProtonMedia, Qwaq and Unisfair.

This report profiles 14 key players and provides market forecasts for enterprise deployments of virtual world applications over the next decade.

Here is a Taste of It

3-D Virtual World applications for enterprise use will grow into an industry earning $8 billion to $10 billion in annual revenue by 2014, according to the new report from GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

Today, Virtual Worlds are primarily associated with role-playing games and avatar-based chat, but analysts Kris Tuttle and Steve Waite say they will gain widespread corporate adoption as a platform for long-distance conferencing and training, job fairs, and other business uses in the years ahead.

Companies are likely to embrace virtual worlds for such applications first, the authors argue, because they offer a cost-effective, productivity-boosting (not to mention “green”) alternative to air travel.

After reaching a critical mass in the next 12-24 months and doubling year over year, the industry will soon be earning billions of dollars in annual revenue. (Anticipating skeptics, the authors note that the existing market for online enterprise training and collaboration already earns that much just in direct costs alone.)

As for the major players in this burgeoning space? Tuttle and Waite name IBM and Cisco, two companies that have been developing virtual world/online collaboration solutions for years, with Adobe, Citrix, Oracle, and Dassault Systems as other contenders to watch closely.

They also note that the market’s growth will provoke fierce competition among the many enterprise virtual world solutions already out there — OLIVE, Second Life, OpenSimulator, Project Wonderland, to name just a few — leading to a shakeout in the industry. After this tumult, a few dominant behemoths and successful niche players will emerge, though it’s still unclear if the winners are already on the market, or still in development.

In any case, the report recommends that companies large and small should immediately start pilot programs based around virtual worlds. “Because the technology is delivering cost savings and improved operations,” they argue, “the time to begin is now.”

Tuttle and Waite’s full report, Virtual Worlds for the Enterprise Market, is now available on GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Digitell’s Serious Games: The Future Of Conferencing

Via: Digitell, Inc.Serious Games Broadcasting Your General Session Into A Virtual Environment

Digitell is a multimedia company specializing in servicing the association market with digital services.

Digitell offers a suite of digital solutions like content capture, abstract management, digital directories, automated evaluations and accreditation, and 3D virtual business applications on gaming software.

Digitell is currently focusing its efforts on meetings and conference solutions and runs 2 public events a month where guest speakers are invited to come and talk about what they do and how they see their technology fitting into these. It is all run at Digitell’s virtual auditorium - VirtualU.

About VirtualU

VirtualU provides an immersive, interactive, 3-Dimensional experience that replicates its real-life counterpart in a realistic online environment.

If you are currently running webinars, tele-seminars, or live educational sessions, VirtualU can easily transition your event into Digitell’s virtual platform allowing you to convey your message in a highly-effective format while increasing your ability to interact with attendees through text chat, voice over IP or integrated social media.

Running a virtual event is a way to broaden your reach, spread your message and create excitement surrounding your association or company.

Digitell is an industry-leading company offering a turn-key package for ease-of-entry into using virtual technology. Whether you know absolutely nothing about virtual worlds or are a seasoned user, Digitell will handle everything you need, from branded registration pages to customer support and training.

Digitell offers both a 2D and 3D experience, so your education and message can be watched by anyone with Internet access, PC or Mac.

Mac users and those not wishing to create an avatar can view the presentations in a 2D environment; PC users can enter the 3D world for a totally immersive experience. All participants utilize the same chat screen, Q&A, Polling and downloading materials.

If you need to reach out to international markets, Digitell translates your Event into multiple languages for global outreach.

VirtualU Promotional Video

Hybrid Meetings & Events

A lot of time, thought, and money goes into the planning of your general session. It’s the highlight of your annual meeting. You choose topics and speakers that will captivate and excite those in attendance, but your membership is much larger and broader than just those who are able to attend your meeting.

Digitell will staff your meeting with the professional technicians and equipment needed to capture your event and stream it in real time into the VirtualU platform. Attendees will be able to interact with each other in the VirtualU environment through text chat and integrated social media, and they will also be able to communicate with live attendees through built-in micro-blogging technologies.

Live attendees will also be able to ask questions of presenters through VirtualU’s built-in Twitter ports, if they choose to not step up to the microphone.

VirtualU’s hybrid events combine the excitement and intimacy of a live event with the convenience of the Internet to create a unique experience that can extend your reach to the world.

VirtualU Hybrid Meeting model combines live on-site education and virtual technology

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Serious Games Institute Could Help Recession Hit Industries

Via: Birmingham Post - Coventry-based Serious Games Institute could help firms through the recession

Built on the site of a former Rolls-Royce factory in Coventry, the Serious Games Institute is carrying out pioneering work which could help recession-hit industries find new ways to reach customers. Anna Blackaby immerses herself in Serious Games to understand how they can help give the West Midland economy a shot in the arm.  Here are the extracts:

"The West Midlands is carving out a niche for itself as a hub for research and development into the area of Serious Games. The term covers uses as diverse as conferencing, training Highways Agency staff on how to deal with potholes on a busy motorway or simulating life in prison to help youngsters at risk of offending understand the consequences of their behaviour."

"The Serious Games Institute, based at Coventry University’s Technology Park, combines high level applied academic research with incubation space where spin-off companies and start-ups can receive the physical, and virtual, support they need to gain a toehold in this emerging market."

"It’s perhaps symbolic that the site of the technology park is built on a former Rolls-Royce engine factory – an example of how the region’s tradition of innovation in manufacturing is finding a new lease of life in the gaming sector."

"Serious Games Institute director David Wortley believes the Serious Games industry can have a powerful regenerative effect on Coventry and the wider region. And not just on the digital-focused firms resident at the institute who are at the forefront of developing the new technology but also on more traditional manufacturers and retailers who could tap into new ways of interacting with customers from all over the world."

David describes how Serious Games are opening up new possibilities for companies selling their products online:

"Where we will start to move towards is how we use the tools that we are involved in to give more traditional industries some competitive advantage,” he said.

“For example, one of the projects which we have got a funding bid in for is the next generation of electronic commerce. Currently e-commerce is what I call ‘man shopping’. It’s not a pleasurable experience – the online technology has been developed to help you place your order and the intelligence is built around remembering what it is you like to buy."

“There is a different kind of shopping which has not really been properly developed – I call it ‘experiential shopping’. “That hasn’t been a possibility until now so we are a complete thought leader in the area of virtual commerce.”

One example of this is a virtual farmers market, developed by a Serious Games Institute virtual tenant, which allows the shopper to wander around various stands and view a 90-second clip of the farm owner talking about the produce for sale.

As well as retail, manufacturing firms could also gain a lot by looking into Serious Games and how they can help them interact with customers and showcase their products, according to Mr Wortley.

“When you look at the more traditional industries, Serious Games can be used by manufacturers to show designs in 3D and clients can have a look at their technology in the virtual world,” he added.

“These are the things that will give traditional industries competitive advantage.”