Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Serious Game-Like DMU Conference


Serious Games Walk the Talk: Experiential Learning For Conference Attendees


Via: David Wortley’s Facebook - Play with a Purpose: DMU Changes the Game

De Montfort University (DMU), based in Leicester, in the heart of England, is revolutionizing the traditional conference venue and context through a series of Serious Games-Like challenges.

Organizers have realized the opportunity of transforming the traditional “show format” into a playful one: a collective interactive experience, which is the essence of Serious Games proposition (Please find also my prior post For A Serious Game-Like GDC)

As most of game developers in the segment advocate Serious Games large scale adoption for experiential learning, DMU seems to be leveraging on the conference great visibility to “Walk The Talk”.

The DMU Games Festival to be held from 25th – 28th February, will run as a sort of Multiplayer Serious Game Platform calling on players to register via Facebook or Twitter and complete a series of tasks that need to be accomplished in the real world.  Players are rewarded for a completed challenge and entered onto an online leaderboard.

Games Festival Coordinator and DMU Research Fellow David Wortley said: “This is the first conference I have ever been involved in that has used video games and social network technologies to add an extra dimension to the event.”

“For example, one of our challenges is to visit the Redgate Farm Animal Sanctuary Charity Shop within the area of De Montfort University’s celebrated Square Mile project. Players are rewarded with points for making a donation to or buying something from the shop. These points are added to other challenges in the festival and winners are further rewarded."

The Games Festival is part of DMU’s Cultural Exchanges Festival - a diverse week of interactive discussions, performances and talks showcasing the culture and creativity of the university.

The Games Festival Challenges will be hosted via Singapore-based Company Gamemaki – which specializes in turning online games into real-life challenges. There will be a Facebook page, as well as a downloadable app so that participants can participate through their smartphones, tablets or laptops.

The Games Festival will be a showcase of how games and immersive technologies can address key issues and sectors. Each day will be based around a different theme:

• 25th Feb: Culture, Heritage and Tourism
• 26th Feb: Health and the Ageing Society
• 27th Feb: Community Engagement and Empowerment
• 28th Feb: Creative Technologies and Immersive Experiences

David Wortley continued: “My aim is to make this festival the most memorable, entertaining and rewarding experience for everyone involved – students, staff, visitors, local enterprises and the national and international experts demonstrating the latest technologies. We will combine fun, education and social good in an amazing four-day showcase of what Serious Games can offer society.”

From now until the close of the Games Festival on Feb 28th, anyone can register as a player either on the DMU Games Festival Challenges web page at http://www.gamemaki.com/game/dmugame or by downloading the Gamemaki app for smart phones and iPads from the Apple store.

For more details of the Games Festival, visit http://www.dmu.ac.uk/cultural-exchanges-festival/index.aspx