British Science Festival

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science festival, traveling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. For 2017, Brighton University and the University of Sussex were selected as hosts for the festival.

My Fireflygame was accepted into the festival. I ran it over two days at the Brighton Museum as part of the Creative Technology Research programme.

The Fireflygame is a research project that investigates human-to-human interaction mediated by technology. It challenges players to develop new game rules and analyze the effect of the gameplay and strategy. The game exposes that is hard to design for play and fun.


Hippokampos in the Grey Matter

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Hippokampos in the Grey Matter explores how we relate memories to a physical place and how these are shared with others, yet are never quite the same. The game takes people through a network of memories – places and trails from our past, and traces them into the physical landscape of Athens, exploring how memories can cross in the same way paths can.

This game experience is inspired by psychogeography practice and research in the temporal memory. Psychogeography approaches our landscape through our human emotional and behavioral responses, instead strictly measurements of distance and features. With Hippocampus, we took someone’s memory of a favorite walk. (Temporal) and worked with them to extract the salients elements of the experience. Then used those elements to reimagine the walk in completely different space.

 

The game was commissioned by AthensPlaython for their inaugural September 2012. We ran a workshop where the participants developed the narrative clues within the framework of myth. The participant designed game was run in the final day of the festival.


 

The game was developed in collaboration with Mztek, a learning community in technology and arts for women.


Mobile Quest

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Mobile Quest is a week-long game design camp where 5th graders created games using smartphones. During Mobile Quest students stepped into the role of game designers: playing, analyzing and creating games for their peers to play. Campers worked with professional game designers to experience first-hand how to turn great ideas into great games using smart phones.

I was a mentor and a game designer for Mobile Quest camp. As mentor, I had the opportunity to work closely with Institute of Play staff.  I was an active participant in the development of the curriculum for the camp and designing the mobile games for the campers to play.

We designed three games as an introduction to the three types of mobile technology we wanted them to explore: GPS, Bluetooth, and QR Codes (sema code).
Each day of the week was focused around a game mechanic and a mobile technology.

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Day 1 - GPS

Campers played Mega Scrabble a mapping game that require part of the team to be on the street sending photos and while the other half stay at headquarters to receive the information and create words. We then critique the game and determine what worked, did not work and did not work. The students then worked on redesign of the game.

Day 2 – QR Codes

Campers play Silent Semacodes. Each team has one smart phone and there is a maze of random QR codes posted on the wall. The teams use their phones to decipher the code and reveal a keyword. The first team to get to the winning keyword wins the game. We then critique the game and discuss other codes and ciphers. Students experiment with creating games based around codes.

Day 3 – Blue Tooth

Campers play Blue Samurai. Each member of a team battles the person opposite them on the opposing team by a Rock-Paper-Scissors match. The team with most winners out of 3 rounds wins. The losing team must send their avatar to the winning team’s phone. We then discuss trading mechanics in games and impact of technology on game play. Using the knowledge they have learned they begin creating their own games for Games Festival.

Day 4 - Found Objects

Campers make games from found objects and continue to work on their ideas for a game for the game festival.

Day 5  – Game Festival

Students finish up their games in the morning and in afternoon present their games and everyone plays other groups games.


Resources:

 

Roles: Mentor, Game Designer | 2009 , 2010


Grab-a-Crab

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Grab-a-Crab is a game that assesses the user's skills and abilities for completing tasks in an inventory job. The game uses the metaphor of sorting sea creatures which map to the high level skill set needed to successfully perform inventory tasks. The data of user’s game actions are captured for analysis. This game is the first in a series of assessment gaming experiences for evaluating the digital literacy of people with cognitive disabilities. View Mapping Diagram.

Gaming Experiences for Evaluating Digital Literacy (GEEDL)

People with cognitive disabilities currently have limited job placement opportunities because of antiquated job placement methodologies and assumptions of limitations by potential employers. The goal of this project is to develop gaming experiences that will open new opportunities of employment in our expanding technology driven society of a population that is often overlooked by employers.

To date we have conducted two rounds of field testing on the Stage 1 initial pilot online game, Grab-a-Crab, in May, 2009: December, 2009.  Multiple sets of developmentally delayed/autistic students and adults participated in the field-testing, conducted at a school for students with developmental delays and at an adult day program. Although there was a broad range of levels of the student and adult beta testers, students exhibited a consistently high degree of engagement, motivation and interest by the participants.


 

Client: Bridgemultimedia

Roles: Project Manager and Game Designer | 2009 - 2010

Collaborators: Matt Kaplowitz and Dharmarajan Ayakkad

Organizational Support: Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University, and the Chimes Foundation, Baltimore, MD,