March 14th, 2011

#SXSWi Session Notes: Games: Tools for Mass Communication

These are my raw notes from this session.

GameSalad: building games for beginners.

The Storymaker. Bar Karma iPhone app. Could potentially give you your start in writing television. Real production team, idea inception from users.

TransMedia is the hot word of this session.

Interactive vs. Linear media. Linear media industrialized. With computers, we can distribute games as easily as tweets. You have the ability to provide an interactive simulation through experience.

Games allow people to engage in a story. You are an active participant in telling the story. Users are not passively consuming. Have the chance to explore an idea.

There is going to be gameification of traditional media, like TV.

The quality of conversation improves when you ad the interactive element.

Scientific-based games for education and contributing to something bigger than the player. Example given was RNA development game, once reach a certain point level, get to enter the lab and be part of the crowdsourced project with the RNA strand actualy gets created.

(Doesn’t everyone know who invented the game Pong? Duh. This will probably be my last gaming session.)

Access to the creation tools and access to the games themselves are incredible. It is instant. Accessibility.

(The interactive television piece of this panel is probably the most interesting aspect.)

Create places where people can create and have discussions and engage, even if it is. In a simulated environment. As long as you empower people to talk to to each other across barriers, games allow this.

Man that is working on revolutionizing education through games like PBS did through television. Using GameSalad to build the game and is a finalist in Obama’s competition.

Games can be used in a positive way, it just depends on the people that are wielding that power. In the past, games were consisted a pastime for children, a time wasted. It is time to move past that.

Games are a fantastic teaching tools. Interactivity is a better teaching tool than passive learning.

In games there is a danger that developers/designers use the games to move forward their own agenda and use them as propaganda rather than letting the user learn for themselves. Example of this is rewarding points for how you think they should go.

Pick something that you are passionate about and make a game about it. You can tell your story and encourage engagement from other people.

The root of all problems is lack of communication.

Hess gas station made a game and it is awesome. Don’t know why they made it, but is fun to play and respect them more because they did.

The games apocalypse. Getting points every time you get a coffee at Starbucks. Get points for brushing your teeth as a child. Positive reinforcement. Are games an abusive substance? In Korea, kids forgetting to eat because the sensory pleasure they receive is greater than those they get with eating. Get points, get recognition among friends, etc.

Should games be treated as a controlled substance?

Hold people accountable for what they are posting.


Opportunities for corporate positive PR by creating games that show how to make a positive impact and education.

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