Viking: pillage, plunder and gaming

11 Sep

No, this is not me lifting the patio…

I took this picture yesterday at the National Museum of Scotland where you’ll find evidence from many cultures who believed in some kind of afterlife and therefore ‘went prepared’!

This image is of a Viking found buried on Orkney, one of the Northern Isles of Scotland. Just over a thousand years ago this fella, at around 30 years old, was buried with everything that was dear to him… perhaps everything he owned?

Either way one of those items was a game – highlighted below – described by the Museum as a ‘set of bone gaming pieces’. It looks like something similar to Solitaire maybe..?

This caught my eye as an example of how long we’ve been enjoying games. Clearly there were games long before one thousand years ago but I doubt everyone was buried with a game… so it’s telling that, for what ever reason, it was deemed appropriate to bury this chap with ‘his’ game.

I wonder if he was known for taking it down the pub for the boys..? Perhaps it was a single player and he was a bit of a loaner..? Along with the game were farming tools, his warrior’s gear and a few everyday items… giving even more weight to the importance of the inclusion of the game I think.

How about you..? What do you think?

Transformational Games

8 Sep

A great couple of clips from Jesse Schell… he not only understands this games but he’s also got a smart handle on education – ex Disney Imagineer, Game Design expert and now Professor at Carnegie Mellon, Schell carries some clout when talking about Games Based Learning (GBL)

What I enjoyed most about these two talks is that he backs up what I was trying to achieve through the QR Treasure Hunts that I designed for my Masters project. He talks about putting the teacher in the position of overseer, or ‘Dungeon Master’ as he puts it. In Role Playing Games there was always an extra player who wasn’t part of the main game who had to oversee the game play. In the games I created ‘I’ was the Dungeon Master (Role Playing Games were even part inspiration which was reflected in the first game’s name – NEoN Knights!), but when pitching ideas to teachers the role of overseer was their’s; they would take my tools and game ideas and populate them with their own content, map out their own courses, decide the parameters of the game, etc.

Talking of parameters, Schell also talks about how difficult it is to fit games into school schedules and timetables. This was also something that I had considered… therefore I tested game running times from 5 mins to 5 days and several variations in between. All of them worked in their own way, they just had different dynamics, but dynamics vary for many reasons including what the purpose of the game is. The brief needs to be clear, what do you want the players (students) to achieve… and this is where Schell starts…

Rather than talk about Edu-tainment or Serious Games, Schell coins the term Transformational Games – games that will change the player in some meaningful way. This of course doesn’t happen on it’s own – the outcomes need to be considered so that a route to those outcomes can be designed. This is where the co-design between game designer and educator is essential. I was fortunate enough to have great discussions with the likes of Gary Penn at Denki, Derek Robertson at Learning and Teaching Scotland and Kenji Lamb at JISC RSC NE Scotland. Each (Google them) have an animated passion for games and education and how these two can come together and were a great source of inspiration to what I would go on to do.

So it’s a boost to hear someone like Schell backing up my processes…

Whoa! Maybe he’ll put my name forward to the Imagineers at Disney..!?

 

Mixed Media

7 Sep

Another inspirational AudioBoo from Christian Payne, aka @Documentally

Much of what I was trying to achieve through my QR hunts was to demonstrate what a number of people are already doing…

In our analogue world we share common behaviours:
we: • experience • explore • interact,
with:  •people • objects • environments…
we: • document • archive • share…

I have been constructing spaces in the real-world where real journeys take place. Navigation however is achieved by means of technology (Mobile devices, Google Maps, QR Codes); capturing, documenting and sharing as we go (Twitter, Instagram, AudioBoo, FaceBook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo), with the Dungeon Master curating this content for online audiences across the World (WordPress, Storify).

My games (the image above is from my St Andrews PHD Summer School game) reflect the digital equivalent of those common analogue behaviours which will become even more prevalent in the future. Some are already doing it – see Documentally amongst others. However, I believe my games can help us understand what we want from these tools, what uses we can find for them and what forms they should take in the future.

Documentally’s Boo is specifically about the various ways in which we ‘consume’ media. He observed within a few, cramped, square feet multiple methods of creating and consuming media, each of them a succession in terms of technology but each equally valid and acceptable in itself.

There may be value in artificially constructing such a scene – however contrived it may seem – as an illustration of where we stand with regards to media in 2011. But to have witnessed it in the wild..!? There are definitely overtones of a frustrated Attenborough as Documentally, our guide in the urban jungle, laments missing the money-shot!

So have a listen to Documentally’s AudioBoo, but before you do please sign up on the right for updates – In the coming weeks I plan to deliver complete outlines and outcomes from the three real-world games plus the smaller prototype games, projects and methods in development as a result of my Masters project.

I passed BTW 🙂

Game Over…

5 Sep

The ‘activity’ from this ‘hive’ is soon to be redistributed across the country as everyone heads towards new jobs, new challenges or another stint with ‘the folks’. My family get their Dad back and are probably hoping he’ll not be on the computer as much!

My year of living dangerously has come to an end and I’ll have to start getting up early again. I never actually stopped getting up early – I have two little alarm clocks that make sure of that – but getting out of the house early again is definitely going to be a challenge.

So, tomorrow morning (today now actually) I’ll be back in college. But not DJCAD and not as a student.

I’ll be teaching at the local FE college in the area of digital imaging a few days a week, plus working on some freelance projects that are lined up while waiting for the funding that is being sought for location based services to come through so that I can work on those too.

Rick Curran (wideopenspace) and I have set up QReate.co.uk as a coverall business that will offer those LB services along with content managed ‘dynamic’ QR Codes and bespoke QR Treasure Hunts for advertising, education, tourism, entertainment and whatever else you can think of.

It’s been the fastest year. Also the most fun.
I’ll miss the freedom and availability of time to get things done but also there’s a lot to be said for the edge and urgency that comes with the pressures of the ‘part-time’ project so i’m not going to disappear.

The first thing I need to do is find the balance of where I position myself between here and SuperFly.org.uk – jump between them, integrate them both..? If you’ve experience in this area then suggestions gratefully received.

I’ll be back soon with final show images (my space and Mystery Box close up included here) and videos (more talks from the closing night)…congratulations to all DJCAD MDes 2011, hope to see you all flourish soon… 🙂

…but for now, it’s not so much Game Over as to be continued..!

Masters Show!

29 Aug

Saturday 27 August, 2011

A year ago that date was impossible to imagine and seemed so very far away, but how quickly it arrived.

What would I have done? What would be the result of this enormous tangent to my life..?

Now we know…

The morning started off with an introduction from Prof Tom Inns, Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), another intro from course director Hazel White and then a series of talks from Masters students past and present.

While we tried to capture the talks on Video only three worked out… mine is posted here and Hazel’s and past Masters student Danielle Hu will follow soon.

Looking forward to Tuesday’s Healthcare day and the rest of the week I’ll be around for tours and chats, so please get in touch if you are interested in a viewing.

You can find out more about the projects by:

• visiting the official DJCAD website,

• following the hashtag #mastersshow on twitter (@onthesuperfly)

• or using the same hashtag on Instagram where I’m collating images of the projects in various stages of completion

It’s been a fantastic year, thanks to all concerned:
I have had fantastic support from Rick Curran who designed the web elements of this project. Kenji Lamb (JISC RSC) for allowing me to test out games at Game To Learn and speak about The Mystery of the QR Codes at Open for Education; and Tristan Henderson (St Andrews University) for the opportunity to send PHD summer school students around St Andrews searching out QR codes in the rain
I would also like to thank: Derek Robertson (Learning and Teaching Scotland), Gary Penn (Denki), Divya Jindal-Snape and Fiona McGarry (Dundee University).

But finally special thanks to my family, my wife in particular, for giving me this opportunity.

Please visit us and see what we have to offer… we’ve done all this great ‘stuff’ and we want to do something with it!

QR jigsaw..!

27 Aug

So, finally, a physical Mystery Box!

I’ve been doing a lot more with the form of the QR Code lately. I’ made one barely recognisable as a QR Codes and it still worked! But few people would recognise it as a QR Code so it kind of misses the point.

So, I started working up my prototype concept of a QR Jigsaw. Initially I was going to have a QR on the bottom of each piece and the solving of the jigsaw simply gave you the correct order of a series of links, audio, video, images, in order to tell a story. I turns out that the QRs are so robust I was able to make the QR the jigsaw image and if you’re careful they actually scan.

So here’s some images and video of the making process. Time in the workshop is always good. Great to get away from the computer. The results of the laser cutter is good too but it’s very slow, at the far end of the building and you’re not allowed to walk away from it in case it catches fire… so it’s pretty dull waiting around…

So, the Masters Show opens today so come along and see the Mystery Boxes for yourself…

I’ll be talking soon about developments with a QR related service established by Rick Curran of [wideopenspace] and myself. Where this jigsaw idea fits in is that toys like this can be made bespoke and directed at any given location, but also that that location could be changed. The laser cutter makes it possible to customise every element of the box design and while they would mostly be consistent at least one side of the box and even the jigsaw could be customised.

Looking forward to experimenting further this coming week as I have one week left with the facilities… then I’m on my own!

 

Beginning/Middle/End – A story project via Instagram

12 Aug

The challenge is to document your day in three images using the iPhone app ‘Instagram’. When you publish your image please label it accordingly with ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ or ‘end’. Also, really important (so that I can find them all), hashtag your images with #BMEday. Watch the story unfold on Instagram, Twitter or here on Storify.

The game is on… the #instagram based project, Beginning/Middle/End takes place this Saturday #BMEday – http://j.mp/pZVRzx plz RT
OnTheSuperFly
August 9, 2011
RT @OnTheSuperFly: The game is on… the #instagram based project, Beginning/Middle/End takes place this Saturday #BMEday – http://j.mp/pZVRzx plz RT
KarlBarrs
August 9, 2011

#BMEday #Instagram project happening this Saturday... Visit: http://wp.me/p1j01c-7S http://instagr.am/p/Jzug2/
Photo by OnTheSuperFly on twitter

#instagram #photo #stories: http://j.mp/pZVRzx take part this Saturday..!! #ipad2 #photography #iphoneography #lifeinaday #BMEday plz RT
OnTheSuperFly
August 11, 2011
MT @pammoran Great idea 4 engaging kids/adults in digi-storyteliing: beginning/middle/end http://t.co/TgxJeDi #BMEDay is tomorrow! #edchat
butwait
August 12, 2011
I’ve created a #Storify erm… ‘story’ to cover #BMEday… (starts tomorrow) Bit of an experiment, Not done it before. See how it works out.
OnTheSuperFly
August 12, 2011
My #BMEday #Storify erm… ‘story’ : follow the story as it unfolds here: http://sfy.co/EoX
OnTheSuperFly
August 12, 2011
Don’t forget… it’s #BMEday http://t.co/Gev9Ruu and join in the conversation with the Storified edition… #Storify Tweet using #BMEday
OnTheSuperFly
August 12, 2011
Just found out about #BMEday . It’s today!! http://t.co/zdlsttM via @DoremiGirl: The Yoon Soo Lim Daily http://t.co/ZeYTCQI
kstef2
August 13, 2011
Capture your day/activity/visit/dinner/whatever, in three images using #Instagram TODAY and tag #BMEday. Visit my blog for details…
OnTheSuperFly
August 13, 2011

follow #bmeday and watch the stories unfold... Be part of the bigger picture... http://instagr.am/p/KHNcj/
Photo by OnTheSuperFly on twitter

It’s @ontheSuperfly ‘s beginning/middle/end Instagram digital pic project TODAY here you go if you want to participate http://bit.ly/quQEPp
pammoran
August 13, 2011
Beginning #BMEday @ The Nest http://t.co/t5GdbLL
vanillainkUK
August 13, 2011
Another #BMEday ‘beginning’ – http://t.co/Bf1R7ue from @dancassidy
OnTheSuperFly
August 13, 2011
@OnTheSuperFly Thanks for the mention! Thinking about the story I will tell…
kstef2
August 13, 2011
@kstef2 Maybe it should find you..? Glad you are taking part tho 🙂 #BMEday
OnTheSuperFly
August 13, 2011

Beginning #bmeday #red #threecolours
Photo by Suburbia.org.uk on flickr

Middle #bmeday #White #threecolours
Photo by Suburbia.org.uk on flickr

End #bmeday #blue #threecolours
Photo by Suburbia.org.uk on flickr

#BMEday on #Storify http://sfy.co/EoX Hoping it picks up as we go around the globe… #instagram
OnTheSuperFly
August 13, 2011
End #bmeday #blue #threecolours http://t.co/C9fDF0F
rickcurran
August 13, 2011
@OnTheSuperFly I think you’ve figured out what I was going for! 🙂 #BMEday The project reminded me of those films, non-linear etc etc…
rickcurran
August 13, 2011
#bmeday stories are filling out… Instagram http://t.co/rAL46wb
OnTheSuperFly
August 13, 2011
@OnTheSuperFly just posted #bmeday pics! It’s still afternoon here!
pammoran
August 13, 2011
a truly international #bmeday …keep them coming for asking as it’s Aug 13 in your timezone… http://t.co/pM4UyYA
OnTheSuperFly
August 13, 2011
@OnTheSuperFly #BMEday done 🙂 #Newburgh heritage day. Lantern parade ending with the lighting of the ‘Bear with the ragged staff.’
KarlBarrs
August 13, 2011
#BMEday @OnTheSuperFly Beginning http://t.co/L0JlSxz
KarlBarrs
August 13, 2011
#BMEday @OnTheSuperFly middle http://t.co/f5wOgSB
KarlBarrs
August 13, 2011
#BMEday @OnTheSuperFly End http://t.co/QmUJ0bZ
KarlBarrs
August 13, 2011
#BMEday @OnTheSuperFly in case you were wondering ‘Bear..eh?!’ http://t.co/YVIJXeb
KarlBarrs
August 13, 2011
End #bmeday #storify 🙂 @ Kage http://t.co/DLwLo4t
vanillainkUK
August 13, 2011
TradigitalStories is out! null ▸ Top stories today via @stephanierossum @raincityvan @dhelio @onthesuperfly @digitalst
fmindlin
August 5, 2011
RT @stevebunce: RT @OnTheSuperFly: Beginning/Middle/End- #instagram proj, coming 8/13 null #storytelling #photography #iPhone
pammoran
August 12, 2011
@OnTheSuperFly Thanks for fun with instagram & BME day. Ideas r brewing for using this in classrooms…will be posting on blog.Stay tuned!
kstef2
August 13, 2011
Peter’s Daily is out! null ▸ Top stories today via @smmcoach @onthesuperfly @unmana @concepts2go @darniz98
Webbanalys
August 10, 2011

For @onthesuperfly 's #bmeday project - a bit late but thought you'd be interested anyway. Took these last weekend up at Blair Atholl. #beginning
Photo by Anne Curran on flickr

@onthesuperfly #bmeday #middle
Photo by Anne Curran on flickr

@onthesuperfly #bmeday #end
Photo by Anne Curran on flickr

@OnTheSuperFly Look forward to a Flickr round if you do it. Wishing good success for the #Instagram one!
carolinemcgrgr
August 9, 2011
Cool Learnings: 2 | Spaces for Innovation

Sometimes things that unexpectedly come our way have the greatest potential to inspire new, exciting learning opportunities for our students. #BMEday (Beginning/Middle/End) is of those things. I invite you to read this blog post to find out how, within this simple story telling strategy, one might find hidden layers for much more complex, deeper, thought invoked learning.

use the #bmeday to find all Beginning/Middle/End pictures from last weekend... More will follow on this project soon...
Photo by OnTheSuperFly on flickr