Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sandbox Summit, Day 2

“Show me the games of your children, and I’ll show you the next hundred years.”

I was surprised at how much anthropology was discussed today. The conversation was brought back to the nature of play and the human need for gaming. Perhaps this is because many of the speakers were academics. Heather Chaplin and Eric Zimmerman spoke. I won’t share their lengthy, impressive resumes here, but you should absolutely look them up! My favorite presenter was Colleen Macklin, a game designer and professor working with PETLab, part of Parsons at The New School, who gave the keynote. Her energy and enthusiasm for play and game creation were contagious. Check her out! Though she is in the business of gaming, she encouraged us to learn from Caine: “less apps, more cardboard.”

Chaplin and Zimmerman also brought up outdoor, real world play. They defined play as “free movement within a rigid system.” Funny…that’s how I would define art as well. So how do we do and support this while creating and selling tech products? Speaking of the business side (sorry, I have no easy answer for the last question...let's talk about it in the comments section!), Disney Publishing shared a presentation. I find that their work is a great example of risk. Fortunately they have the budget to take bold risks and the confidence that their experiment will pay off in some way. I admire that confidence and that business strategy!

A feature of the iBook app The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore.
Though I've had the app for almost a year, I didn't know I could play an
alphabet cereal game, customize, and save as a photo!

But, Christina, WHAT is an accelerometer? I’m glad you asked. I kept hearing this word get thrown around at the conference and finally discovered that it’s the tool that allows you to move or shake a mobile device and have an app respond. This is the absolute basic "kind of close" definition. The Wikipedia page was very scientific and hard to understand. You should not mistake me for an MIT student.

So much learning, so much knowledge. I am exhausted! I’ll end today’s recap with a few books mentioned that I’m desperate to read after this great meeting of the minds. All seem financially reasonable on Amazon:

Shovel on, sandboxers!

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