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I’m a gamer, are you?

Let’s throw it out there Are you a gamer?

I have seen confusion and way to much anger over this issue lately and like plenty of other people I will weigh in briefly.

I want the focus of this to simply be – “what is a gamer”, in the context of computer games.

Lets make this as simple as possible, a gamer is any one who plays games.

A gamer is not limited to:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Location
  • Age
  • Anything else you can come up with, don’t do it

Sure, some people love first person shooters, others love angry birds. Yes they are both “gamers”.

This is like people watching comedies or action movies, we are all watching films the only thing that is changing is the genre

There really isn’t any more to this, children, men and women all play games. The real issue is that we can’t seem to play them together.

When good gamers go bad

From where I stand (and it’s lonely up here) the issue can start when a group identifies with being a gamer.

They play a certain genre of game and they play it a lot. So do their friends and they create and join the same social groups, so if I’m a gamer and I put all this time and effort into this single genre that must make me a real gamer. If i’m a real gamer that must mean that you aren’t.

And if my immediate circle is male, then that must mean that females aren’t gamers. If they aren’t gamers that must mean they can’t play games.

Not only is all of this wrong, it’s a damaging mindset to be in.

At least 40% of all gamers are female, you can check the stats here (US) or here (AUS). This doesn’t mean 40% in a given genre though.

image from: http://www.esrb.org/about/video-game-industry-statistics.jsp

So where do we land on “are you a gamer”?

If you want to be sure, join us! games are a unique medium and should be shared and celebrated.

 

Talks given – Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria

This past weekend I had the pleasure of giving three talks at the Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV) conference on behalf of The Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

Conference Program Overview _ Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria

The conference theme was”Creating new connections”.

The talks were fun. Both to put together and take part in.

I prepared three distinct talks, below is a brief overview.

A fresh look at VCE VET IDM

This was an in depth look at a curriculum currently in the works for the Victorian scored assessed VCE VET IDM course.

With a focus on:

  • My process for developing a course
  • Meeting the goals of both secondary schools, students and AIE
  • How the coursework is designed to engage students in new ways
  • Christina covered UOC integration

Fresh look at vce vet idm

Interactive presentation for students:

Shawn Marinakis, Christina Lee and myself gave two interactive game presentations to high school and primary school aged students.

I put together the interactive tower defense game using the Unreal Engine 4. Assets/level’s are from Epic Games combined with my Blueprint Scripting assets to create the interactive portion of the presentation.

This was fun to create, we had the goal in mind that students could come up and play with the settings, which worked out well.

Starting with an imbalanced tower clearly shows game imbalance

Starting with an imbalanced tower clearly shows game imbalance

Custom Tower defense interactive game

This level from the UE4 market place was a fantastic example of a finished level

UE4 tower settings

Example of settings students could change

 

DLTV Conference - crowd snapshot

Creating 3D content is for everyone!

 Interactive presentation for teachers:

Stepping away from the fun side of tweaking pre-made settings Christina and I were able to dig a little deeper into how the unreal engine and other industry standard technology can engage students to excel in so much more than just making games.

Exploring this technology with a range of secondary teachers was a fantastic chance to see how other people perceive technology how may not be aware or used to it. This is a topic i’d like to explore at a later time.

Students that have a chance to work with this technology are exposed to the requirement to develop key skills such as:

  • Problem solving
  • Design
  • Critical thinking
  • Planning

By implementing these skills students get to create a fully playable game, it’s pretty cool and beneficial to the students in all walks of life.

Class blueprints for the tower defense game

Class blueprints for the tower defense game

Thank you to all the organisers of the event and I look forward to the next one!

Shawn Marinakis the Communications Coordinator for AIE Melbourne.

Christina Lee is the VETiS coordinator for AIE Melbourne.