At the Nesta Serious Games conference the other morning, Anjali and I listened to Mary Matthews from Blitz Games and Alex Fleetwood from Hide & Seek discuss the application of games that make a difference. Her post, The business of games is an excellent read that covers pretty much everything that happened, so here's my take on the idea of serious games and the rising requirement for everything to be playfully interactive.


Is HTML 5 ready for production yet? W3C don’t think so!


Philippe Le Hegaret, an official with the World Wide Web Consortiumn (W3C) responsible for SVG and HTML specifications, has told InfoWorld:

The problem we’re facing right now is there is already a lot of excitement for HTML 5, but it’s a little too early to deploy it because we’re running into interoperability issues

Apparently the crux of the issue is getting HTML 5 to behave the same in different browsers and using different video devices. Now forgive me if I’m wrong but hasn’t that always been the case with HTML?! He goes on to say that the HTML 5 specification may not be "feature-complete" until mid 2011.


The business of games

This morning, Duncan and I went to ‘Serious Games’, a talk at NESTA about how games can create lasting change in fields such as education and collaborative problem solving. Mary Matthews from Blitz Games and Alex Fleetwood from Hide & Seek presented their views on the subject (in short, Mary’s central thesis was that all games should have a purpose, and that they should be part of a larger plan in order to create impact, and Alex spoke about the increasing prevalence of pointsification and badgification as distinct from the much-discussed concept of gamification; more about that on the Hide & Seek blog here).

The NESTA site already has an excellent collection of resources that were mentioned or discussed at the event, for those who are interested, so I’m not going to re-cap the event per se. I’d like to focus instead on a few key things that I got to thinking about afterwards:


The Opposite Of FarmVille

Minecraft, the indie game making all the news right now, exists as a kind of incantation repeated by game designers and developers. As a backlash against the kind of emasculated experiences that purport to be playful by nature, Minecraft is a powerful weapon.


On marketing films in the digital age

Last week, I was on the panel for the ‘Digital Marketing Agencies Pitch’ session at the Marketing Movies Online conference. Adam Rubins and Alice from digital PR agency Way to Blue and Nik Roope, founder of Poke, were on the panel with me. It was a fun session – how it worked was we each got a film beforehand that we had to pitch a 5-minute digital marketing campaign for, as if we were re-releasing it today.

I picked Bambi – the 1942 Disney classic, much loved (indeed it often makes the top 10 list of all time in the ‘animated film’ category in surveys), with the universal themes of love and loss.


Transmedia film experiences: my talk at Ignite London 3

On Tuesday, I spoke at Ignite London 3 on transmedia film experiences. It’s a topic that really interests me. I decided to restrict it to film, though there are brilliant examples in TV – Lost and Dexter to name just two – because of the format of the evening: 20 slides that auto-forward every 15 seconds, with 15 seconds per slide. There’s only so much you can cover in that time (15 seconds is almost the equivalent of a long breath, if you think about it). A lot like Pecha-Kucha, actually.

I started with a clip that everyone is familiar with from watching Warner Brothers’ movies. The experience of sitting in a darkened theatre is amazing for any true movie-lover, but it’s not just about box-office receipts anymore. With the advent of transmedia storytelling, the story now often starts way before the movie releases, and continues long after. For transmedia newbies, I explained that the phrase was made popular (not invented, mind!) by Henry Jenkins, and refers to the telling of a story through multiple platforms, allowing the viewer to enter the story ‘through dispersed entry points, providing a comprehensive and co-ordinated experience’, as Jenkins says.