THATCamp Epic Play Breakout Session Brainstorming!

brainstormingTHATCamp Epic Play is a week away!

Day One (Friday, May 24, 3-5 PM) is Workshops Day!  We have three excellent, engaging, and informative workshops lined up.  Welcome and Registration is from 3-3:30 PM.  Workshops run from 3:30-5 PM.

Day Two (Saturday, May 25, 8-5 PM) is a full day of breakout sessions inspired, organized, and facilitated by you, our participants!  Welcome and Registration, including a light breakfast, is from 8-9 AM.  Session generation, where we aggregate and select the day’s topics, is from 9-9:45 AM.  Then there will be three Breakout Sessions over the course the day, including a catered lunch (featuring lightning talks).

To get the ball rolling, we ask participants to begin brainstorming topic ideas for sessions, lines of inquiry, general questions, and games of interest.  Please respond to this brainstorming thread or start a proposal thread of your own.  We will take these initial suggestions to seed the Session generation forum on Saturday morning!  For example, how might we think about and talk about (though not limited to):

  • THATCamp theme and keyword “Epic” 
  • Studying, researching, games and academia
  • Teaching (with) games, games and students
  • Making, developing, designing, modding, marketing games
  • Playing games
  • Game paratexts, game communities, fandom
  • Analog v. digital games, live-action and alternate/augmented reality games

For more information about session proposing (below the location information): epicplay2013.thatcamp.org/schedule/

Categories: session-make, session-play, session-talk, session-teach | Tags: , , |

8 Responses to THATCamp Epic Play Breakout Session Brainstorming!

  1. EKSwitaj says:

    I’m interested in thinking about the ways ARGs can be used for teaching. What got me thinking about this is how Invisible Belfast (www.invisiblebelfast.com/) got people reading books they probably wouldn’t have picked up on their own closely and helped me learn a lot more about the history of the city I was then living in.

    • Kathleen Offenholley says:

      That reminds me of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore, a story in which books were the mystery…www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/books/mr-penumbras-24-hour-bookstore-by-robin-sloan.html?_r=0
      What I’m wondering about these days is in educational gaming how the story of a game fits with what you want to teach…do you wrap it around the subject, or is it integral to the subject. Invisible Belfast seems to do both — an extrinsic mystery to get you started, but then the plot is intrinsic to finding out more about the city.

      • EKSwitaj says:

        What’s great about the combination of the two is that the intrinsic elements lead participants to learn at a minimum certain things (in this case the history), while the extrinsic mystery can lead enthusiastic participants to learn a lot more about subjects that may or may not actually be part of the game itself.

  2. Nathan B says:

    I’m interested in further exploring linear games that work with the idea of methexis. Particularly interesting to me are games like BioShock and Bastion where the player’s actions drive plot progression without the player influencing the character’s choices or motivation, and how these games still provide fulfilling, engaging interactive experiences.

  3. I’d like to discuss the idea of “epic” in game culture in the context of arguments like Anna Anthropy’s which seem to suggest a main part of the solution to issues of diversity in game culture and the maturation of the art form consists in rethinking “epic” – the scale, complexity, and “polish” of commercial games, the aim of providing feelings of “epic” (the aesthetic experience of power, affecting heroic world-scale changes…) via avatars/characters, and so on.

    • Nathan B says:

      To take this is one of many possible directions, today I was thinking about the word “Epic” and the scale of stories that game developers are trying to tell. It occurred to me that games like ZombiU and Realm of the Mad God, where there is a persistent world beyond the permanent death of a player character, help to divorce people from their individual avatars and focus on the conflict at large and the wide array of characters involved.

  4. Solon S. says:

    Going off of Nathan’s and Terry’s brainstorm, I’d be interested into adding the epic scope and effect of Hollywood on Video Games, especially as it goes into linear experiences.

  5. corbeau says:

    I would be greatly interested in discussing how to best leverage the unique attributes of digital games with a minimum of technical complexity in design. I think this is even closely connected to Terry’s topic suggestion. The particular attributes of gaming that are of greatest interest or most important focus may vary from project to project. I consider the potential for immersion and the potential for emergent behavior, both from connections with other players via the internet and from procedural content generation algorithms, to be most unique and exciting about the digital format. Regardless of the particular focus though, it seems worthwhile to consider how to most efficiently interact with those features. There are technical reasons why triple-A games take immense work hours generally provided by huge teams of trained specialists, but how can less resource-intensive development be better designed to leverage the strengths of the medium? Graphics in particular have been a challenge, so weighing heavily on my mind lately are ways to integrate less resource-intensive graphical styles with game mechanics and simpler technical designs that still permit a feeling of immersion (which, as discussed before in the CGP, is far from a purely graphical issue) and a wide range of emergent behaviors.

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