THATCamp Epic Play 2013 Storify!

The tweets from THATCamp Epic Play have been collected together on Storify:

Thanks to all of the live-tweeters!

Categories: session-talk | Tags: , | Leave a comment

THATCamp Epic Play Sessions Achieved!

10-11:30 PM Breakout Sessions I
Room 202: Cheating/Countergaming
Room 226: Analog Games
Room 120: Online Communities

11:30 AM- 1 PM Lunch Break (Room 202 & 204)

1-2:30 PM Breakout Sessions II
Room 202: Math Games
Room 226: Player/NPC Relationships
Room 120: Food in Games/Embodiment

2:45-4:15 PM Breakout Sessions III
Room 202: Game Environments, Worlds, Cities
Room 226: (State of) AAA/Big Budget Games
Room 120: Games & Learning

Categories: session-make, session-talk | Tags: | Leave a comment

Twitter, Tweet, Twet

We’re using the hashtags:

#thatcamp #epicplay


Categories: session-talk | Tags: , | Leave a comment

THATCamp Epic Play Google Docs

THATCamp Epic Play 2013 shared Google Docs for brainstorming, notes, bibliography, and more:

Participants are welcome to contribute to the existing documents or start documents of your own (these will eventually be archived by THATCamp).

Categories: session-make, session-play, session-talk, session-teach | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Name Tags and Lanyards, Go!


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Between real and one-way: Relationships with persistent non-player characters.

Relationships with persistent, non-player characters (PNPCs) live somewhere between parasocial relationships (one-way relationships, e.g., characters from TV, movies, or novels) and real relationships.  Unlike parasocial relationships, you can generally interact with and sometimes affect PNPCs, but unlike real relationships, the breadth and depth of what you can do to affect them is severely restricted.


The opportunity for interaction with a PNPC holds within it the possibility for a (relatively) non-superficial relationship to develop with him/her.  However, much of the dialogue interaction leaves a lot to be desired and many actions outside of dialogue don’t even seem to phase many PNPCs.

How might we improve upon this system?  Do you see more “realistic” characters as desirable, or does the nature of video games (e.g., “I didn’t mean to press that button!”) mean that characters (like the game) should be more forgetting and forgiving?  Do you have any PNPCs in the past that made you laugh or cry?  Did you miss them when the game was over?  Have you ever left a game unfinished so that you didn’t have to end the story and leave your PNPC buddies? (I’m guilty as charged on multiple accounts)

I’d like to lead a discussion about the nature of these relationships, how you process them, how “real” they are to you, where you see them going, and how we can get there.

Categories: session-talk | Leave a comment

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):

Categories: session-make, session-play, session-talk, session-teach | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

THATCamp Epic Play Schedule & Location

THATCamp Epic Play Schedule has been updated!  Location, campus map, and parking information is available here:

THATCamp Epic Play will be hosted at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.  The Simpson Center is located on the second floor of the Communication Building (CMU) in Rooms 202-206.  Workshop and breakout sessions will be held in CMU 202, 204, 226, and 120.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

THATCamp Epic Play is Coming!

pacmanshelfepicwinTHATCamp Epic Play is only four weeks away!  Welcome to the merry month of May and the ramp-up to (hopefully) a engaging, idea-provoking, playful, and fun unconference!  We have nearly forty registered particpants representing students (undergraduate and graduate), teachers, scholars, designers, developers, and aficionados.

Workshops for the first day/afternoon of the camp — May 24 — are set and ready to go:

     3-3:30 PM Welcome & Registration

     3:30-5 PM Workshops
Digital Game-Making for Non-Programmers” | merritt kopas
Badger Badges Badgee(s)” | Theresa Horstman and Sean Fullerton
How To Make A Let’s Play Of Your Very Own!” | Solon Scott

Saturday’s full-day schedule — May 25 — is also set.  As you can see, we will have three breakout sessions over the course of the day.  Next week, we will start a conversation thread asking for suggested topics, critical questions, ideas, and games for these sessions, which will then seed our session generation powwow Saturday morning.

         8-9 AM Welcome & Registration (includes continental breakfast)

         9-9:45 AM Session Generation

         10-11:30 PM Breakout Sessions I

         11:30 AM- 1 PM Lunch (catered lunch included)

         1-2:30 PM Breakout Sessions II

         2:45-4:15 PM Breakout Sessions III

         4:30 PM Closing

We are also hoping to be able to offer a few gameful perks on Saturday, including a Epic Play Augmented Reality Game (ARG) and a cosplay contest!  Details forthcoming soon!

Thank you to the generosity of the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington for hosting, providing space, and resources!  Thank you to THATCamp and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University for their support.  And thank you to Microsoft Research’s support for Digital Heritage and Humanities!

If registrants have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reply to this message or send an email to thatcampepicplay (at) gmail (dot) com.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Workshop Update: “There Must Be 50 Ways to Play A Video Game: How To Make A Let’s Play Of Your Very Own!”

Our third workshop is now confirmed:

There Must Be 50 Ways to Play A Video Game: How To Make A Let’s Play Of Your Very Own!
Friday, May 24, 3:30-5:00 PM
Solon Scott

The players of games have revolutionized the way we understand consuming game media by recording themselves playing games and uploading these segmented playthroughs to Youtube with their own commentary dubbing over the game. This genre of online media is known as ‘Let’s Plays’ as in – The Player AND The Viewer play together. Thousands of ‘gamers’ have come together to host their own productions that document, analyze, and emotionalize games in a radically new way! Solon has been putting together Let’s Plays on Youtube for the last two years and has hundreds of videos online spanning every game genre ranging from Triple-A production sizes to covering small Indie games. His series of Let’s Plays focus on analyzing a game in a very thorough way from the design to the aesthetic, the score, and beyond. For this workshop, Solon would like to extend the tools of the trade and examine the constantly asked question: “Why would someone want to watch another person play a video game?”

Solon Scott is an undergraduate in his last quarter at the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington where he studies games and play in critical spaces.  As a part of these studies he critically analyzes games using the Youtube subgenre known as “Let’s Plays” to dig deep into a wide range of video games.  Sometimes they are AAA studio releases, and other times they are small independently developed games.  Solon also designs his own games ranging from text adventures to theater games and even a few video games.

Take a look at a “Let’s Play” of Bioshock: Infinite by Solon and Rainy Day Let’s Play:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment