Category Archives: Spill

Why are games worth defending?

Skrevet av Charles Butler, høgskolelektor ved NITH. En fortsettelse av «Why do games need defending» og «What makes games different?«

In addition to being a complex medium of expression, games actually offer a number of benefits, many of which aren’t as easily replicated by other forms of media. Here are a number of commonly cited beneficial effects of playing video games:

These certainly illustrate how people’s lives can be enriched though gaming, but because these have been well covered in the press, I want to focus on a different type of benefit, interpersonal development. Developing social skills through gaming seems to get very little attention (possibly because of the stereotypical concepts that people often attach to gamers), but I consider it the most unique and influential effect that games have to offer.

Despite common gamer stereotypes, no other form of media is as inherently social as games. Of course, it’s certainly possible to play a game entirely by yourself. However, as Raph Koster points out, single-player games are a bit of an anomaly, largely due to the early technical limitations of the industry and the personality types most commonly found in game developers. When the entire history of games in considered, very few of them seem to fit the single player mold. Today, more and more video games are including multiplayer support, and even if there isn’t an in-game option, gamers find ways to play together (though when we consider achievements and leaderboards, there are almost always options).

Sports may be the most obvious example of the historical tendency for gamers to gather together. It confuses me that people can see sports as positive but video games as negative. Thus far, sports have had the clear advantage of encouraging people to stay physically fit (though the detrimental health effects are largely ignored), but some games are now helping people stay fit as well. However, anyone who sees sports as a positive would likely agree that there are benefits to be gained from sports far beyond the physical.

Almost every sport (even non-team sports, such as golf, sprinting, or ski-jumping) has a social aspect. Players work with other people to improve. Teams have captains and coaches as well as players of various ages and experience levels. This helps everyone involved learn to be more effective, both as leaders and as followers. Teamwork is a central tenet. Goals are set, and players strive to meet them. Failure occurs and is studied and learned from. Strategies are developed, tested, and iterated. Improvement occurs, leading to increased confidence and self-efficacy. Friends are made, and working together toward a common goal strengthens those bonds. All of these aspects are a part of both sports and games. It makes little difference if the activity takes place on a field, on a tabletop, or on a screen. There are few circumstances outside of sports and games where a young person can be exposed to such a variety of growth opportunities.

However, accessibility is a major drawback to sports. While most people can play sports in their back yards or at their local park, things are far more limited when considering organized sports (where most of the social opportunities reside). Team size is often restricted, and there is a limit to the number of different sports that a given area can support. There are age-brackets that players must fit into, and positions are available only to those of sufficient physical ability. In contrast, the opportunities are almost limitless with video games. Players can choose from huge variety of games which can be as solitary or as social as the participants prefer. A gamer is free to play solo, with a small group of friends, or in an organization filled with hundreds of people.

What other circumstance allows a person to so easily join, manage, or form a social group? When considering a similar endeavor in real-life, there are so many variables that lie (to varying degrees) outside of a person’s control: age, physical attributes, financial situation, experience, etc. However, within a game world, anyone can grow and develop their abilities at their own pace, largely unfettered by external factors. In doing so, they not only develop «in-game» abilities but real competencies such as social skills, teamwork, and leadership. The opportunities that we encounter in the real world are filtered through layer upon layer of expectations stemming from many factors that are largely out of our control. I wish everyone could see the potential of games to encourage growth opportunities without all of the additional baggage that comes along with real life. Admittedly, this is likely possible in other forms, but games act as a natural incubator for this type of environment. Instead of being a theoretical possibility, it is happening at this very second on thousands of game servers around the world.

Yes, I’ve actually seen this happen…

To give a couple of anecdotal experiences from my gaming history, I’ll refer to two instances that occurred within gaming organizations I have been a part of over the years. In one instance, a young person had joined the organization (again, someone in his early-mid teens), and he didn’t have much experience interacting with a diverse group of people. He had seemingly been raised in a very racist and xenophobic environment, but he gradually adjusted, at least enough to remain in the group. After some months with the group, it came up in conversation that the group’s leader, who he had come to know and respect, was of a different race. This member had been taught from birth that this race was vastly inferior. Just imagine how much of a shock that must have been to his entire view of the world. I am confident that this incident set him on a path to becoming a much better person.

The next experience involved a player who took over leadership of the organization when he was quite young, only fourteen or fifteen. No one knew quite how old he was initially since everyone knew each other only by their in-game persona. Sharing real-life information was entirely optional and fairly rare. Over the next few years, he turned into one of the most adept leaders that I’ve ever known in-game, successfully leading over one hundred people who were likely twice his age on average and keeping the group in top competitive shape for years. In what other environment could a fourteen year old have accomplished this? And how else could a person so young find himself in a position to gain such a wealth of growth and experience? Imagine being eighteen and job hunting for the first time in your life. Now imagine being able to truthfully claim four years of experience closely managing over one hundred volunteers in a highly stressful, competitive, and successful organization? (Of course, the interviewer might scoff at idea of useful experience originating in a game, but that’s a big part of the reason games need defending.)

The cooperative and pseudonymous environment present in games allows us to bypass many of the social barriers present in the real world. Where else can respect and friendship develop, not in spite the presence of years of bias and prejudice, but in complete ignorance of it? Where else can that bias and prejudice be crushed so instantly? Where else can an under privileged fifteen-year-old from a small town and an affluent fifty-year-old professional work together and learn from one another as peers, striving for the same goals and overcoming the same obstacles? Despite offer unparalleled opportunity for growth and development, games remain in constant need of defense. I hope to encourage some of you to join in, because games are absolutely worth defending.


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What makes games different?

Skrevet av Charles Butler, høgskolelektor ved NITH. En fortsettelse av «Why do games need defending?«

Most criticism of games can also be applied to other types of media.  Should we ban violent or offensive books from being produced simply because we don’t want children to read them?  Consider for a moment that a child could find a copy of the Marquis de Sade‘s works in many libraries but one of the most critically acclaimed games in recent memory had to be recalled after a modder found a way to enable «objectionable» content.  (In case that comparison feels like too much of a stretch, consider the contemporary fiction written specifically for children.)  It could be argued that this inequity is justified because text isn’t as realistic as a game. However, that entirely discounts the power of imagination. How many times have you seen a movie adaptation of a book that was more effective at delivering the experience intended by the author?  If realism is the problem, then consider Deathrace.  In 1976, a game named Deathrace sparked what what was likely the first video game controversy.   However, it was actually an adaptation of a movie which was (uneventfully) released the previous year.  The movie’s special effects weren’t amazing, but if you compare them to the game’s monochrome stick-men, you’ll find that the uproar couldn’t have been caused by the “realism” of the game.

Is it interactivity that makes games a target?  By intentionally driving over crude representation of humans in Deathrace, the player is making a conscious choice.  If this is the actual issue with video games, how can that be reconciled with a general acceptance of board games?  They are certainly interactive and have been played for centuries, if not millennia.  While often more abstract (though not always), they can also represent violence.  Where are the outcries to ban violent and offensive board games?  Children playing Risk are making the conscious decision to slaughter countless foot soldiers!  (I expect that some may consider the previous statement to be absurd.  I also expect that many gamers have a similar reaction when video games are called murder simulators.)

As a slight tangent, I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea that other types of media aren’t interactive.  Maybe you aren’t making the choices as you read through a great book (though there are exceptions), but you can become engrossed with the narrative, identify with the characters, and be moved by their emotions.  In the midst of such immersion, can you really say that you aren’t involved?  While it may not be physically interactive, you are «interacting» with the story in a mental and emotional manner.  I would consider this more «interactive» than some games (and a few games even have non-interaction as a goal).

Regardless of the accusation, all too often the gamer’s defense is, «It’s just a game!»  While serious gamers would probably wince at such an assertion, I’ll just assume that the actual intent behind this phrase is usually more akin to, “I’m smart enough to know the difference between the game and reality, and I’m offended that you don’t think so!”  The argument that something is “just a game” is easy enough to make (and to accept) when the activity in question is defeating static representations of armies or driving over stick-men.  However, how much longer will that be true?  Video games have come a long way in the half-century or so of their existence.  At some point in the not-too-distant future, the only difference between games and reality will be that one is fictitious and the other isn’t (though even that line is already getting a bit blurry).  Deathrace wasn’t much of a murder simulator, but there will be a time when we do have games that are practically indistinguishably from reality.  When that time comes (some will argue that we’re close enough already), we’ll need a better argument.

Should games be held to different standards?

Various types of media actually have much in common, and in my opinion, these commonalities are sufficient to justify equal treatment across media types.  Is there any reason a game should be regulated in a different manner than a book?  Of course, that’s not to say that books have been safe from unreasonable scrutiny.  It seems that it has taken a few hundred years for people to come around to the idea that book burning isn’t a good thing (well, with some exceptions).  We can look back through history and see such patterns repeated over and over:

However, lest we think such things are relegated to centuries past:

I think that, collectively, we’ve come a long way, but I wouldn’t exactly consider any media type completely safe.  However, so long as video games are seen as being synonymous with children’s toys, games will always be under pressure from those willing to do whatever it takes to “protect the children.”

The easy answer is to rely on a ratings system, assuming that a reasonable system exists and is well enforced.  Then, as with other forms of media, there can be both games for children as well as games for adults.  Of course, kids are resourceful, often finding ways around the strictest of rules, but that’s true for much more than video games. (I’m sure there is no shortage of parents who wish their kids would play games instead of whatever else they might be doing.)

What if games really are harmful?

A more difficult situation exists if you consider that the anti-game crowd may be right.  What if games actually do make people aggressive, addicted, and desensitized (or worse)?  If we assume for a second (not exactly a safe assumption, but humor me here) that all of the accusations about the negative effects of games are true, what then?  Should we keep kids from playing the “harmful” ones?  We already try to do that with the ratings systems.  If that isn’t sufficient, should we prevent “harmful” games from being created or sold?  Do we then completely ignore the fact that by doing so, we’re also dictating what content is acceptable for adults?

If we go this route with games, what else would we have to eliminate to be logically consistent?  What if books and movies have similar effects?  This Marine contends that books and exercise made him more effective at conducting violence.  Should we then ban the written word and physical activity because it can make someone a better killer?  Whether we’re talking about communication (in whatever form), physical training, or game design, we should realize that these are just tools, and we should treat them as such.  The saying, «the pen is mightier than the sword» isn’t exactly untrue.  Ideas communicated via the written word have certainly been responsible for more violence and deaths than video games (though admittedly, writing has a bit of a head start).

Even in the worst case scenario regarding the harmfulness of games, we should (at most) do the same thing that we’re doing now.  We should enable parents to make informed decisions by utilizing and enforcing a ratings system.  Going further than that will lead us down a very unfortunate path.

(To be continued next time with: Why are games worth defending?)

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Why do games need defending?

Skrevet av Charles Butler, høgskolelektor ved NITH.

It’s quite easy for those of us who are interested in games and the game industry to overlook (or intentionally ignore) people who don’t take games very seriously.   It can be a bit hard to understand why anyone would need to defend games when their revenue is double that of worldwide box office sales and four times that of global music sales.  It is an admittedly risky industry for individual employees, projects, and even studios.   However, with the biggest companies in the industry reaching eleven digit market caps and the biggest projects eclipsing Hollywood blockbuster levels of success, the overall viability of the industry isn’t in doubt.

Of course, just because the industry is financially viable doesn’t mean that people don’t take issue with other aspects. (The tobacco industry is profitable as well.)  Aside from financial stories and the industry’s own marketing efforts, it seems like the typical news stance towards games is fairly negative, and I think a significant portion of the general population shares that negativity.  While there may only be a small percentage of people who think games are actively harmful, there are likely many more who consider gaming largely as a waste of time or as an activity that’s “just for kids.”

I can understand the reasons behind those points of view to some degree, but for people involved with the industry (or those who aspire to be), it is frustrating when similar attitudes are carried over to the game developers themselves.  Gamers have to worry about their favorite form of entertainment being scoffed at, and game developers, despite the financial success of the industry, too often encounter the assumption that it’s not a “real job,” often accompanied by statements like “Oh, it must be so fun getting to play games all day!”  I wonder if those people think that all autoworkers get to drive cars around all day.

Many industries invest in research and publicity to address concerns and improve their public image.  The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) does this to some degree, but it needs sufficient support from the industry to fund such endeavors.  However, the key entities in the game industry seem isolated and reactive, only appearing to take notice when a crisis lands on their particular doorstep or the US Supreme Court agrees to decide their fate.  Luckily, the case went well for the game industry, and games are now covered by free speech protections in the US, similar problems have popped up in other countries.

Having legal protection doesn’t necessarily change people’s attitudes and beliefs though. In practice, video games already enjoy considerably less freedom than other types of media. Some of this can be considered «the free market at work,” but the game industry seems to largely accept this instead of fighting for equality.  Consider the US video games ratings system, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).  The top ratings are Mature (ages 17+) and AO (ages 18+).  At first glance, this seems almost identical to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating standards of R (ages 17+ unless accompanied by a parent) and NC-17 (ages 18+).  However, in practice, movies are given far more leeway in the content that is allowed to fall under an R rating.  Additionally, DVD releases of movies are often published as “Unrated” in order to avoid bans that major retailers have on adult products. To illustrate the game-killing power of an AO rating, the ESRB currently lists 1641 titles rated Mature but only 24 rated AO.  As an example, the world’s largest retailer is happy to sell the unrated Saw box-set while refusing to carry Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude – Uncut and Uncensored.  Which would you consider a less healthy experience?

It is often problematic to have any sort of open discussion about this «only for kids» perception despite considerable evidence to the contrary.   People seem to accept that there are books and movies for kids as well as very different books and movies for adults.  I find it difficult to see why the same distinction cannot be made across all forms of media.

This is changing for the better, and it will continue to improve as more and more of the population grows up with games as a part of their lives.  However, as gaming becomes more pervasive, I expect the outcry for regulation and censorship to get much worse before it gets better, in an extinction burst of sorts, from those people who see games as an overall detriment to society.  A certain number of opponents are to be expected for practically anything, but what I find even more unfortunate is seeing that some gamers actually consider their hours spent gaming as «wasted time.»  I find it quite sad that someone can look back at their most enjoyable hobby with regret instead of recognizing any of the positives. A priority for game industry, as well as game researchers, should be publicizing the benefits that games can offer as well as studying how to make games more helpful.  If the healthy aspects of gaming can be understood well enough, game developers can maximize the growth opportunities available in their products, and their customers can reap the rewards.

What about the negative effects?

I don’t mean to say that games are always beneficial.  Negative effects are certainly possible.  However, implying that correlation equals causation seems to be a recurring problem in this area.   With nearly all children playing games, it can be much too easy to point at gaming as the root of a problem. It has become quite common for gaming to turn into a key issue in any discussion of youth violence.  Strangely enough, you rarely see a public outcry over other commonalities that many criminals share, such as watching television, wearing pants, or eating lunch.

Of course games can have detrimental effects, but practically everything can be bad for you if used in excess.  Gaming can certainly act as a time-sink, and playing games to an extent that interferes with important parts of your life can have severe consequences.  Gaming isn’t alone in that regard though, so it’s important to also consider what a given person’s alternative to gaming would be.  No matter what most of us spend our free time doing, it’s very likely that there’s actually a better use for it.  However, when an opportunity for free time arises, the options for what to fill it with aren’t usually «Should I save the world today, or just play games?» (Maybe it should be, but that’s a much bigger issue, though those aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.)

Is spending time passively watching Jersey Shore (or other popular television shows) actually a better use of one’s time than enjoying a game with a group of friends where you are encouraged to strategize, socialize, and cooperate?  Of course, some games offer more beneficial opportunities than others, and even when presented with beneficial options, a player can often choose whether to take advantage of them or not.  While it can be argued that most players don’t have such noble intentions, in similar fashion, the existence of great books continues to elevate our society even if some “readers” prefer to only look at the pictures.

(To be continued next time with: What makes games different?)

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Trender i spillforskning: Et reisebrev fra DiGRA 2011

Opprinnelig publisert hos Joingame

Hilversum er en rolig liten by rett utenfor Amsterdam, der det er helt normalt å tekste mens man sykler – og der man blir servert ristet brød uten smør eller pålegg om man bestiller toast til frokost. I midten av september huset også byen 400 spillforskere og designere som deltok på spillkonferansen DiGRA – en internasjonal konferanse som arrangeres av Digital Games Researcher Association annethvert år. Dette er en livlig og engasjert affære som gir inntrykk av hva som kryper og rører seg av spillforskning der ute (og hjemme). Vi har derfor lyst å viderebringe noen tema som framsto som særlig aktuelle og som vi tror vil få mer oppmerksomhet i framtidige spillstudier.

Av Kristine Ask og Faltin Karlsen


I løpet av de siste par årene har begrepet gamification spredd seg som en farsott og på DiGRA var dette en het potet. Ideen bak gamification er å bruke enkle belønningssystemer fra dataspill til å sprite opp ellers kjedelige aktiviteter. Blant de mer kjente tjenestene som er bygd rundt slike belønningssystemer er FoursquareGowalla og SCVNGR, hvor belønningene kommer i form av badges. I andre sammenhenger kommer de som poeng, som “likes”, som stjerner, eller rett og slett i form av tegneserie-monstre som utviklingsstedet DevHub har satset på.

Mange er kritiske til den enkle markedsføringsretorikken som ligger i begrepet gamification. Både spillutviklere og spillforskere på DiGRA fremhevet nettopp at andre aspekter enn belønningssystemer er viktige i spill, blant annet den estetiske opplevelsen, elementet av mestring, at spill er intellektuelt stimulerende og ikke minst, at spilling ofte er en sosial aktivitet.

Spillforskeren Sebastian Deterding er blant dem som har formulert seg mest kritisk om gamification som designstrategi. Spill som er bygget rundt enkle belønningssystemer blir også ofte omtalt med en viss grad av overbærenhet. Melinda Jacobs konstanterte for eksempel i sin presentasjon at “FrontierVille is the gamification of clicking”. Dataspillforskeren Ian Bogost har tidligere demonstrert dette poenget ved å utvikle tullespillet Cow Clicker, hvor det eneste poenget er å klikke på bilder av kuer. Myntenheten i spillet, mooney, bestemmer hvor mange klikk man har tilgang til, men går man tom for mooney kan man heldigvis kjøpe flere for ekte penger.

At brukere kan la seg rive med av enkle belønningsystemer er det imidlertid mange eksempler på. Rene Glas viste til brukere som går til ytterligheter for å få tak i badges i Foursquare, blant annet ved å opprette falske lokasjoner og ved å logge inn på tusenvis av steder gjennom nettlesere som ikke sjekker brukerens fysiske posisjon. Selv om gamification allerede begynner å bli et forslitt begrep, vil ideen om å utnytte dataspills engasjerende kraft til andre formål høyst sannsynligvis leve videre.

Analoge spill
D’en i DIGRA står for digital, men vi merket oss at flere presentasjoner, keynotes og en god del ølprat (altså de tre viktigste arenaene for utveksling av kunnskap på konferanse) oppfordret oss til å vie mer oppmerksomhet til ikke-digitale spill som rollespill, brettspill, kortspill og larp.
En viktig grunn til å flytte fokuset er at vi står i fare for å gi oss selv en slagside i spillstudier. Vi har blitt så blendet av “data” i “dataspill” at vi opplever alt som nytt, unikt og spennende.

Et eksempel er at vi ofte snakker om sosiale spill som noe nytt (jmf. Social games, MMO-kultur), til tross for at det i en historisk kontekst snarere er enbrukerspill som representerer et avvik. Bare tenkt på titler som Ludo, Monopol og Yatzi (titler som har salgstall som overgår de fleste digitale spill). I disse spillene er det en selvfølge at man spiller sammen, at spill er sosialt og at spill er en kulturbærende aktivitet. Om noen år vil kanskje perioden med mange enbrukerspill bli oppfattet som en parentes, også i dataspillenes historie.

For mer om brettspill på DiGRA kan man lese Ben Kirman blogge om bl.a. Reiner Knizias keynote om hvordan spill kan reformeres for nye publikum. Anbefaler også Terrorbull Games (som har laget det mye omtalt Terrorspillet) sin sjarmerende og detaljerte post om DiGRA.

theorycrafting bruker man analytiske verktøy og statistiske beregninger for å finne spillets underliggende mekanismer og for å regne seg fram til de mest optimale strategiene. På mange måter bryter det med en tradisjonell forståelse av spill basert på innlevelse og engasjement. Theorycrafting handler mer om kjølig distanse og at avgjørelser om spillstrategi flyttes ut av spilluniverset. Spillere som utfører den mest avanserte formen for theorycrafting utgjør en elite blant spillere. Fordi de publiserer sine funn og anbefalinger på steder som, gir dette føringer også for andre spillere. I steden for å bruke egne erfaringer og opplevelser av spillet i vurderinger om spesialiseringer og utstyr, går spillere til theorycrafternes matematisk begrunnede guider.

I vårt panel, dedikert til theorycrafting i World of Warcraft, ble det blant annet trukket fram at theorycrafting representerer en form for standardisering av spillestiler, siden de mest optimale løsningene ofte er alment kjent. Noen av kontroversene rundt theorycrafting handler nettopp om at spillerne er kritiske til hvordan spillet reduseres til en matematisk øvelse og at valgfriheten reduseres. I panelet fikk vi presentert ulike perspektiver på fenomenet; fra hvordan denne kunnskapen produserer en positivistisk kultur til gledene som ligger i å finne ut hvordan spillet egentlig er “skrudd sammen”.

Dette er altså noen av de temaene som framsto som særlig aktuelle på konferansen, med vekt på ordene “noen” og “særlig”. En liten titt i programmet viser at spillforskningsfeltet er både tverrfaglig og tidvis usammenhengende. Men, om det finnes et fellestrekk på tvers av dette programmet er det interessen og fokuset på spillerne og hva spillerne gjør med spill.  Empiriske studier har jo vist at vi ofte spiller på helt andre måter enn det designerne forventet. Et større fokus på spillere og spillkultur er da også viktig for å få en mer korrekt beskrivelse av hvordan spill fungerer i vår kultur i dag.

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Dare ProtoPlay

Skrevet av Trine Romskoug, markedssjef ved NITH.

I mens diskusjonene raser i norske medier om hvorvidt  dataspill har negativ  påvirkningskraft på unge mennesker, kan jeg melde om at det ser lyst ut for rekrutteringen av unge kreative spillutviklere. Jeg har besøkt Dare ProtoPlay i Dundee i Skottland 12-14. august.

Dare to be Digital er en stor internasjonal spillkonkurranse for studenter over hele verden. Konseptet er enkelt. Grupper med spillstudenter over hele verden melder seg på konkurransen med en unik idé til et spill. Spillkonseptene blir vurdert av høyt kompetente dommere fra spillbransjen og de beste gruppene blir invitert til en delfinale der de må presentere ideene sine. For alle spillstudenter i Norden, foregår dette arrangementet på NITH i mai hvert år.

De beste lagene fra hver delfinale, får betalt sommerjobb i 10 uker ved Abertay University i Dundee. Her bor de gratis og hever lønn samtidig som de utvikler spillene sine. Etter 10 uker skal spillene testes av publikum og dommere på Dare ProtoPlay, og de beste spillene kåres. Dommerne bestemmer hvilke tre spill som er best og som nomineres til BAFTA-prisen ”Ones to Watch” våren 2012, men det deles også ut andre priser, for eksempel publikumsprisen.

Min kollega Eivind Brevik og jeg reiste i år til Dare Protoplay blant annet for å spille oss gjennom spillene til de 14 studentgruppene som var kommet til finalen. Vi var spente. Tross alt, hvor bra kan et spill som er laget på 10 uker av studenter være? Og hvor mange har egentlig lyst til å tilbringe en helg inne i en mørk messehall midt på sommeren? Vi ble overveldet av det som møtte oss.

Det var et stappfullt messeområde. Små barn, ungdommer, foreldre og besteforeldre spilte, lekte og lo sammen. Rund 9000 mennesker var innom messeområdet og stemte fram sine favoritter denne helgen. Studentene smilte fra øre til øre, og jobbet hardt med å overbevise oss om at deres spill var best. Den gode energien smittet over på oss nordboere, og vi kastet oss ut i spillverdenen. Det var spill for Xbox, Kinect, iPad og mobiler. Og selv om jeg alltid ble ”banket” av min kollega, gikk jeg på med friskt mot for hvert nye spill. Det var kjempegøy!

Dare ProtoPlay

Fra messeområdet under Dare ProtoPlay

Jeg er helt imponert over hva disse studentene hadde klart å få til på så kort tid. Tidlig pekte Eivind og jeg oss ut tre favoritter, deriblant vinneren fra den nordiske delfinalen på NITH. Teamet Digital Knights fra IT-universitetet i København, hadde et fantastisk morsomt Kinect-spill med navn ”Joust!”. Her var vi ridder til hest og travet/hoppet mens vi pisket oss på baken med den ene hånden og brukte den andre som lanse. Og lo.  Og det gjorde alle de som spilte og så på også!

Forventningene var høye da vinnerne skulle annonseres, og gleden var stor når ”vårt” lag ble annonsert som det første vinnerlaget som er nominert til BAFTA. Våre to andre favoritter, Evolved Ape og Swallowtail, vant også.

Digital Knights

Digital Knights

Også i 2010 gikk det nordiske laget av med seieren, svenske That Game Studio fra Högskolan i Skövde. Og ikke bare det, de dro også i land seieren i BAFTA-prisutdelingen! Jeg krysser nå fingrene for at Digital Knights setter Norden på spillindustrikartet også ved neste BAFTA-utdeling.

Jeg er ikke i tvil om at disse studentene har en lysende framtid foran seg. Det finnes så mye god energi i denne studentmassen, med et stort ønske om å spre glede og lek ut til folket. Jeg er stolt av at NITH kan ta del i denne flotte konkurransen, og kommer med en innstendig oppfordring til alle NITH-studenter: Neste år vil jeg se et NITH-team løfte BAFTA-prisen – game on!

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