Foreshadowing: Summer schools, conference and a big demo event

Just a small update to show what’s brewing.

Next month, I’m participating in two summer schools: one on interactive storytelling (organised by the RIDERS project, schedule) and one on serious games and simulations (organised by the ISAGA, schedule). At the former, I will give a one-hour talk about our research at HMI on interactive storytelling and how we are using this to create serious games. The RIDERS summer school will address concepts from comics, mixed media and role play to let the participants create an interactive story system, while in the ISAGA summer school we will go through the stages of conceptualising, implementing, facilitating and evaluating in order to design a serious game.

In September, I will visit the 2014 Social Simulation Conference (organised by the European Social Simulation Association) at which I have the privilege to organise a special track for the Social Simulation 4 Serious Games SIG I set up together with Melania Borit. It will only be a short, one-hour track, but I’m still glad to have the opportunity to get people together and think about simulations and games, what the differences are between them and how they can be used in educating and training people.

The event ‘The Big Future of Data‘ will take place the 2nd of October: this will be a public event at which 50 demos from all the different projects governed by the Dutch national programme COMMIT/ will be shown. One of these is LOITER, a serious game for training social skills in police interventions, that I’m making in cooperation with Merijn Bruijnes and the companies of T-Xchange and re-lion. In this game, players will assume the role of a police officer and try to reason with a bunch of loitering juveniles that are playing loud music. These juveniles are virtual characters controlled by artificially intelligence based on theories from social psychology to enable believable behaviour. To allow the characters to respond in different ways to a player’s actions, I am implementing techniques from interactive storytelling to make sure that the player feels that he or she has enough freedom of choice. I can already say that the LOITER demo will be a rather big installation, as players of the game will be immersed in a virtual environment through a combination of a wearable motion detection suit and a head-mounted display that will enable them to walk around as if they are actually in the virtual environment. If you want to come and visit our demo, simply drop me an email!