Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Show and Notes Posted

Hey You Guys -- For your viewing pleasure, and (again) to make the sharing even easier, I've posted the QuickTime movie of the Slide Show, as well as a PDF of my sketch notes from the launch meeting.

Click to load the movie; then click the images to advance the slides. The movie files is about 12MB, so wait for it!

Click here to download the Sketch notes as a PDF file (435KB).

Right-button click and save the target (Mac users, ctrl-click and download linked file).

And, as promised, let me add my own little manifesto here ...

I do not want to surrender mass media to the folks who dream up games like Grand Theft Auto or Quake. Understand, I don't think these titles are evil; I'm not calling for a ban or government controls. They are simply diversions. They add nothing to the forward movement of our society. But if parents and teachers think the way past these diversions is to ignore them, they should note: Doom (or Final Fantasy or Tomb Raider) is not only a game franchise, it's: a series of paperbacks, a feature film, a soundtrack, in comic books, on t-shirts, and on and on. In fact, I believe that when the pervasiveness of these mass-media properties grows to this scale, they affect and form the way kids absorb stimuli. If that's the case, perhaps the best way to get useful and meaningful information to this audience is through the technology that formed them.

Working the "negative" has had almost no affect on the game industry. ESRB rating, threatened legal action, outspoken politician (and their spouses!) have done nothing to change the content. Here's an exercise for you: click this link to go to Amazon's "Kid Safe Zone" in the PS2 Games aisle. Scan the titles: DDR, Sponge Bob, sports, poker, and racing games. Are there any titles with actual educational content? No. And these are the games rated "E for everyone".

BTW, if you click out a few pages, somehow, GTA III actually shows up in the "Kid-Safe Zone". It's rated "M for mature".

So I want to offer an alternative. In the same manner that Sesame Street took concepts, pacing, and structure from commercial television, there needs to be some PBS-ification for video games and the mass-media properties that surround it. I propose we can make this happen at the grassroots.

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