Archive for the ‘Aleks’ Category

Bobbie Johnson and I, plus ARG developer Six to Start’s Adrian and Dan Hon, plus Bibrick’s Rachel Clarke plus TheDaveGreen would like to open an invitation to WiG and its friends to come and join us at GameCamp – the first games-specific unconference in the UK.

We’re opening up 10 places to WiG (secret password: WIG) for the event, which takes place on 3 May in trendy East London, and they must be claimed by Monday 21 April, so register your interest asap!

What the heck am I on about? Keep reading for more more more…


What: One-day event about games and play
When: Saturday May 3, 11am – 5.30pm
Where: 15 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR
How: Bring your imagination and something you’d like to talk about
Why: Why not?


GameCamp is a free, public one-day event for people interested in gaming and play. The objective is simple: to talk informally with like-minded people and get excited about stuff involving games of all kinds.


GameCamp is NOT a business networking event, and it’s NOT a chance to pitch ideas – although you might meet people you’d like to work with.


GameCamp will be held between 11am and 5.30pm on Saturday May 3rd at 3Rooms in the Spitalfields area of London. It’s about 10 minutes away from Liverpool Street, Whitechapel or Aldgate East Tube stations.


GameCamp is a communal “unconference” run along the principles of BarCamp.

That means EVERYBODY is encouraged to join in and be ready to give a talk, take part in a discussion or run a session.

We let you decide what the order of the day is: in the morning, once everyone has registered, you’ll get a chance to add your session to The Grid – the editable conference schedule that’s posted on a wall at the venue. This cacophony of blu-tac and sheets of A4 paper will list all the rooms and times that are available for the day, letting everyone see at a glance which sessions are coming up, and decide on the ones they’re most interested in attending.

The sessions are arranged as half-hour blocks split across several rooms, with 15 minute breaks between each period. We’ll take a 45 minute break for lunch at about 1.30pm and will convene at the end of the day to wrap things up.

Running a session doesn’t mean you need to prepare a speech – remember, the day is meant to be informal and fun – but you should have a good idea of the subjects you are interested in. This is a chance to try things out, to try new ideas, NOT just to run through the same presentation you’ve used before.

You might want to talk about something you’ve been working on, but we don’t necessarily need to know how great your latest game is. In fact, some of the best presentations at BarCamps have avoided pitches altogether. Like ‘How To Make A World-Class Martini (with tasting session)’. You might want to organise your session around the best Guitar Hero techniques, your top Open Source Game picks, or your latest theory on game design. We like people who are prepared to get stuck in, try new things and bring some fun to proceedings.


Full details are available on The Guardian website!

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The government’s independent review of the effects of videogames and the internet on kids and young people was released today.

Authored by child psychologist ‘and mother of two’ Dr. Tanya Byron, the Byron Review aims to support the government in their approach to game and online content understanding and regulation. From the Executive Summary:

Hardly a day goes by without a news report about children being brutalised and abused in the real world or its virtual counterpart. Some make links between what happens online or in a game, and what happens on the streets or at home.These headlines have contributed to the climate of anxiety that surrounds new technology and created a
fiercely polarised debate in which panic and fear often drown out evidence. The resultant clamour distracts
from the real issue and leads to children being cast as victims rather than participants in these new,
interactive technologies.

The games industry has been waiting with bated breath for this since it was announced by the Prime Minister late last year, and over the six months since, there has been a mountain of speculation about the outcomes – and about the author herself. Her press diary is booked up completely, but there will be an interview on next week’s Tech Weekly podcast. I’m also attending a press Q&A next week where industry will have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Byron.

If there’s anything you’d like me to ask, please do add it to the comments below.

If you would like to read the report, you can download it from The Guardian, or from the DFES.

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Women in games on Channel 4“DON’T HAVE TO BE A GEEK” argues the headline on Channel 4’s 4Talent website, topping an article on women’s contributions to gaming. Among the interviewed are programmer Nicola Bhalerao from Rare, Designers Lynsey Rigby and Anya Massey at Blitz and Nanette Kaulig, an animator at Lionhead.

The article offers tips for entry into the industry, breaking down a few gamer stereotypes along the way.

Oh, and the Women in Games conference gets a wee mention along the way.

Check it out.

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WIGI banner

WiG has strong ties with the Women in Games International group, spearheaded by a gaggle of gifted girls (please excuse, the alliteration was too compelling) over in the US, with industry and conference track records several hundred feet long. At the most recent WIGI meeting (I sit on both steering committees), it came to our general attention that the “International” component was sadly lacking. After putting heads together, we thought one of the simplest ways to remedy this oversight would be to incorporate more women in the UK games industry into their informal mentoring programme. Briefly:

Women in Games International is pleased to announce the WIGI Mentoring Google Group. Take a moment today to visit the WIGI Mentoring home page to request an invitation to join the group. Once a member, introduce your self to the Group and then begin the process of becoming a mentor, finding a mentee, or both!

They’re looking for people who would like to get involved with the industry or would like to guide potential industry employees through the battlefield.

WIGI is an extremely prolific events-based organisation, and over on the other side of the Atlantic, they have formal get-togethers with seminars and conference rooms organised by the Steering Committee and informal “Mixers”, organised by WIGI members themselves. The latter have proved extremely successful, and it would be marvellous to have some over here:

Basic Mixer Responsibilities
1. Find location and arrange for food and drink2. Find sponsors to pay for venue, food and drink as necessary and provide giveaways if possible.

3. Create badges for each attendee based on RSVP Evite.

4. Print and post banner for mixer listing all sponsors (I will create a file for you for large format printing if it’s available to you. Otherwise, I will create the banner and mail it to you.)

5. Collect business cards of all attendees for giveaways. Save business cards for delivery to WIGI.

6. Take photos of the event, especially of the event banner. These photos are needed for sponsors

7. Act as event host, welcoming attendees and encouraging them to participate in networking. (I created “Get-to-Know-You” bingo cards that require attendees to meet others and find out a bit about them. Feel free to use any icebreaker you want.)

As part of the deal, WIGI will cover up to 25% of costs. If you’d like to provide the platform for a local get-together, here’s a handy “Mixer in a Box” to get you started. Let us know if you intend to put one on, and we’ll happily advertise for you!

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Women in Media bannerA few months ago, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel called “Inspirational Careers in Interactive Media, Animation & Games” at a Women in Media conference organised by Wired Sussex. I was surrounded by some tip top women in the ICT field, including Antonia Cullum from Kuju London and freelance animator Angie Taylor. SEMN’s Gina Fegan reeled in our rabble when we went astray, acting as our esteemed panel chair.

Antonia and I were subsequently interviewed for their podcast series. You can download them here.

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