Archive for the 'Web 2.0' Category

TertiaryTech Conference 2010: Singapore student startups are pretty solid!

 

TertiaryTech Conference 2010 @ SMU

Last Saturday morning, I was invited by Wayne Soh of The Digital Movement to speak about game mechanics at their new conference series, TertiaryTech.

As you can tell, this conference was geared at students interested in breaking into the startup industry. I must say that from what I saw, I was very impressed. The ideas and design that went into the interactive applications pitched by student groups at this conference was pretty top notch. I’ve got a bunch of TertiaryTech photos and video interviews to share as seen below…

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Here’s the game mechanics talk I presented meant to inspire and intrigue student developers into building “addictive” qualities into their apps (to sustain an active user base). From the feedback I’ve received, lots of folks were intrigued after hearing what I had to share, and I’m particularly glad how they have come to realize how Facebook derives free labor through the exploitation of such game mechanics (yes, pure psychological hooks!). Big thanks to Daniel Tsou of Tech65.org fame, for helping with the HD camera work shot using my NEX-5. I’m just going to re-use the wonderful abstracts from the TertiaryTech web site.

 

TertiaryTech 2010: How to add fun to traditional labor (Game Mechanics)

Traditional mass media has typically portrayed video games in a negative light for generating social undesirable or unproductive behavior. However, by harnessing the addictive elements of video games and embedding these game mechanics into traditional labor, can we make work fun?

These forces, or what we refer to as game dynamics or mechanics, are what influence us into subconsciously performing actions or completing certain tasks. As usage and engagement becomes the focus of many technology services today, there is a demand and need to infuse game mechanics in these products.

Kevin has been experimenting with the concept of productive games in the classroom environment, by using Amy Jo Kim’s game mechanics as a means of steering user motivations. He has also been invited to present his research papers and also to speak at numerous corporate and academic conferences. Be sure not to miss him by registering for the Tertiary Tech Conference today!

Additional video resources:
Seth Priebatsch: The Game Layer on top of the World
Jesse Schell: When Games Invade Real Life

 

TertiaryTech 2010: Pigeonhole – Beautiful Conference Q&A system

Title of Project: Pigeonhole Live
Team Lead: Hew Joon Yeng, Lyon Lim Yu Tian
Academic Institution: National University of Singapore

Pigeonhole Live is a simple conference tool for speakers to engage their audience in a live setting using their smartphones, laptops and even iPad! Pigeonhole Live allows the audience to ask and vote for their burning questions on their web device in real-time. Good news for the audience: No more waiting for the McNanny at the microphone during the precious 10-minute QnA sessions! By looking at the highest voted questions, the speakers can now address the audience crowd more accurately.

Now everyone gets to take part in the post-keynote QnA at the conferences, without running to the microphones. Yes, even if you are a little shy.

 

TertiaryTech 2010: Su Yuen demos learning through AR for Kids

Team Lead: Chin Su Yuen
Team Members: Chen Lingwei, Tan Reiwen Alex, Ee Wai Lay, Liu Peng
Institution: NUS School of Computing
Category: Games, Augmented Reality

Virtual Sandbox is an educational game for 4-6 year olds that aim to create a creative and interactive environment to learn English vocabulary. The goal of the game is to build your city and populate it with people. Children use physical cards that are similar to flash cards to place and construct buildings in their city and populate these buildings with characters of the right job/occupation.

For example, to populate a school, children must place a “Teacher” character in the school before they can see an animation of the teacher teaching students in the building.

By using physical cards as a form of interaction, we merge the benefits of tangible objects which children are accustomed to with the interactivity of the virtual environment – morphing the flash cards into a less mundane and more fun method for learning English vocabulary.

 

TertiaryTech 2010: MARGE – Mobile Augmented Reality Game Engine

Team Lead: Jian Gu, Henry Been-Lirn Duh
Institution: MiMe Lab, Interactive Digital Media Institute, National University of Singapore
Category: Augmented Reality

MARGE is a game engine for mobile augmented reality (AR) environment based on iPhone, Android and Symbian OS. It includes integrated support for optimal graphics performance, networking, resource management, sound and music. Mobile developer can learn how to develop high quality 3D interactive mobile AR game using our proposed developmental tool. Several highlight features of MARGE: MARGE supports OpenGL ES 2.0, 3D graphics library which runs on the embedded chipset on different phones; Networking support is an essential feature for a Mobile AR game. MARGE supports multiplayer interacting each other in mobile AR environment using TCP/IP or blue-tooth.

In Summary
These student developer groups were impressive to say the least. It truly shows the potential Singapore has in this burgeoning interactive software industry and I’m all for supporting our local startups. I’ve only managed to interview a few groups here, so do check out the many more who presented at TertiaryTech 2010.

Speaking on ‘Productive Games’ at TertiaryTech, 18th Sept @ SMU

How To Add Fun To Traditional Labour @ Tertiary Tech Conference 2010

Game mechanics is quite the rage across disciplines and industries. Since 2009, I’ve delivered variations of my talk at SOLsummit 2009 (Syracuse, NY), Barcamp Buffalo, ICA 2010 conference, WebSG meetup, IGDA Pecha Kucha Night III, and soon, SingTel Accelerate conference.

This Saturday at TertiaryTech I’ll be helping interested students understand the basic psychological hooks that make games addictive, and consequently how we could apply these rules to make traditional labor fun.

TertiaryTech tickets are $15 for students, but I have three tickets to give away for the first three passionate students who drop me their contact details in the comments. The organizers tell me that another way to score free tickets is to contribute to their IdeaBoard. They just want a good reason to give tickets away!

If you’re interested, I speak from 11.00am-11.30am at Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, SMU School of Accountancy. Here’s the abstract below…

How To Add Fun To Traditional Labour

In our daily lives, we do our shopping at the usual stores, buy a meal at our favourite fast food chain or visit our usual watering holes. We are rewarded by being loyal customers and we know when and how to get things at a cheaper price. Turning our attention online to social networking services like Facebook and LinkedIn, you’ll see the number of friends you have implicitly considered as a scoreboard, while the profile completion progress meter would look like feedback in the leveling process, all of which are game mechanics that tease our psychological urges. Casual games hosted on these platforms like Farmville and Mafia Wars are making us go back and play them every 30 minutes or so.

These forces, or what we refer to as game dynamics or mechanics, are what influence us into subconsciously performing actions or completing certain tasks. As usage and engagement becomes the focus of many technology services today, there is a demand and need to infuse game mechanics in these products.

Find out from Kevin Lim, our local friendly social cyborg and tech blogger at Theory is the Reason, on how to harness the addictive elements of video games and embed these game mechanics into a traditional system or product to make it fun and to encourage prolonged and frequent use.

Kevin has been experimenting with the concept of productive games in the classroom environment, by using Amy Jo Kim’s game mechanics as a means of steering user motivations. He has also been invited to present his research papers and also to speak at numerous corporate and academic conferences. Be sure not to miss him by registering for the Tertiary Tech Conference today!

Additional video resources

Seth Priebatsch: The Game Layer on top of the World

Jesse Schell: When Games Invade Real Life

For details, head to http://tertiarytech.com

UPDATE: Tertiarytech Conference access for students now FREE! Professionals pay a token sum of $25. Do it for the kids ;)

The Social Cyborg @ BlinkBL-NK: From perfect memory to networked consciousness

Social Cyborg @ BlinkBl-nk #5

Rushing over from work, I made my way down to Blu Jazz where BlinkBL-NK was at it’s fifth installment. Having been to earlier speaker sessions in the past two months, I liked the diversity in speakers and the easy-going atmosphere.

This time it was my turn to hit the stage, so I thought I’d don the Social Cyborg outfit one final time. Putting on that wearable sensory rig was strangely nostalgic. Continue reading ‘The Social Cyborg @ BlinkBL-NK: From perfect memory to networked consciousness’

ICA 2010 Conference: Photos & Videos + Download Our “Leveling Up Students” Poster

ICA 2010 Conference @ Suntec Singapore - 15

Here’s the digital copy of our International Communication Association 2010 conference poster – Leveling Up Students with Class Blogs: Engineering Active Learning through Game Mechanics. This was color printed on an A0 size paper, so you have a choice of a JPEG or PDF versions.

Derek Lackaff and I wrote this up after conducting our experimental semester with students in Buffalo and Singapore back in 2007. On the whole, everyone had a good time… we even managed to throw an MTV-style awards party at the end of the semester!

I had more fun at #ICA2010 than I expected, mostly because the poster session was disorganized. A few of us received wrong instructions and printed our posters wide (72″ x 48″) when the conference boards were actually portrait format, and sticky tape became hot commodity. I also bumped into old friends while making new ones. Everyone was smart, friendly and most importantly, excited to share their discoveries.

Read on to see the ICA conference posters submissions I found interesting (presentation quality varied greatly), as well as a few video interviews with academics and curators while I roamed the Suntec City Convention floor.

Continue reading ‘ICA 2010 Conference: Photos & Videos + Download Our “Leveling Up Students” Poster’

First ever Creative Commons Salon in Singapore (Bonus: Inch Chua performs!)

CC Salon Singapore #1

Yesterday, my poster session at the ICA 2010 conference turned out more fun than expected (will share that soon), while last evening’s first ever CC Salon Singapore at Hackerspace SG turned out to be quite a riot!

In case you weren’t aware, CC Salons are global, informal events focused on building a community of artists, developers, and creators of all kinds around Creative Commons licenses, standards, and technology. It’s nice to know CC awareness is growing within Singapore’s various creative communities.

Continue reading ‘First ever Creative Commons Salon in Singapore (Bonus: Inch Chua performs!)’

Barcamp Create @ Jakarta: On Intellectual Property Rights in Indonesia

Presenting Social Marginalia @ Barcamp Jakarta
“@brainopera talking about making books social”. Photo by @PreetamRai

Thanks to @PreetamRai, I got to visit Jakarta for the first time over the weekend. At their barcamp, I made it count by presenting an interest of mine, social marginalia. @RandomPlaydo was inspired enough to write his thoughts about shared digital annotations.

Barcamp Create focused on Intellectual Property Rights in Indonesia, and received an intimate turnout at the International Design School (IDS). Topics were spot-on with a few awesome surprises (see @glennmars’ Recycling Ideas below!).

We got to spend time with amazing people, including @glennmars @ChrisWaterGuy @aulia @monieksagita @barijoe @koesuma @savitri @kuriman and @murakumo_andy. You can see our red carpet photoshoot on Facebook. Alternatively, we used ScribbleLive to liveblog for #BarcampID, as reblogged below…

Continue reading ‘Barcamp Create @ Jakarta: On Intellectual Property Rights in Indonesia’

Come explore my entire room, in Photosynth definition

Photosynth: Kevin's Buffalo Bedroom

Being sentimental, I decided to photosynth my entire room before I start packing. If you don’t already know why I’m moving, I’ll announce it when I get the official green light. IMHO, things are going to get pretty darn exciting on my end.

As a self-proclaimed social cyborg, I’ve been exploring new ways of capturing experiences. While I could have digitized this personal space in a 360° panorama, I preferred photosynth for this because it lets me focus on particular objects around the room with amazing detail. Everything from the love letters, to the toys, to the books I own, you can try to locate for yourself. Leave no stone unturned.

If you explore my photosynth, I’ve even included highlights on the right sidebar as hints to the juicer bits. You can experience my personal life in Buffalo, by heading over here. If you spot anything strange, feel free to drop a comment!

theorycast.65 :: Why organizations need their Chief Culture Officer

In this episode of theorycast, I interview anthropologist Grant McCracken (@grant27) on his recent book, Chief Culture Officer.

This interview took place at the Futures of Entertainment 4 conference at MIT, on November 21st, 2009. The video I captured from his book talk within the ROI of ROFL session panel is also included. From the video, you will see examples of cultural mistakes that major corporations have made, the penalties they face, and how they could have done better if someone within the company were responsible for providing cultural foresight.

Having studied American culture and business for 25 years, McCracken’s previous work included Transformations (2008), Flock and Flow (2006), Culture and Consumption II (2005), Big Hair (1996), and Culture and Consumption (1988).

In Chief Culture Officer (CCO), McCracken argues that culture now creates so much opportunity and danger for the corporation that we need senior managers who can devote time to focus on culture. In effect, these CCO become the early-warning system for companies to help navigate their relevant cultural landscape, as well as provide to more intimate cultural acuity into the way companies craft their brands.

In effect, McCracken is hoping to create a new occupational destination for people who can understand their organization’s cultural locatedness (e.g. social science grads), but are not presently channeled to draw upon their insight for the organization. It sounds to me that whoever fits the role of the CCO would also be similar to what Seth Gordin dubs as the Linchpin (2010), that is, someone indispensable to the organization.

The idea of of the Chief Cultural Officer is to…
Make commerce that inhales and exhales culture,
Make culture that inhales and exhales commerce,
Make a living, breathing corporation.

Download theorycast.65 :: Why Organizations need their Chief Culture Officer (.mp4 / 122mb), or watch this on Blip.tv. Feel free to subscribe to theorycast on iTunes.

Seth Gordin’s The Dip… Singapore style

Over on the Google Buzz side of my joblessness story, friends have been reminding me of A Singapore Taxi Driver’s Diary, probably the only taxi driver in this world with a PhD from Stanford.

I called him a genius because he’s managed to turn a downfall into an upturn (i.e. Seth Gordin’s The Dip)… he’s just published his blog into a book! Storytelling is such a crucial art.

My PhD buddy @MrBigLive then pointed out Amanda Marshall’sEverybody’s Got A Story” where back in 2002, the amazing singer had already called out academic inflation, with her lyrics which included “…and that taxi-driver’s got a Ph.D”. Don’t believe me? Take a listen…

the3six5 project… or how I learned to embrace the emergent

the3six5 project

Around the start of 2010, I began hearing about this idea dubbed the3six5 project. A bunch of transmedia and emerging media folks discussed it with great fervor.

So I took a look…
frowned…
then asked…
“What’s the big effing deal?”

Every day, a different person would step in and write a journal entry of what was going on around him or her. There are rules of course, like being assigned a day insignificant to the author (i.e. no birthdays, anniversaries), writing a reflection of life that very day from the author’s location (i.e. the stark reality), limits to the number of words, and finally, zero blatant self promotion.

Everywhere Magazine: a crowdsourced travel mag Yes, it’s crowdsourc-ive, it’s storytelling, it’s experimental, but is it too simplistic and too random?

Prior to the3six5, we’ve seen very well curated examples that have even been put to print, such as user-generated magazines Everywhere and JPG. In other words, this isn’t new… so what’s really going on here?

Thinking back at the3six5, I even tried to suggest connectivity between stories…

So I wrote to the3six5 co-founder, Len Kendall

“While some of the twitterati I follow seem to like this project a lot, I beg to differ. I value the experimental (back to personal writing) nature of it, like how it provides a “snapshot” of our world from different perspectives, but find the articles all too disconnected from one another. I feel that it lacks connectivity, a kind of holistic purpose behind it. Perhaps I need to be unhinged to the idea of a plot? That said, I admire the difficult simplicity, consistency and diligence behind this project.”

To which Len calmly replied…

“Your reaction makes sense. There is certainly a disconnect between people. But I think that people’s minds often try to get non-fiction to mirror fiction. But that’s not how life operates. It’s very random, and this chronology reflects that. What makes it flow is that once every few days some folks with mention a “checkpoint” in time. Haiti’s earthquake, Obama’s spead, Apple’s ipad, etc. So that 10 years from now, if you read this story, you’ll have some sense of what was taking place at that time and when that time was.”

At this point I’m widening my sights to treat the theme as a giant chronological expression. Len explained that enforcing a theme pressures fiction around our non-fictional world. Thanks to our increasingly politicalized news media, perhaps it’s our learned reaction to pigeon-hole social reality. I have the sensation that what some storytellers are seeing, that isn’t apparent at face value, are qualities which will emerge from both the process and product of this particular sousveillance literature. The fiction will eventually appear because we will implicitly, and punitively, place it there.

As Len blogged, within the first 30 days of this year-long work, we’re already seeing a string of patterns emerge:

The web can be a really messy place. On creating order from chaos, Len writes how “Crowdsourcing ain’t easy”. Maintaining 365 authors for 365 days is pretty intense work, which makes me wonder if this project could ever work as an entirely community-governed iteration.

The number of views, comments and retweets act like an invisible leaderboard. There’s growing competition, or as BBHLab’s Ben Malbon puts it, “God help those writing in November…”. Throw in a few celebrity writers (ZeFrank!), and it looks like I’m pretty much screwed.

And on forcing fiction upon non-fiction: Margo Gremmler said “[...] you brought us all together in an author mosaic”. While I can’t wait to see the big picture, I thought that Gennefer’s tweet was rather poignant for the3six5′s journey…

Twitter / Gennefer Snowfield: @brainopera I'd add we're ...

Almost everyone contributing to this project agreed that “the case study for this project is going to be just as interesting as the project itself.”

To appreciate the3six5 experience, I asked if I could contribute, and was kindly given the day of 24th November 2010. It’s weird… but I suddenly feel like I own that day. It becomes both my honor, and my burden.

For a better idea of the3six5 project, be sure to read Ben Malbon’s “Interview with the3six5 project founders: 365 days, 365 perspectives