I AM AT THE INTERSECTION of immersive gaming and popular culture as I begin another academic semester with both games developers and creative multimedia students at LIT.ie.
I start the new year surrounded by games developers. They know how to code computer games. They have more than one games player in their homes. They have games like Cut the Rope (at left) on their mobile handsets. They understand the roles played by UI designers, project managers, graphics designers, scripters, and sound engineers. I'm the guy on the outside.
I also have a group of students who will plan the annual creative multimedia exhibition in LIT-Clonmel. We want to attract more people to this important event and I think the games developers can offer suggestions that will help that happen.
During the next month, I intend to leverage the expertise of the two groups, exposing the collaborative group dynamic, high-quality audio clips, compelling graphics and scratch work as video clips. I will use Google Docs, Basecamp, Google Hangouts, Dropbox and an assortment of online social networks to achieve the result.
Perhaps the most important enabling move I will make it to connect two groups across existing social networks. Most of the students may prefer Facebook. I want to leverage disparate social spaces (Audioboo, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, G+) and measure task accomplishment with Basecamp. If I do this right, we will affect a seamless cross-county initiative powered by uploading and sharing. These networks are already up and running. It's up to me to tie them together on both the Thurles and Clonmel campuses of the Limerick Institute of Technology.
Learning how to program computer games and preparing high-quality work for external review through a portfolio exhibition can guide students into full-time employment after they earn a college degree. Some prospective students may discover this process as they go about making their academic goals known to the CAO in Ireland. But this is more than an academic exercise. I sincerely believe we're dealing with foundation elements of Ireland's knowledge economy the moment we dive into immersive gaming. That makes my academic work all the more worthwhile.
See the screencast at http://underway.ie/litgd-1200-mp4