Last week I had the pleasure of sponsoring (via my game consultancy, Games We Play) Perth’s first ever Knowledge Week, presented by Knowledge Society and the beautiful new City of Perth Library. I also had the honour of participating on a panel and running a brand new Games We Play workshop. Here’s what happened:
Imagining Perth in 2030 a panel of three “leading lights in innovation and technology” (who all just happened to be women) including yours truly, Erica Haddon (RAC) and Jessica Farrell (Rio Tinto) and moderated by Dan Minchin (Knowledge Society) who playfully referred to me as the ‘insurgent’ on the panel, because that’s how we games people roll. Some key takeaways from my talk:
- The games industry is an important one to watch, not only because its a market worth $100 billion (AUD) globally (making it bigger than Hollywood), but also because games are one of the key drivers of mainstream adoptions of new technologies. When Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak visited Perth in late August, he noted that it was not spreadsheets or word processors that drove adoption of the desktop computer into homes, but games.
- VR/AR is expected to reach $150 billion (USD) by 2020 and yes, one of the key drivers is and will continue to be games (see Pokemon Go and the recent launch of the PlayStation VR, which is one of the primary games consoles which just launched on 13 October)
- There was some great discussion around the health and privacy impacts of these technologies, which also concern me and I’ve talked about previously.
We also got some great feedback about the power of having an all female panel without any mention of diversity, yet having an incredibly powerful impact for encouraging diversity. Don’t talk about change, just be it… because “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Games workshop This was the debut of my new workshop that mixes completely analog, low tech games with the latest and greatest VR and AR tech. We played and then deconstructed David Fono‘s Mont Trottoir, which I like to call an ‘analog augmented reality game’ to show that you don’t need to code to make games. Indeed, making paper-based/analog games are a great way of ‘paper prototyping’ digital games to test all sorts of things (if they work, who the market might be…) before jumping into full development. Participants also got to play around on the just launched PlayStation VR and were treated to a demo from my friends at Stirfire Studios and their new VR offering, Symphony of the Machine, which will be launching for Q1 2017 on the PlayStation VR.