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26 MAY 2015

A Serious Game Model for Cultural Heritage

"Serious games present a promising opportunity for learning, but the genre still lacks methodologies and tools for efficient and low-cost production, particularly for teacher and domain experts. This article gives an authoring framework that aims to provide structured support, from content design to final implementation. In particular, we have abstracted a conceptual model—the SandBox Serious Game - which relies on a generalization of task-based learning theory. The model invites players to perform cognitive tasks contextually while exploring information-rich virtual environments. We consider it particularly suited for cultural heritage entertainment applications. The model defines games that are set in realistic virtual worlds enriched with embedded educational tasks, which we have implemented as minigames. This approach simplifies the authoring work, which can easily be supported by visual authoring tools for ontology-based urban 3D modeling and implementation tasks, thus allowing an approach similar to the mind-maps concept. We propose a top-down methodology for content preparation, starting from a city- level analysis down to the single points of interest and associated tasks, which are instances of simple predefined minigame/quiz typologies. We provide examples and discuss criteria for selecting task typologies according to the authors’ cognitive targets. Finally, we discuss the results of a user test, which took place in a lab, aimed at verifying the acquisition of cultural heritage knowledge in a pleasant and engaging way. Games appear particularly suited for supporting the study of images, especially of iconography. Compared to reading text, a game forces the player to focus more strongly on problems, which favors knowledge acquisition and retention. Learning complex concepts requires an investigative attitude, which can be spurred by well-designed games. Good design involves usability, graphic appeal, appropriate content, and the presence of connections which a player must discover in the content. Players should be asked to pay attention to and reason about their whole game activity - including the relationships between the game content, the brief introduction, and concluding texts. More comprehensive tests are needed to better investigate the educational effectiveness—however, the first results are promising, especially in terms of user motivation and creation of new opportunities for learning about CH."

(Francesco Bellotti, Riccardo Berta, Alessandro De Gloria, Annamaria D’ursi, Valentina Fiore, 2012)

Bellotti, F., Berta, R., De Gloria, A., D’Ursi, A., and V. Fiore, V. 2012. A serious game model for cultural heritage. ACM J. Comput. Cult. Herit. 5, 4, Article 17 (October 2012), 27 pages. DOI=10.1145/2399180.2399185 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2399180.2399185

TAGS

20123D modelling • Alessandro De Gloria • Annamaria D ursi • authoring framework • city-level analysis • cognitive targets • cognitive tasks • conceptual model • content connections • content design • content preparation • cultural heritage knowledge • discovering and exploring • discovery through games • educational effectiveness • embedded educational tasks • entertainment applications • Francesco Bellotti • game authoring • game content • graphic appeal • iconography • investigative attitude • Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH) • knowledge acquisition and retention • low-cost production • minigame • points of interest • production methodologies • quiz typologies • realistic virtual worlds • Riccardo Berta • sandbox serious game • serious games • task typologies • task-based learning theory • top-down methodology • usabilityuser motivationsuser testing • Valentina Fiore • virtual environments • visual authoring tools

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 MAY 2015

Welcome to our corporate-controlled future Internet with Facebook Instant Articles et al.

"There's a generational shift in technology happening right now: From the open Web to native apps, from desktops to mobile phones, from platforms built on standards to platforms owned by corporations. Let's call it the second Internet. Here's what it looks like: "Facebook Instant Article". That's right — it's Facebook. More than 1.44 billion people use Facebook every month, and almost a billion of them use it every day. The majority do so via the Facebook app on their phones.

Think about that: A decade ago, the majority of people using the Internet were doing so on desktop computers or laptops, accessing HTML and JavaScript websites. Today, a vast number — maybe not a majority, but a lot — experience the Internet primarily through Facebook's mobile app.

That's why publishers like the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and National Geographic were so eager to test out Facebook's new Instant Articles platform.

This platform puts publishers' stories directly into the Facebook app (on iOS only, for now), where they load more quickly than they would if Facebook just linked to the publishers' websites — which take an average of eight seconds to load, Facebook says. Instant Articles also offer a variety of snazzy tools for publishers to present their images and interactive elements."

(Dylan Tweney, 15 May 15 2015, VentureBeat)

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2015boundaries in cyberspace • Buzzfeed • closed systemcontent integrationcontent publishers • corporate exclusivity • corporate-controlled environment • corporatisationexclusivityFacebook app • Facebook Instant Articles • framed by the windowfunctionalist paradigm • future Internet • homogenizationhypermediated spaceimmediacy of experience • Instant Articles platform • instrumental rationalitylisablelogic of hypermediacymobile appsNational Geographic • native apps • New York Timesopen webperformativityproduct usabilitypublishing platform • Slack (app) • sterile placestechnology transparencyunified mediumuniformityusability engineering • VentureBeat • walled garden • window on to the world

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MAY 2015

Wunderland an exhibition by Frank Kunert at La Chambre

Photography exhibition 'Wunderland' by Frank Kunert, 10 April to 7 June 2015, La Chambre, 4 place d’Austerlitz, 67000 Strasbourg.

"More than simply a photographic satire, the 'miniature worlds' of Frank Kunert are compositions of ideas, models of sets which he spends weeks and months meticulously putting together from plastic, modeling clay and paint until the results are perfect, almost lifelike. These 'miniature worlds' are funny, bizarre, grotesque, contemplative, dreamy, but also provocative and critical. It's up to the viewer to decide if he finds them entertaining or macabre, or how far he's willing or able to follow the stories Kunert tells."

(The Eye of Photography, L’Oeil de la Photographie)

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TAGS

absurdist humourabsurditybanalityblack humour • contemplative • critical art • Frank Kunert • funny scenes • humourlifelikemacabreminiature • miniature worlds • photographic satire • photography exhibition • provocative scenes • small sculpturesstupidity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 MAY 2015

Improvisational style of Birdman's percussion-centred soundtrack

"The soundtrack to the 2014 Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed black comedy Birdman features an innovative, percussion-based score from Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez. Also included on the soundtrack are various classical pieces used in the film including compositions by Gustav Mahler, Maurice Ravel, and Sergei Rachmaninov. While Sanchez is primarily known as a jazz musician, he took a more free-form, avant-garde approach for Birdman. Rather than composing pieces for the film, at Iñárritu's request, Sanchez improvised to a rough cut of the film and then re-recorded his improvisations yet again once the film was completed. Hoping to match the gritty, live aesthetic of the film, Sanchez altered his traditional percussion set-up, employing instead the use of different drum heads modified at times with tape to deaden the sound and even attached items to his cymbals to achieve a less pristine, more broken quality. Iñárritu even went so far as to have percussionist (and Sanchez' friend) Nate Smith appear in the film playing along to Sanchez' soundtrack, which was recorded to sound like it was being played in the actual scene. The result is a highly creative, sonically varied soundtrack that matches the quirky, conceptual nature and dramatic tension of Iñárritu's film."

(Matt Collar, allmusic.com)

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TAGS

2014 • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu • Amy Ryan • Andrea Riseborough • Antonio Sanchez • Batman (1989) • Birdman (2014) • black comedy • BLT Communications • broken quality • cymbals • dramatic tension • Edward Norton • Emma Stone • faded glory • formalist design aesthetics • free-form approach • Gustav Mahler • improvisational musical style • jazz drummer • live aesthetic • Maurice Ravel • Michael Keaton • motion typeNaomi Watts • opening credits • opening titlespercussionPierrot le Fou (1965) • Raymond Carver • score • Sergei Rachmaninov • single shot style • soundtracktitle sequence designtypography • Zach Galifianakis

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 MAY 2015

Al Nakba: Documentary on the Palestinian Catastrophe

"Al Nakba, documentary (200 min) -produced by Al Jazeera- was first broadcasted in Arabic on the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe. It was translated into English in 2009 and then into four different languages: French, German, Spanish and Italian. Al Nakba won the prize for the best long documentary about Palestine in Al Jazeera Fifth International Film Festival (Doha/Qatar) and the audience award in Amal Ninth Euro-Arab Film Festival (Santiago/Spain). It participated in other film festivals in Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine."

"Al Nakba" (2008). directed by: Rawan Damen

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TAGS

1799 • 19482008 • 60th anniversary • Al Jazeera • Al Nakba (2008) • Arab-Israeli war • archive material • British expansion • British Mandate in Palestine • catastrophecolonisation • dispossession • European imperialism • four-part series • historyhistory of conflictideological intoleranceindigenous peoplesIsraelIsraeli-Palestinian conflictMiddle EastNapoleon BonaparteOttoman EmpirePalestine • Palestinian catastrophe • Palestinian exodus • Palestinian territories • Palestinian tragedy • Rawan Damen • refugeeState of Israeltelevision documentaryterritorialisation • The Nakba • Zionist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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