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Sofos presenting at ISAGA 2012 in Romania

 
 
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Sofos presenting at ISAGA 2012 in Romania
by Sofos Consultancy - Thursday, 21 June 2012, 10:25 AM
 

Pieter van der Hijden (Sofos Consultancy) will present three papers at the 43rd annual conference of the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA) in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) from 2-6 July 2012:

  1. Gaming for development: introduction to localization and internationalization of educational games - a continuation of earlier work, now with concrete examples
  2. The Tactec trilogy - building a new and powerful workshop by concatening three existing games / exercises - assembling a new game from existing ones, a new approach
  3. How to develop an online role-playing game in five days - the secrets of a successful training program

The following paragraphs give the corresponding abstracts.

Gaming for development: introduction to localization and internationalization of educational games

Gaming for education and training can have a great potential for developing countries. Games can partially replace old and unattractive textbooks; they may compensate the lack of qualified teachers; and, last but not least, they give the children (and adults as well) the feeling to be connected to the modern world. Nevertheless, applying these games in this context, may lead to disappointing learning outcomes, especially when the games have been developed abroad.

The main challenge for gaming in the context of developing countries is the lack of resources: gaming expertise, access to technology and funding. On the other hand, expertise on local conditions is high, crafting is widely spread and local labour is relatively cheap. The real challenge is finding the right balance in this mix of opportunities: developing games that can be applied in developing countries. One strategy is using games developed abroad, but adapting them for local use.

Adapting these games to the local context (language, visualization, etc.) may improve their effectiveness and efficiency for learning. Such adaptation of existing games is called localization. In fact, during the building of the game, future localization should already be taken into account. This is called internationalisation.

Software firms paved the way in building applications to be used in different countries, languages and cultures. They in fact introduced the concepts of localization and internationalisation in a rather straightforward way. In games, however, more attention has to be paid to the user experience and the use of multimedia. Localization and internationalisation become more complex then.

In this presentation we will introduce both concepts. We illustrate with examples the changes that might happen during localization. We reflect on converting an international symbolic solution into a local and concrete one and present some new insights on frame games and content. We conclude with an agenda for further research and development.

The Tactec trilogy - building a new and powerful workshop by concatening three existing games / exercises

An existing board game, a virtual learning environment with collaboration tools and a game engine for online role playing games were combined into a powerful workshop consisting of three stages.

The Tactec trilogy is a workshop containing three subsequent modules:

  1. Developing a global implementation plan (for a given case, change operation) which consists of identification of the seven most relevant stakeholders and the required actions by them in subsequent stages.
  2. Elaborating the global plan in a pre-structured wiki.
  3. Experiencing the planned change via an online role playing game.

The first module implies a session of the Tactec board game (1-4 hours). The second module is a collaborative session with the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment and a pre-structured wiki. The third module implies a Cyberdam online role playing game.

The presentation describes the three modules and their interfaces. It illustrates the potential of concatenating them as stages in a workshop and it reflects on building up complex workshops from modules in general.

How to develop an online role-playing game in five days

A workshop consisting of five daily sessions has been built, during which a group of participants is developing an online role-playing game.

The presentation will describe the workshop program, its content and learning / developing strategies. It also illustrates the game engine used for online role playing, i.e. Cyberdam.