söndag 16 oktober 2016

Future of Media 2016 line-up (course)

The first part of the project course I'm teaching, DM2571 "Future of Media", came to an end this past week and we are now moving from the start-up phase (with lots of guest lectures) to the project phase. We change the theme in the course every year and this year's theme - the 14th - is "The Future of Computer Games/Computer Games of the Future". Last year's theme was "The Future of Storytelling/Storytelling of the Future" and the year before that we worked with "The Future of the digital commons and the sharing economy".

Since we change the theme every year, we basically also give a new course every year. More specifically, we make few changes in the format, but we replace all the content. That means there's a lot of work for us teachers every year.

This year is special due to two reasons: 1) We have shelved our old master's program and started a new - and this course isn't in it. That ought to mean this is the last time the course will be given (but I haven't gotten than 100% confirmed yet.) I wanted us to continue to give this course, but I can on the other hand feel that I could personally be done with it after having taught it 12 out of 14 times. 2) This year - for the first time ever - we have chosen to revive a theme we have already worked with once before; we worked with "The Future of Computer Games" 10 years ago, in 2005. There's not very much overlap at all since so much has happened on the computer games scene in the last 10 years.

Despite the fact that I don't do any research at all on computer games any longer (as apart from 10 years ago), I have partly been suckered in to that space once more. There is so much happening around computer games and there is such a massive interest (as well as lots of moolah) around computer games that it's hard to resist once you come into that sphere of influence. I have for example told my students that I am willing to be their master's thesis advisor if and only if there is a critical mass of students who want to write computer games-related master's thesis this coming spring. If this course spurs 3-5 students to write their master's thesis on computer games-related topics, I feel I have an obligation of sorts to be their advisor, despite computer games not being my thing any longer.

I usually write a blog post like this at about this time of the year but didn't last year as I was on a hiatus blogwise from March 2015 to March 2016. I did however write a blog post where I listed the (18) great guest lecturers that visited the course the year before (2014).

This year we will have no less than 11 different student project groups that will all present their visions of the future in mid-December (Dec 16 at 13-16) in the form of a large (200+ persons) public presentation (welcome! - more information to follow later). I will shortly follow up with another blog post about these 11 different projects groups and the gaming-related topics they will be looking into for the rest of the autumn term.

The first part (half) of the course has now come to an end and it's a huge relief for me. While there is still plenty of work left to do, the rest of the course will definitely demand less from me and that's really good as my next (first year master's level) course on Media Technology and Sustainability will start a few weeks from now.

Anyway, here are the no less than 21 great guest lectures we have had pass our course by since the beginning of September!

-------------------- Lectures --------------------

Kimberley Åhage, project manager & associate eSport program manager at DreamHack & Blizzard, "eSport, the younger generation creates a new business" (Sept 1).

Linda Kiby, CEO at Warpzone Studios AB, "Where do we go from here?" (Sept 2).

Anton Albiin, Project Manager at the Association of Swedish Game Developers, "You've never been this lucky" (Sept 8). 

Daniel Ström, CEO and creative director at Guru Games, "Storytelling vs Mechanics - The mechanical hen or the storytelling egg?" (Sept 9). 

Daniel Pargman, KTH/CSC/Media Technology and Interaction Design, "Theory and method of Design Fiction – what this course is really about" (Sept 13). 

Björn Thuresson: teacher, researcher and manager of the KTH Visualisation Studio, "VR, AR and beyond" (Sept 14.

Annika Waern, professor in human-computer interaction at Uppsala University, "Pervasive games and revolutionary play" (Sept 15).

Jin Moen, inventor of Oriboo and former founder and CEO of Movinto Fun, Collaboration Manager at Uppsala University Innovation, "Everybody dance now! - Motion-based games" (Sept 20).

Jan Christofferson, administrative officer at the Swedish Media Council, "Violent computer games and aggression" (Sept 21).

Krzysztof Krzyscin, Technical Art Director and Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, Game Director at CD PROJEKT RED ("The Witcher"), "Video Games Tech Evolution" (Sept 21).

Peter Zackariasson, Associate Professor in Marketing, "Business models in the video game industry" (Sept 22).

Pontus Rundqvist, Project Manager and Business Developer at DreamHack AB, "DreamHack – esport broadcasts under the hood" (Sept 23).

Daniel Pargman, KTH/CSC/Media Technology and Interaction Design, "Massively Multiplayer Games" (Sept 29).

Mikolaj Dymek, Associate Professor at Mid Sweden University, "Gamification – New Game Rules of Media and Communication?" (Sep 30). 

Gemma Thomson, CEO & designer at Box Kaleidoscope, "The "Whys" and "Hows" of Gender Inclusivity in Games" (Oct 5).

Staffan Björk, Professor in interaction design at Gothenburg University, "Computer-Augmented Board Games" (Oct 6).

Staffan Björk, Professor in interaction design at Gothenburg University, "The Dark Side of Game Design?" (Oct 6).

Anna Swartling, Head of Centre of Excellence Experience design at SEB, "Project TEAM work" (Oct 11).

Marcus Toftedahl, Phd student in socio-technical systems, Lecturer in game development. University of Skövde, "The Sweden Game Arena in Skövde" (Oct 12).

Tjarls Metzmaa, Secretary of The Swedish Gaming Federation, "Gaming - a way of life" (Oct 14).

We unfortunately had a few guests cancel their lectures. One person had a pretty legitimate reason as he had worked with putting together the Stockholms Spelmuseum [Stocholm Games Museum] (FB) that opened just as the course started. I haven't been there yet but can undertand that he was massively overworked at that time and did not feel like taking on any more pro bono work. 

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