ETC alunma and faculty member Jessica Trybus wrote a story for the online magazine Techonomy about one of the ETC core courses, Improvisational Acting. A true cornerstone of the ETC, the Improvisational Acting course is design to allow students to learn the basics of improvisation acting, but — more importantly — the skills necessary for successful teamwork: always supporting your teammates as well as the ongoing narrative.
Read the story: to see pictures taken by Chris Klug, Assistant Teaching Professor and see pictures of this spring class.
PITTSBURGH-Two Carnegie Mellon University student-run teams will host the first picoCTF, a computer security competition running April 26 to May 6 that challenges high school students to learn the basics of hacking in the context of a story-driven game.
"The story of the Internet competition begins when a robot from outerspace crash lands in your backyard, it's up to the game competitors to use their hacking skills to fix the robot and uncover its secrets," said David Brumley, the Gerard G. Elia Career Development Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Brumley said the competition is open nationwide to students in grades 6-12. Interested participants can register for free on the competition website at http://www.picoctf.com/. PicoCTF is unique in its adventure game-oriented approach to computer security.
The competition is designed by the Plaid Parliament of Pwning, a CyLab computer security research team made up of CMU students and staff, and Team Osiris from CMU's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC-Global). ETC-Global offers a master's program canvassing several disciplines, including artists, game designers and programmers.
While most computer security competitions focus on security experts, Brumley said that picoCTF is different in that it is designed to pique student interest even if they are novices, while still providing challenges to experts. Students participating get hands-on experience in security topics such as cryptography and codes, computer bugs, exploits, and defenses.
"The typical defensive competitions end up with competitors merely running through checklists but CMU's challenge is heavily focused on exploration and improvisation with elements of play," said Brumley, faculty adviser for the CMU's Plaid Parliament of Pwning, which participates in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions - CTFs are a type of computer security war game in which teams compete to find digital "flags" by solving a litany of hacking challenges. CTF teams from CMU have won hacking honors at competitions in South Korea and New York.
In a story about sexism in the video game industry, Pittsburgh Post Gazette writer Maria Sciullo, talks to Drew Davidson, Acting Director of the ETC, Distinguished Professor of the Practice Jesse Schell, alunma Melanie Lam and first year student, Allison Sommers.
Historically, when you're talking about hard-core [games], it's been young guys making games for other young guys," said Drew Davidson, director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
" 'Verbs' are what you can do in a game: the verbs around a first-person shooter are arranged around combat and fighting. As game designers have expanded the verbs of what you can do, it's opened up more possibilities for more people to want to play. And one of the biggest-growing areas is women over 45."
Mr. Schell agreed it's better to have a variety of perspectives: "There are projects in our industry that go too long and try to do too much. I often think if there were more women in the game industry, things might be a little saner."
"In our case, we were striving to communicate some sort of meaning through our games, whether that meaning might be a specific experience and designed for the player to discover, or something more generalized that a player could interpret through their own personal lens. We tried to convey meaning specifically using the medium's unique strengths of mechanics, interactions and systems, but we still felt that providing context through aspects like narrative or visuals was pretty necessary for almost all of the things we were trying to communicate."
The Independent Games Festival will take place during the 2013 Game Developers Conference, in San Francisco from March 25 through 29.
Congratulations to Mike, Dan and Felix on a job well done!
On February 8th, 2013 more than 500 educators -- superintendents, technologists, artists, principals, afterschool directors, librarians, museum directors, and ed tech entrepreneurs -- gathered at Carnegie Mellon University to “level up” Pittsburgh’s six-year old Kids+Creativity Network. As leaders forging ahead in re-imaging what constitutes outstanding learning for children and youth in our nation the ETC is happy to help. Not only is the ETC in the video from The Grable Foundation and The Benedum Foundation, promoting the Pittsburgh region and its schools, libraries, museums, community centers, and airwaves powerfully re-connecting to kids, sparking new interest and passions to learn, we help develop projects with many of the other places featured.
Visit our project websites to see the BrainSTEM and KiTES projects sponsored by Elizabeth Forward School District; the Lazer Mouse, Take Shape and Digital Dream Lab projects, sponsored by the MakeShop at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; and the Mad Dash and Fredutainment projects, sponsored by the Fred Rodgers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media