Entertainment Technology Center was on prominent display at the recent XXI National Congress and VII International Congress on Informatics and Computing held October 1-3, 2008, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. The summit was a joint endeavor of the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Universidad Regiomontana, and Universidad de Monterrey.
At the Congress, ETC Executive Producer, Don Marinelli, presented a discussion on Carnegie Mellon’s Informedia technology and how it transitioned into the proprietary Synthetic Interview technology that has become such an important tool for entertainment and edutainment technology applications.
Prior to the XXI National Congress and VII International Congress on Informatics and Computing, Marinelli gave a presentation on the Entertainment Technology center via Tecnologico de Monterrey’s Virtual University. This presentation was broadcast throughout Mexico, and was designed to introduce Mexican students to the possibilities and opportunities available in the fledgling field of entertainment technology.
Accompanying Marinelli to Mexico was ETC Director of Admissions and marketing, Rebecca Lombardi, whose fluency in Spanish and many years experience in university admissions and administration facilitated myriad connections between the host universities and the ETC.
September 14, 2008
The ETC-JP team made its way to Kishiwada, a city south of Osaka and joined thousands of spectators from all over Japan who came to view the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri Festival.
Described as the “running of the bulls” except with shrines (danjiri), the 300 year-old festival began as a spiritual time to pray for an abundant harvest. The 34 shrines or floats, from individual neighborhood guilds, are hand carved by local carpenters, and weigh upwards of 4 tons. They are paraded through the town of Kishiwada for two full days in mid-September.
Not motorized in any way, each shrine is pulled by long ropes by 500 to 1000 citizens of Kishiwada. Men, women and children of all ages join in this celebration. Working both front and rear levers in unison, the danjiri teams literally skid their heavy floats around each street corner…done quickly to the beat of drums and shouts of the pulling team, corner turning is one of the most dramatic elements of the festival.
The excitement was made all too clear when in the late afternoon, one of the floats turned a corner and, right before us, several people stumbled. Quickly, the danjiri team working together pulled on the ropes and was able to slow down and control the heavy shrine. Meanwhile, those who stumbled were assisted by other team members and the tragedy was happily avoided.
The ETC’ers, escorted by Japanese language sensei, Masako Terahara, also had the opportunity to visit the Kishiwada castle and try on happy coats at a nearby second hand kimono shop.
On Monday, September 15th, ETC-JP welcomed Ira Fay, a major supporter of the ETC and an alum, (class of 2004). Ira was on his way back from Shanghai where he was working with a team on the newest casual game for the Pogo Division of Electronic Arts where he works as a Game Designer.
Ira, on holiday for a few days in Japan, made it a priority to stop at ETC’s newest campus in Osaka, Japan. He came to meet and give a seminar lecture to the SHARP student team…imparting his wisdom gained from his experiences working at Electronic Arts. His focus was on casual games in general and more specifically as they pertain to his current position as Game Designer in the Pogo Division.
Present were Kunjel Chawda (via SKYPE from Seattle), Sean Kelly, Heejun Kim, Benjamin Taylor and faculty advisors, Dr. James Kuffner and Michelle Macau.
Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) Press debuts the publication of "Beyond Fun: Serious Games and Media" this month. The book features the work of more than 15 international contributors examining how games and media can impact learning.
Topics include cheating and violence in video games, the use of games in classrooms, and how media tools such as simulations and blogs can foster learning and a new digital, procedural literacy. Instead of completely separate individual articles, the contributors to "Beyond Fun: Serious Games and Media" have orchestrated the articles together, reading and writing as a whole so that concepts across the articles resonate with each other. "We're excited to release 'Beyond Fun'," says Drew Davidson, ETC Press Editor and Director of ETC in Pittsburgh, "it has evocative articles written by leading practitioners in the fields of education, learning, games and media."
"Beyond Fun" is the second book published by ETC Press, following the initial release of "stories in between: narratives & mediums @ play" which explores the interplay between stories and media. "Stories in between" focuses around the transmedia experience of "Myst" as it moves across media from games to books to comics and more.
The ETC Press is an academic and open-source publishing imprint that distributes its work in print, electronic and digital form. Inviting readers to contribute to and create versions of each publication, ETC Press fosters a community of collaborative authorship and dialogue across media. ETC Press represents an experiment and an evolution in publishing, bridging virtual and physical media to redefine the future of publication.