Special Days, special feelings and Data collection (almost) over

Today was the last day with my user group at the Special School. Working with them, observing them play, collaborate and create new paths was a privilege for me. We have already designed our first location based game and next year we will be ready for more. Sharing more feelings and moments that any thesis could ever describe. You are the BEST :’-)

My talk in TEDxWarwick ‘14 about, what else, “Playful Evolutions”, how games and playfulness were a catalyst of change in my life and the lives of those around me.

"The Hero’s Journey": super funny explanation

Joseph Campbell's monomyth, or the hero's journey, is one of my favorite subjects when teaching storytelling, either regarding game design or transmedia storytelling. Lovely Estelle Quark shared this fun explanation

So basically monomyth is a basic pattern, whose elements are found in many narratives from around the world. This widely distributed pattern was described by Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” (1949). Moar info

TEDxWarwick was such a fruitful experience that included meeting amazing speakers allover the world, hardworking and super inspirational young people, playing games, indulging ourselves in a fast playful brainstorming (balloons included), feeling super stressed and super lucky at the same time.

Street pirates - Οι Πειρατές των 5 Δρόμων

A new amazing route learning game we have been working on with the amazing Electra. The game is specifically designed for students with intellectual disability and the ultimate goal is to motivate them in route and map learning. I can;t wait to use the demo in the classroom!image

New Year’s Oculus Rift Parteh! Dragon Flying + Planet wandering + general hacking + laughs + warm wine + friendly nausea + moar Oculus

New Year’s Oculus Rift Parteh! Dragon Flying + Planet wandering + general hacking + laughs + warm wine + friendly nausea + moar Oculus

Speed Game Jam @ Geraka

Last Friday, along with partner in crime Eleni Kolovou, we orginised a digital storytelling and game design session at a High School in Geraka, Attika. Our main goal was to assist teachers and facilitators of Involen Project, an innovative project promoting intergenerational learning through game-based learning, targeting nature conservation volunteers in 5 European countries, while running location based game design sessions.

 We had only 45 minutes (!!!) to help and inspire young students in their effort to design location based games, based in stories they heard about the nature, history and myths of a specific area of Attika. The only thing I could think of was a Speed Game Jam. And this was exactly what we did. I made sure to break the teams and mix students in different teams in order to put team and cooperation first, without natural leaders and comfortable dynamics. We proposed a specific myth as an initial background and we had three super short sessions, one for an initial location game/playful idea, a second one to create a scenario and add interactive mechanisms and a third one to create the storyboard.

Results were more than great, since the three teams not only produced amazing ideas but they actually came up with mature and completely different storytelling and playful ideas. An adventure game, an interactive augmented reality guide and a funny politically correct action game. and boy, did they create powerful narratives full of emotions, surprise, game mechanics, humour as well as social and political hints. What’s more, the students were eager to start developing them as a homework assignment, although we did not ask for it! 

I will definitely try to introduce this kind of Speed Game Jams to my university lectures/workshops. I am curious to see if grad students are as eager to release their comforting fear of actually bringing their ideas to life, cooperate, fail and have fun of the process!

This December, along with the most amazing & creative people we designed a playful book presentation for Michel Serres’ “Petite Pouchette" translated by Dimitris Potamianos.

A twitter crowd-sourcing game, huge storytelling cubes, interactive storytelling along with QR codes and some makey makey surprises, while the amazing Michael Dialynas was drawing the modern Thumbelina in her quest for truth and information! We loved it! All my love to Vasilia, Michalis, Lida, Elina, Andreas, Themis, Christina, Eleni, Betty and all the people who played/twitted/discussed with us!

Thoughts on playful experience and applied gaming, by a game studies researcher (+ Athens Playthonian)

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