Serious fun in Coventry, part the last

This is one of a serious of posts about the Culture, Heritage & Tourism Technology Workshop at the Serious Games Institute on Tues, 4 March.

The last session had two moments that really stuck in the mind, the first was Kevin Williams (KWP) talking about kid vending (aimed at 6-9 years olds), basically charge cards for toddlers to play arcade games and use with vending machines for toys, as being a really good idea.

On a more positive note was Andrew Caleya Chetty (The Public Gallery that is due to open in June 08). Andrew was benchmarking the new gallery space against Ars Electronica & some UK entertainment venues. It will be a paying attraction and is looking specifically at the family demographic as their “target” & value for money as the differentiator. What was interesting was that each visitor has an RFID tag so that visitors can then receive personalised art exhibits.

The first activity in the gallery is ‘choose’. Visitors make curatorial choices that then tailor the other exhibitions. This is a kind of profiling, visitors get to sort colours, textures, etc and these then influence the presentation of the digital and dynamic artworks. A couple of examples that Andrew shared were “Flipme” – make your own stopframe animation and save to personal portfolio. Another was to save secrets and thoughts as ‘flowers’ and collect on way out (not quite sure how this one worked, might have been a paper flower based on your thought/choices. The final installation was an agumented reality flying – dancing – fighting game called Flypad from BlastTheory. This looked a bit like a cross between VirtuaFighter and …, actually it looked like VirtuaFighter but overlaid on a background that was fed from a webcam behind the screen looking across the atrium. So your fighter/dancers were flying around the atrium in VR. When you leave the gallery you can choose to take away a personal exhibition of the art as influenced by your choices and activities.

And that was our lot. There was a short jazz gig from SecondLife and a couple of mohijtos that the catering staff whizzed round the room and then disappeared with before anyone could really call it a drinks party. Mind you most of us were at such a level of information overload that I was quite glad of a beer and 3 hrs on the train to work through it all.


  1. Ouch!
    When ever you read or hear the word ‘basically’ and you know that your about to not get the real deal!
    What Kevin Williams from KWP in his powerful presentation said was that for the last few years Sega and other amusement companies were selling kid vending machines that allow them to use collectible cards, then compete against other players on machines (MushiKing) – the earlier part of the presentation talked about charge cards in amusement sites for guests.
    Be very careful when throwing around vague comments JohnB or your posts will be ignored for just being contentious!

  2. Hi editor,

    Sorry for any confusion, I thought from the presentation that the kid vending machine cards carried ‘credits’ that were used up each time a game, or VR dress-up doll activity was undertaken.

    Just checked out MushiKing: my bad.

    Do you know if the slides are available or being posted on the Serious Games Institute site anywhere for reference?


  3. No problem John – hope I did not come over hard ass – just wanted to avoid confusion.

    Contact David at the SGI and he will circulate the slides – I am told that they also have full video of the presentations that will be circulated soon.

    Would have loved to have watched it from Second Life.

    All the best.

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