Category: Information Technology

Project report to the Knight Foundation: Indie games for libraries

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/

Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

I am very happy to report that the project report for the indie games licensing project is now available on the Technoculture Art & Games research center’s blogecosystem

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Preferences toward screencasting

Here is an the abstract of an interesting article looking at student prefeferences between lecture capture versus screencasting published in the International Journal of E-Learning and Distance Education:

Students’ Preferences for Types of Video Lectures: Lecture Capture vs. Screencasting RecordingsAlaa Sadik
Abstract
The use of online videos as a supplement to traditional lectures or as a way to reach students at remote sites has become increasingly popular in higher education. Faculty and university technology centers have focused on approaches to recording and distributing online video lectures over the last ten years. Regardless of learning outcomes, the purpose of this study was to investigate students’ preferences for lecture capture and screencasting recordings as a supplement to classroom lectures. A questionnaire about video lecture format preferences was used to collect data about students’ preferences in two courses over a three-year period. The overall findings indicated that the majority of students rated screencasting recordings as better than lecture capture recordings in many aspects of video quality and usefulness. Factors affecting students’ preferences for screencasting and the implications of this preference have been reported.

Meet Alice, the first digital gaming kit for libraries

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/
Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

Alice is the codename for the first prototype digital gaming kit for libraries

Alice is the codename for the first prototype digital gaming kit for libraries

Above is a picture of our prototype, codename Alice for a few reasons:

  1. it is our “alpha” or A prototype;
  2. Alice, in encryption circles, tries to talk to Bob; and
  3. it is a “clin-d’oeil” to Lisa, Apple’s first computer with a graphical interface and my favorite character on the Simpsons

Many many thanks to the Knight Foundation for their wonderful support !!

My team of engineers are working hard on building a functioning prototype. We have selected a “stripped down” Linux distribution running Kodi as a platform. We picked some generic controllers, a hard plastic case and a mini-computers running on solid state memory (the Gygabyte Brix in fact).

They will hopefully deliver a first version of the device by late June. We will also deliver all our code via the usual open source venues (not sure which actually, but my team is keen on contributing their work back to the community quickly).

Afterwards, my team and I hope to visit with 2 public library systems: Montreal and Austin public libraries. We aim to discuss this project with library employees (administrators, professionals and staff), game developers and patrons. I have ethnographers working on our research instruments.

So, my team is busy with the work our grant has funded and we should have some tangible results in a month or so.

Please let me know if you have questions, ideas or comments, I am most interested in them! My email is: o.NOSPAMcharbonneau@concordia.ca (note to humans: please remove all capital letters from my email address to reach me).

Darren Wershler’s teaching legacy video game cart

Darren Wershler is an English prof at Concordia University where I work (as well as many other things) has been teaching a course on stories in games. As part of the curriculum, he explores legacy games and their narrative structure. Here is the retro game cart he uses as part of his teaching:

Darren Wershler's legacy game cart for teaching

Darren Wershler’s legacy game cart for teaching

Indie Games Licensing: first progress report

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/
Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

I am very pleased to announce that our project, called Indie Games Licensing, was awarded a Prototype Grant as per the most recent Knight News Challenge. I am absolutely thrilled and thankful towards the Knight Foundation and all my partners for this incredible opportunity to “leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.”

Without further ado, here is a short video presenting the initial prototype we will be delivering at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco:

UPDATE as of May 19th 2015: The Knight Foundation had originally planned to have us present our prototypes at the ALA Annual Conference in the Summer of 2015, but that is no longer the case. 

Trends in technology in 2015

Two recent reports highlights some of the technological trends to expect in 2015. First off, Deloitte offers its Canaidan Technology, Media and Telecommunications predictions for the year. The press release offers a summary of the 10 trends, here they are:

10 TMT Predictions most relevant in Canada (All dollar amounts are USD):

1. In-store mobile payments will (finally) gain momentum

2. For the first time, the smartphone upgrade market will exceed one billion.

3. Print is not dead, at least for print books

4. The ‘generation that won’t spend’ is spending on TMT – Millennials who are 18-34 years old in Canada will spend an average of $750 for content, both traditional and digital.

5. Click and collect booms: a boon for the consumer, a challenge for retailers.

6. The connectivity chasm deepens as gigabit Internet adoption rockets

7. The end of the consumerization of IT?

8. The Internet of things really is things, not people – In 2015, over 60 percent of the one billion global wireless IoT devices will be bought, paid for and used by enterprises – despite media focus on consumers controlling their thermostats, lights, and appliances (ranging from washing machines to tea kettles). The IoT-specific hardware will be worth $10 billion, but the services enabled by the devices will be worth about $70 billion.

9. 3D printing is a revolution: Just not the revolution you think

10. Short form video: a future, but not the future, of television

Also of interest, the Keytrends report from the Canada Media Fund, a funding agency for television production. Here are the top 6 trends:

There are fewer entry points for a growing number of overwhelmed users;

The blending of TV and online consumption continues;

Game watching and e-sports hold a growing place in the entertainment industry;

YouTube is becoming more professional, with some user-generated content achieving pro standards;

There are fewer and fewer intermediaries in revenue generation, and fan labour is becoming a major promotion source;

Worldwide, a few giants hold a growing share of the media properties and competition is intensifying.

Hat tip to the good work of Catherine Mathis from Radio Canada’s excellent Triplex blog.