Saturday, April 2, 2011

NCUR presentation

Sooo... I accidentally skipped class on Thursday because of NCUR, because I was going to see one of the NCUR presentations and because I had no idea we had class. I ran into Arturo on the way to the presentation and I completely thought he was joking when he told me we were having class. Whoops!

Anyway, now I get to share the information from this research presentation with all of you.

I went to the presentation called "Press Start: The Rise of Casual Gaming," presented by Zachary Miller from Bridgewater State University in MA.

The presentation was primarily about how the wii brought about the rise of casual gaming. Casual gaming, in this sense, mostly meaning motion games. The purpose of the presentation was to demonstrate the importance of video games as a prevalent, growing media form and to show how casual gaming has changed the gaming world.

Casual gaming, specifically the wii and the following motion games for xbox360 (kinect) and playstation3 (move), has become the best selling type of gaming of all time. The wii is the best selling console of all time, and wii sports is, by far, the best selling game of all time. Many people who never gamed before, because of the advanced skill set required for more intense games, have been spending a great deal of money on casual gaming. Zachary highlighted amusing but very true examples of parents who had felt as if they had lost touch with their children, who are now able to reconnect by playing family video games with the wii because it is so easy to pick up the skills required. I can definitely attest to this. My parents are absolutely dumbfounded by videogames and can not understand the concept of xbox live. Every time they see me talking on the headset they ask "Do you know who you're talking to? Is that person in China or something? Do you get to play with them or is this just like a telephone call?" They seriously ask this EVERY time I'm on the headset. My Dad is very curious about China. Anyway, when a friend brought the wii over to my house, it was the first time my parents would dare go near a videogame controller. My Mom was thrilled that she could knock down a few pins in wii bowling on her first try. Now, at holidays, my family frequently gets together to play rock band and wii sports. Casual gaming has absolutely turned into a social experience. One will frequently find a wii in use at a party, where anyone can drop out or join in and have fun.

I wasn't sure exactly what this presentation was going to be on when I went to it, casual gaming seems to encompass a fair amount of things in my mind. Based on the definition that Zachary provided of casual gaming, I guess I am not a casual gamer. I consider myself to be a casual gamer because I play videogames so infrequently... at least in comparison to my video game-addicted-boyfriend. But when I do play, a few times a month, I tend to play games that are geared towards more intense gamery gamers, not casual gamers.

I thought this was a very intriguing presentation. I think it was better suited for an older demographic, since I already know a lot about videogames and their ever-growing importance in our society. Older people do not understand videogame’s impact on society, and this presentation did a great job of explaining it. The presentation started out by explaining that video games are the highest grossing media form in the world, by far, a statistic which many people do not seem to realize.

This is relevant to us because one of the main things that 3D animation is used for is for video games!

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