Game changing research networks for the Video game industry Arts and Humanities Research Council

Six networks are being created:

  • Creative Territories: Exploring Innovation in Indie Game Production Contexts and Connections led by Patrick Crogan, at the University West of England
  • Games and social change: In-between screens, places and communities led by Scott Gaule, at Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • Performance and Audience in Movement-Based Digital Games: An International Research Network led by Patrick Dickinson at University of Lincoln
  • Guitar Heroes in Music Education? Music-based video-games and their potential for musical and performative creativity led by David Roesner at the University of Kent
  • Developing videogames and play for hospitalised children led by Elizabeth Wood at University of Sheffield
  • Video Games in the Museum led by Gregor White at University of Abertay Dundee

The AHRC networks are the result of the European Games Workshop jointly organised by the AHRC, the Science and Innovation Network France, the Technology Strategy Board’s Creative Industries and Communications Technology Knowledge Transfer Networks, TIGA (Trade Association for Games Industry), with the support of Nesta. This event sought to directly address one of the main recommendations of the Nesta Next Gen by bringing together arts and humanities researchers and video games developers to explore current research challenges and opportunities for the industry, to promote interdisciplinary approaches and combine academic approaches with commercial industry expertise.

It’s a real shame that we didn’t get one in Northern Ireland (but it’s also becoming par for the course in this blinkered little mini-statelet).

Link List – more links than I can consume…

Hopefully you’ll find something interesting.

NISP KEI: and why measuring matters.

Cool, huh. But look at this.

Creatives - where have they gone?

There’s more to these numbers than meets the eye.

Despite the fact that the Digital Circle membership has been growing since 2008 and currently sits at 321 business and 2107 members, the methodology used by government in these statistics says that employment dipped 41% from 711 to 413.

Now, part of this is the definitions.

How many people making computer games would identify closer to software than “creative content and digital media”? Indeed, there is a section in the SIC codes classification for computer games (code 50920210).

So we have to look at the definitions:

Creative Content

  • 59111 Motion picture production activities
  • 59112 Video production activities
  • 59113 Television programme production activities
  • 59120 Motion picture, video and television post]production activities
  • 59200 Sound recording and music publishing activities
  • 18201 reproduction of sound recording
  • 18202 reproduction of video recording
  • 18203 reproduction of computer media


  • 58210 Publishing of computer games
  • 58290 Other software publishing
  • 62011 Computer programming activities
  • 62012 Business and domestic software development
  • 63120 Web portals

Software as a whole has grown but the employment in the video/audio sector has dropped. Some of this will be due to the environment (and that includes the BBC rationalisation in their DQF project) but also these figures are from 2011. That means it’s going to be previous to the immense growth in the animation sector in recent years.

And while the Creative Content sector may have reduced in employment, the number of companies in the sector has actually risen. It looks like the industry is changing – indies are rising as the BBC reduces.

Women Who Code – poster and update

I received this poster in email this morning from Sheree Atcheson. If you have a business that employs women, then please print this out and post it prominently. Email it out to your staff. Even to women who don’t code – because they might code in the future.

And if you don’t employ any women, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Get the poster here.

Do not let desire for revenge and false promises of hope become how we paint our future

There simply isn’t enough evidence to convict someone of crimes from the Troubles because we can’t use forensics on decommissioned weapons or victims remains. Why not? Because the Good Friday Agreement said we can’t. To get the weapons decommissioned, we agreed as a nation to not scour them for fingerprints and put the criminals who used them behind bars. We, as a nation, agreed this. We got a vote. I’m guessing that most people didn’t read the detail but you can be absolutely sure that the politicians in the Executive, those who are loudly condemning this concept, were well aware of the implications.

As a result we’re going to have to rely on confessions and witness testimonials which, without hard evidence, are going to be challenged. And who’s going to come up and confess now if they haven’t for the last forty years?

The NI Attorney General thinks we should draw a line under crimes from the Troubles and stop chasing the unachievable. Politicians are, for the most part up in arms because their own hard line support comes from people whose way of thinking is tainted with winning a victory over “themmuns”. The problem being that there are “themmuns” on both sides and no-one is confessing or giving witness, not even some of the politicians who would be “in the know”. The very same politicians who are opposed to stopping investigations.

He’s not suggesting that we forget or forgive. This is a blunt instrument to create debate about how we deal with the past. Of course this is timely, with the Haass Talks. But someone needed to say it. It needed to be put on the table so it could set a marker on how we debate the concepts.

Thirty years ago a crime was committed again my family which we still deal with. It changed our lives irrevocably. I have come to terms with the fact that the police will never convict someone for that crime. They have their suspicions (which cover just about everyone from the milkman to the recent Canadian astronaut) but they will never, ever convict anyone. And that’s because there isn’t the evidence and, quite simply, there isn’t the time and resource.

People who say that you can’t put a price on justice are liars. We put a price on these things all the time. Politicians who court victims groups and promise justice are liars. They’re using the pain of victims as a political tool.

We need to do more for victims, this is plain. But there are better ways of dealing with this. Appropriate memorials of all victims. The young who did not grow up with the Troubles as a constant backdrop deserve better than we are getting now. How are we going to build a future when our eyes are fixated on the past?

Apart from my family history, there are apparently 3000 unsolved murders from the “Troubles”. Even if you allocated 3000 police investigators to those crimes you would not results. There is no evidence, there is nothing to investigate.

This is not about airbrushing over the pain of victims and their families. This is about not letting a desire for revenge and false promises of hope become how we paint our future.