Talk Digital: Wireless Today – 2

The return of this series at the Digital Hub will begin by asking where Ireland is placed internationally with wireless applications, and what are the relationships between mobile network operator and consumer. Panellists include:
• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

The event takes place in the Diageo Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

RSVP is required before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Upcoming events are:
*3G: Thursday, 18 November (In association with Darklight)

* Gaming: Thursday, 9 December

Karlin Lillington’s webpage: http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/

Talk Digital: Gaming

Event: Talk Digital @ Digital Hub
Topic: Gaming
Time:Thursday, 9 December 6.30pm-8pm
Location: The Diageo Liberties Learning Studio
The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

For further information on the Tallk Digital series please contact:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Talk Digital: Wireless Today

The return of this series at the Digital Hub will begin by asking where Ireland is placed internationally with wireless applications, and what are the relationships between mobile network operator and consumer. Panellists include:
• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

The event takes place in the Diageo Liberties Learning Studio, The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

RSVP is required before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Upcoming events are:
*3G: Thursday, 18 November (In association with Darklight)

* Gaming: Thursday, 9 December

Karlin Lillington’s webpage: http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/

Talk Digital @ The Digital Hub

Talk Digital @ The Digital Hub with Karlin Lillington (Technology Journalist, The Irish Times http://www.techno-culture.com/http://www.techno-culture.com/)

Event topic: Wireless Today
Time:6:30pm, Wednesday, 20 October 2004
Location:The Diageo Liberties Learning Studio,The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

——————————————————————————–

Agenda:
*Is Ireland ahead of the curve when it comes to wireless applications and services?
*Are Irish consumers paying over the odds?
*Does the mobile network operator still own the consumer?
*Is Ireland best placed internationally to take advantage of the wireless boom?

The panel will include:

• Dr Linda Doyle, Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/
• Will Golby, MD, Wireless Games, TKO Software http://www.tko-software.com/www.tko-software.com
• Susan Fleming, Manager of Spectrum Development, ComReg. www.comreg.ie

RSVP, before Monday, 18 October 2004 to:
mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.com exhibit@thedigitalhub.com or Tel:01 4806200

Enterprise Ireland / Ibec Content Forum

Date: 12th November 2004
Venue: Stillorgan Park Hotel, Dublin

Enterprise Ireland and IBEC’s Audio Visual Federation presents the latest Seminar in the Content Forum series on:

Content opportunities, convergence and distribution, TV rights ownership & exploitation

Themes:
* What are the new platforms for content delivery?
* What are the revenue opportunities in interactive broadcasting?
* How will digital distribution impact on the audio visual industry
* Who are the producers in the converged content market?
* What are the challenges to TV rights ownership and their exploitation in the new markets?

Speakers include representatives from Discovery Network, Channel 4, SkyIreland, Vodafone, and XtraVision.

Additional speakers to be announced.

For further information please contact:
mailto:michael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.commichael.kenna@enterprise-ireland.com
or
mailto:paul.kavanagh@ibec.iepaul.kavanagh@ibec.ie
or
visit the Content Forum website at contentforum/index.aspwww.nsd.ie/contentforum/index.asp

Bitdemon 1.5 From Demonware

DemonWare have unveiled their new BitDemon Netcode 1.5 system which supports console and PC multiplayer games. BitDemon 1.5 is available with client/server and peer-to-peer support and is available for Xbox, PS2, PC and Linux with impending support for PSP.

DemonWare have also announced that leading US studio, 5000FT (Reno, NV), is the latest studio to licence BitDemon for an upcoming AAA multi-platform title. "I’m very happy with this iteration of BitDemon," said Sean Blanchfield, DemonWare CTO, "I think developers will find it straight-forward to use and well thought out. Now that we support peer-to-peer networking, as well as client-server, we have the most relevant solution no matter what kind of game you are developing."

You can evaluate BitDemon 1.5 at:
https://www.demonware.net/evaluatewww.demonware.net/evaluate

For more info, developers can contact:
mailto:dev@demonware.netdev@demonware.net

Bitdemon 1.5 From Demonware – 2

DemonWare have unveiled their new BitDemon Netcode 1.5 system which supports console and PC multiplayer games. BitDemon 1.5 is available with client/server and peer-to-peer support and is available for Xbox, PS2, PC and Linux with impending support for PSP.

DemonWare have also announced that leading US studio, 5000FT (Reno, NV), is the latest studio to licence BitDemon for an upcoming AAA multi-platform title. "I’m very happy with this iteration of BitDemon," said Sean Blanchfield, DemonWare CTO, "I think developers will find it straight-forward to use and well thought out. Now that we support peer-to-peer networking, as well as client-server, we have the most relevant solution no matter what kind of game you are developing."

You can evaluate BitDemon 1.5 at:
https://www.demonware.net/evaluatewww.demonware.net/evaluate

For more info, developers can contact:
mailto:dev@demonware.netdev@demonware.net

Liverpool Workshop On Game Design And Tech

Title: The Second Annual International Workshop in Computer Game Design and Technology

Event: A two-day event of lectures, tutorials and exhibitions on Computer Games Research and Development

Date: 15 – 16 November 2004

Venue : Liverpool Moat House Hotel, Liverpool John Moores University

Keynote speakers:
Jesse Schell -IGDA Chairman -Professor of Computer Entertainment at Carnegie Mellon University
Newton Lee–Senior Producer -Disney Online –Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ACM Computer in Entertainment
Ernest Adams -IGDA co-founder -Game Design Consultant
Chris Bateman -International Hobo -Game Design Consultant
Jeremy Chatelaine -Argonaut Games
Jason Chown -SCEE Liverpool
Dino Dini -CEO Abundant Software
Sarah Ewen -SCEE London
Andrew Oliver -CTO and Co-founder of Blitz Games
Dr. David Sharp -Atomic Planet Entertainment
Matt Southern-Evolution Studios
Marc Wilding-Acclaim Studio Liverpool

For more details, visit:
http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/http://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/gdtw/

The Emerald Isle

Videogames are mere pups in the grand scheme of entertainment artistry, young scamps nipping at the heels of old pros like cinema and music. This is a fresh-faced medium compacted into a meagre 30 years that considers anything created over a decade ago “retro”, anything on the wrong side of 1990, a technological relic. But amidst the relentless onslaught of technology, the race to keep up with ever-improving graphics, physics, and network technology, our developer forefathers should not be forgotten. After all, it’s their pixilated people, musical bleeps, and joyous pick-up-and-play titles that took us to where we are today.

Cast your mind back to the 1980’s – long before Havok, DemonWare, and other 21st century Irish game companies began turning heads across the globe. This was a time of bedroom programmers and start-up garage businesses, of an unconsolidated industry, small budgets and huge hopes. Around the world teen and 20-something talent was honing its digital chops and Ireland was no exception.

In 1989, Fran Heeran, an avid computer buff who had coded on the Sinclair from an early age, spotted an ad in a weekly UK trade mag: “Games Programmers Wanted”. Intriguingly, the business was neither based in London nor another industry hub, but in Ireland’s sunny southeast, Waterford. At only 20 years old, fresh-faced from college, Fran was eager to sign up. The company in question, Emerald, had been founded that year by two Englishmen: Dave Martin, an ex-maths teacher who split school for the games industry; and Mike Dixon, whose background was in the music industry. Martin ran an umbrella company called Martec and Gremlin Graphics; Dixon was assigned the position of Emerald MD.

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“Another friend of mine, Bobby Healy, also read the ad,” recalls Fran. “We had been in school and at Kevin Street College [Dublin] together. He’d been a Sinclair hobby enthusiast too, learning assembly language from the age of thirteen. We were classic geeks, I guess.” Bobby continues: “I put together a demo tape for the Spectrum z80 and went down on the train with Fran for our interview. I remember being awed by the notion that a real company had a coin-op in the lobby and games consoles all over the place. We both got the job that day. I met Mike Dixon who welcomed me on board and told me how much I would be making – a ton of money for a college student at the time.”

“Emerald had a stunning development team, all ex-Waterford graduates, and I still look back on it as one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with,” says Fran. “The engineering manager, Mike Murphy, was phenomenal. They hired guys on six months work experience during their Waterford Computer Science course degree, all of whom went on to become full-time employees.”

Based in a large three-story house on the outskirts of Waterford City, the young team put their noses to the grind. “It was a superb working environment. Everyone there was very young. We were doing seven-day weeks, all night shifts, but it wasn’t a problem at first because we had the energy. There was a huge buzz from creating games and seeing them on shop shelves a few months later,” says Fran. Replete with IDA grant money and fantastic talent, the decision to locate Emerald in Waterford suddenly didn’t seem so peculiar. What’s more, a few of its titles were big sellers.

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Publishers began commissioning Emerald for arcade games or movie tie-ins. U.S. Gold commissioned the team to work on Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker and this was followed by the Schwarzenegger spin-off, The Running Man, courtesy of publishers Grandslam. The former King of Pop’s side-scrolling Amiga hit was later released on the Sega platform and although this retread had its differences, the artwork, info and cut screens were all lifted from Emerald’s version, suggesting U.S. Gold sold some of the original’s graphical bits and bobs. The Deep was a “dreadful arcade game” commissioned by U.S. Gold. There was also Vigilante, a Double Dragon styled beat-‘em-up, and an Amiga-based shoot-‘em-up, Phantom Fighter (which the Americans promptly renamed If It Moves Shoot It).

The 1980’s was quite a different beast to that of today, notes Fran. “You could create a game by yourself with the help of a single artist. Typically, Emerald would have one guy coding and another doing the artwork. This was practical back then because you were constructing games in around 48k. Today teams of up to 40 people work on a title. Relationships between developers and publishers were more informal then too.”

“Programmers didn’t take the art department seriously at the time,” according to Bobby. “A programmer never cared what the graphics looked like, so long as the screen refreshed every 50/60th of a second and the sprites were the biggest and smoothest ever seen. That’s what was important.”

Fran also noticed a weighty cynicism about game development from certain sectors. “This was far more challenging than most other occupations, but because games were ‘kids’ stuff’, development was considered a childish job. Gamers were jealous, of course, but the more serious programmers thought it was a joke. It was an outcast industry. Time has proved them wrong because the revenues today are so huge. My parents were great about it, though. My father was a schoolteacher and understood that it was the perfect job to begin straight after college. Emerald gave me a great grounding and appreciation for the techniques and work required for a career in programming.”

The financial recompense wasn’t too bad, even in the impoverished Ireland of the time, and the team had enough money to get by, have fun, and pop over to Geoff’s, their local pub, for the occasional shindig. However, the industry was notorious for working its young coders dry, and after two years those who hadn’t already scarpered were fast approaching burnout. In 1991, Emerald beat them to it. “Towards our demise, we were asked to churn out X titles in four weeks to save ourselves and we delivered some real crap then. I personally built a game from start to finish in three weeks: a five-level beat-em-up with the compulsory baddy at the end of each level. In order to get it out on time, I dumped 90% of the graphics which the art department had so carefully put together,” says Bobby.

Fran had left the year before so wasn’t privy to all the reasons for the company’s collapse. “I was head down writing the games and not looking too hard as to how the business was running, even when I was there. Besides, I was only 20.” Fran adds. “It’s fair to say that the problems were probably financial.”

When Dave Martin and Mike Dixon called it quits, Bobby Healy and a few others from Emerald released an isometric puzzle game called Treasure Trap for the Amiga and PC, featuring a diver walking around a sunken ship. Their company, Doodlebug Designs, was set up with the help of Electronic Zoo. Treasure Trap, although successful in its day, has sunk into the recesses of retro past, while Doodlebug Designs failed to set the world alight with its digital scribbles. Sadly, only one ex-employee remained in game development: Paul McLaughlin, Art Director for Lionhead (Black and White, Fable, etc.). Bobby set up another software company, which he eventually sold to SITA, an airline industry goliath.

image4

As for Fran, he snared a job working on Version 1 of Windows in the UK and is now Director of Product Management for Wicklow-based payment software company, Valista. His brief dalliance with game development is never too far from his thoughts, though, especially since former comrades Frank Somers and Damien Power still work alongside him. He doubts any of them will ever return to game development, though, certainly not as a way of living. It’s a risky industry today more than ever and publishers retain all the control. “I’m still an avid gameplayer and follow the industry closely,” he concludes. “I miss it but it has changed and isn’t the same anymore. But, you know, although it’ll probably never happen, I think game development is something we all yearn to return to.”

The father of pop culture Marshall McLuhan announced a long time ago that the “medium is the message” and if videogames are telling developers anything it’s that the march of technological progress demands we look forward rather than back. But it’s important to remember that small businesses like Emerald, and their now antiquated 8bit eccentricities, played a significant role in our gaming evolution, if only to prove that it could be done successfully in Ireland. Now, who’s up for a game of Moonwalker?

Opening Of Alt+Ctrl, California

Location: University of California, Irvine.

Date: October 5 -7, 2004

Details:
ALT+CTRL is the follow-up to SHIFT-CTRL, a festival organised by the Game Culture & Technology Lab, The Beall Center for Art and Technology, and Cal-(IT)2, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, University of California, Irvine.

Over 20 works will be shown, including modded games, hot-rodded game machines, net-based games, and installations. A special screening of machinima films will also be included.

Programme:
"Soft" opening, 12 noon, Thursday, Oct. 5
Public lecture featuring the editor and contributing authors of the new MIT book FIRST PERSON: New Media as Story, Performance and Game
Humanities Instructional Building, room 135
(Gallery will be open afterwards)

Opening reception 6 – 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7.
Press preview
10am – noon Tuesday, Oct. 5
Members of the Press, please Contact: Christine Byrd: (949) 824-9055, cbyrd@uci.edu
The Beall Center

Gallery hours noon – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Wednesday, and noon – 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday

Campus map: www.uci.edu/campusmapwww.uci.edu/campusmap

Participating artists:
Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn , Brody Condon, c-level, collapsicon, delire and pix, Eddo Stern, gameLab, Geoffrey Thomas, Indie Game Jam, Maia Engeli and Nina Czegledy, Molleindustria, Nick Montfort, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Josh Carroll, Robert Coover, Shawn Greenless, and Andrew McClain, Olaf Val Mignon, Pappy Boyington, Rebecca Cannon, RSG, THE JAB, yumi-Co

REDO/UNDO The custom exhibition environment features internationally acclaimed graffiti artists AERO, EQUIS, HEX, HUGE, LOOK, MAC, NYSE, PERSUE, POSH, PUSH, RETINA, REVOK,SEVER, SILOE, SURGE, WISE, WITNES, ZANE

Organizers/Jury:
Organized by Robert Nideffer, Antoinette LaFarge, and Celia Pearce with an outside panel of jurors from the independent game world, including Rebecca Cannon, Drew Davidson, Erkki Huhtamo, Paul Marino (who led the jurying for the machinima works), Jeannie Novak, Warren Spector, and Eric Zimmerman.

ALT+CTRL was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Beall Center for Art andTechnology, the Department of Studio Art, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine.

Address:
University of California, Irvine
712 Arts Plaza, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Irvine, CA 92697-2775

Hours:
Tuesday – Wednesday, 12:00-5:00
Thursday – Saturday, 12:00 – 8:00

Panel discussion:
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Editor, First Person: New Media as Performance, Story and Game (MIT 2004)plus contributing authors
12:00 noon – 1:00pm
Humanities Instructional Building 135

Contact:
Exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 001-949-824-4339 or visit http://beallcenter.uci.edu.http://beallcenter.uci.edu.

Dj And Digital Music Academy (Ddma)

Where: The Digital Hub, Thomas Street, Dublin 8.
When: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October

Subjects covered include: DJing and its history; Vinyl/CD mixing; beat matching and syncing; radio broadcasting; scratching and turntable techniques; technical set-up; production; promotion.

Classes at the Academy are interactive and intimate. They are kept to a
maximum of 30 students in order to encourage this interaction and allow for more personal tutoring.

Tutor DJs include DJ Arveene (Academy Director),Tu-Ki (Irish 2004 DMC Champion), DJ Scope and Al Gibbs.

The course objective is to provide students with a grounding in the
overall range of DJing and digital technology. It permits every student
to extend and further develop his/her specialist competencies in
particular music domains, in line with their individual interests and
orientations, and also learn about other new aspects and areas with
which they are unfamiliar.

For more information on the DDMA or an application form please contact
Wallis at Modern Green on mailto:ddma@moderngreen.com ddma@moderngreen.com or at 01-8363366.

Digital Hub Development Agency
10 – 13 Thomas Street
The Digital Hub
Dublin 8
T: 01 4806200
F: 01 4806201
e:mailto:exhibit@thedigitalhub.comexhibit@thedigitalhub.com

Tiga Outsourcing Conference

This event will deliver survey findings of TIGA members on their preferences for outsourcing development work. The study, conducted by brothers Rick and Nick Gibson, showed that more than 60% of respondents have outsourced in the past and 95% stated their intention to do so in the near future.

There will be a panel discussion with developers who have experience of outsourcing and offshoring, followed by a similar panel of key outsourcing suppliers. The final session will use panel and audience participation to draft guidelines for outsourcing, to be contained in the TIGA best practice handbook.

TIGA is a British trade association launched in March 2001 to represent the business and commercial interests of games developers not controlled by publishers.

The event is free to TIGA members, who should reserve a place by emailing mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.orgstephanie.rickwood@tiga.org. Non members please email mailto:fred.hasson@tiga.orgfred.hasson@tiga.org for further details.

Where:
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

When: Thursday October 21st 2-7pm followed by drinks reception

Contact details:
Stephanie Rickwood

01273 605053
mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org

Conference website:http://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/TIGA%20Outsourcing%20Conferencehttp://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/

Awakenings Schedule – 2

8.30am Registration and coffee in foyer.

9.00am Welcome and event overview: Chair Tony Kelly, Chapter co-ordinator, IGDA, Ireland

9.15am Introductory comments and talk: Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Manager.

10.00am Keynote speech: Graeme Devine, Ensemble.

11.00am Coffee break

11.30am Chris Van Der Kuyl, VIS entertainment ltd

12.30pm Lunch

2.00pm Markus Macki, Remedy.

3.00pm Robbie Hegarty, NWIFHE.

4.00pm Coffee Break

4.30pm Panel Discussion to include all speakers and open to the floor, chaired by Jason Della Rocca, Program Manager IGDA.

5.30pm Word from Sponsors

5.45pm Closing by Chair

6.00pm Finish

The conference website is located at: awakenings/index.htmwww.torcinteractive.com/awakenings/

Tiga Outsourcing Conference – 3

This event will deliver survey findings of TIGA members on their preferences for outsourcing development work. The study, conducted by brothers Rick and Nick Gibson, showed that more than 60% of respondents have outsourced in the past and 95% stated their intention to do so in the near future.

There will be a panel discussion with developers who have experience of outsourcing and offshoring, followed by a similar panel of key outsourcing suppliers. The final session will use panel and audience participation to draft guidelines for outsourcing, to be contained in the TIGA best practice handbook.

TIGA is a British trade association launched in March 2001 to represent the business and commercial interests of games developers not controlled by publishers.

The event is free to TIGA members, who should reserve a place by emailing mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.orgstephanie.rickwood@tiga.org. Non members please email mailto:fred.hasson@tiga.orgfred.hasson@tiga.org for further details.

Where:
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

When: Thursday October 21st 2-7pm followed by drinks reception

Contact details:
Stephanie Rickwood

01273 605053
mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org

Conference website:http://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/TIGA%20Outsourcing%20Conferencehttp://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/

Tiga Outsourcing Conference – 2

Event title: Outsourcing and Offshoring Games Development – Solutions to Great Efficiency and Profitability

Location: Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

Time: 2-7pm followed by drinks reception

The event is free to TIGA members, who should reserve a place by emailing mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.orgstephanie.rickwood@tiga.org. Non members please email mailto:fred.hasson@tiga.orgfred.hasson@tiga.org for further details.

Where:
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds

Contact details:
Stephanie Rickwood

01273 605053
mailto:stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org stephanie.rickwood@tiga.org

Conference website:http://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/TIGA%20Outsourcing%20Conferencehttp://www.tiga.org/tiga/tiga/events/

Awakenings Schedule

8.30am Registration and coffee in foyer.

9.00am Welcome and event overview: Chair Tony Kelly, Chapter co-ordinator, IGDA, Ireland

9.15am Introductory comments and talk: Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Manager.

10.00am Keynote speech: Graeme Devine, Ensemble.

11.00am Coffee break

11.30am Chris Van Der Kuyl, VIS entertainment ltd

12.30pm Lunch

2.00pm Markus Macki, Remedy.

3.00pm Robbie Hegarty, NWIFHE.

4.00pm Coffee Break

4.30pm Panel Discussion to include all speakers and open to the floor, chaired by Jason Della Rocca, Program Manager IGDA.

5.30pm Word from Sponsors

5.45pm Closing by Chair

6.00pm Finish

The conference website is located at: awakenings/index.htmwww.torcinteractive.com/awakenings/

Edinburgh Games Festival

Edinburgh – August – festival time. Last month, Ricky Gervais, Christian Slater, various oddball street performers and masses of tourists descended on the beautifully historic Scottish city for it’s annual fringe. Watched over by the castle, and poured on by unrelenting rain, those below had more entertainment choices than they could shake a washed up comedian at – the Comedy Store, the Fringe, the theatre and, for the second year, the Edinburgh International Games Festival.

The industry may still be in it’s infancy, and facing the teething problems of puberty, but the organisers believe that videogames should be celebrated alongside the more established creative arts. Thus EIGF combines public screenings of forthcoming games and a gallery exhibition with a two-day, more trade oriented, conference on the art of interactive entertainment.

Preview screenings for EA’s The Sims 2, the world premier of Si’s Football Manager 2005 and Disney/Pixar’s PS2 game The Incredibles attracted the general public and delegates alike to the local Odeon cinema, who were also treated to fascinating presentations from Ian Livingstone of Eidos on the Tomb Raider phenomenon. The two-week exhibition ‘Go Play Games’ drew gamers to the rainy city’s Royal Museum, although the game list didn’t exactly cause a frenzy. The official unveiling of LEGO Star Wars, however, caught the eye, as did Nintendo’s Donkey Konga, which proved popular with the public.
image2
The International Conference Centre was the epicenter of the trade event. The main foyer was kitted out with pods including Project Gotham Racing 2, Mario Golf, Wario Ware Inc, The Legend of Zelda Four Swords and Manhunt and was complemented by a caged mini-basketball court and, crucially, a coffee stall. Upstairs, presentations were made in front of generous audiences, all seamlessly linked by football commentator Clive Tyldesley, who hosted the event for a second year.

Among the more interesting presentations at the industry event, EA’s worldwide executive of Music and Audio Steve Schnur’s essay, entitled ‘Videogames – The New Rock’n’Roll?, highlighted the growing importance of music in videogames, like the Madden franchise, especially for artists, who now call their managers insisting their latest tracks are included in games ahead of MTV.

Other highlights included a panel discussion on the economics of MMOGs, which was gloriously highjacked by EA’s Corporate Communications VP Jeff Brown, who at one point said the thought of someone making a living out of selling items from games on ebay was preposterous. He also dismissed the proposed existence of sweat shops, where Asian children are allegedly being whipped into playing MMOGs to level up characters their task masters then sell for real world profit.
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Seamus Blackley, he of the loud shirt, previous of XBox, now in Hollywood with Creative Artists Agency, gave us ‘Hollywood Model – Come on Up!’ which began when he poured what appeared to be comatose inducing Bloody Mary’s for himself and his panel to ‘get over their hangovers’. He encouraged videogame companies to take advice from the film industry in risk management, talent finding and social networking. By making moves to improve these, publishers would find it much easier to make a success of new IP.

The first BAFTA Interactive New Talent Award went to Paulina Bozek for her work producing EA’s karaoke title Singstar at Sony’s London studio, highlighting the importance of women and innovation to attract non-gamers to the industry. The 2005 EDGE award for Excellence and Innovation, which wrapped up day one, went to Wario Ware Inc, the manic GBA puzzle game, to nods of approval from the audience, most of which had been playing it on their way up to Edinburgh with bleary eyes.

The two-day event was wrapped up by the entertaining battle of the sexes quiz ‘Never Mind the Console Box’. Three lads and three ladies, including journalists and industry professionals, fought for gaming knowledge glory. Mike Goldsmith from Future Publishing gave us an excellent impression of Mario, sound effects and all, and Seamus Blackley looked so tired he could barely answer a question. Who won? The girls, 28/25, although most of their points were won by industry legend Jes San, who played the part of a woman for the first ten minutes while we waited for journalist Rhianna Pratchett to arrive.

Most delegates agreed the festival had been a resounding success, with much promise for the third EIGF next year. However, it was recommended that the two-day conference event be squeezed into one day to avoid padding of the presentation schedule, which many felt led to sparse audience attendance for some of the speeches. This would also make it easier for industry delegates to get time away from the office.

The public part of the event were also sparsely populated, which probably had something to do with the lack of exclusive and new games playable in the ‘Go Play Games’ exhibition. It is doubtful that those who arrived in Edinburgh for the Fringe will have chosen EIGF over stand up from Ricky Gervais.

EIGF, however, is more than an excuse to discuss the growing cultural relevance of videogames. It provides a networking opportunity for delegates to meet industry executives not only from the UK (although most in attendance were) but many from the major players in Europe and the US. Networking was facilitated by regular breaks in the Conference Centre’s main foyer, supported by free refreshments and name badges. Various stalls were set up, most from local Scottish companies, including information on ELSPA and government initiatives relevant to the area. Artem Digital glammed it up with a stand, where they showcased their new face rendering technology, and allowed attendees the chance to have their face rendered right in front of their eyes.

As a chance to meet and greet the industry, EIGF, however, pales in comparison with London Games Week, held during the first week of September. The European Games Network, run alongside GameStars Live at East London’s ExCel Centre, and ECTS, are simply bigger, bolder and better. EIGF might provide a more relaxed atmosphere, the feeling of a tight-knit group and the prospect of meeting most of the major players in the industry, but it is not on the same scale as events during LGW. (see news piece by Jamie McCormick on gd.ie)

If lessons can be learned, next years EIGF should continue to reinforce the place of games alongside film, music, comedy and theatre in Europe’s cultural mix as well as providing industry types with the chance to get stinking drunk in Scotland while striking up a few deals over a game of Mario Golf in the process.

Author’s Bio: Wesley Yin-Poole is a freelance videogame journalist and feature writer for The Mail on Sunday. He regularly contributes to videogame websites in Europe and the US.

Edinburgh Games Festival – 2

Edinburgh – August – festival time. Last month, Ricky Gervais, Christian Slater, various oddball street performers and masses of tourists descended on the beautifully historic Scottish city for it’s annual fringe. Watched over by the castle, and poured on by unrelenting rain, those below had more entertainment choices than they could shake a washed up comedian at – the Comedy Store, the Fringe, the theatre and, for the second year, the Edinburgh International Games Festival.

The industry may still be in it’s infancy, and facing the teething problems of puberty, but the organisers believe that videogames should be celebrated alongside the more established creative arts. Thus EIGF combines public screenings of forthcoming games and a gallery exhibition with a two-day, more trade oriented, conference on the art of interactive entertainment.

Preview screenings for EA’s The Sims 2, the world premier of Si’s Football Manager 2005 and Disney/Pixar’s PS2 game The Incredibles attracted the general public and delegates alike to the local Odeon cinema, who were also treated to fascinating presentations from Ian Livingstone of Eidos on the Tomb Raider phenomenon. The two-week exhibition ‘Go Play Games’ drew gamers to the rainy city’s Royal Museum, although the game list didn’t exactly cause a frenzy. The official unveiling of LEGO Star Wars, however, caught the eye, as did Nintendo’s Donkey Konga, which proved popular with the public.
image2
The International Conference Centre was the epicenter of the trade event. The main foyer was kitted out with pods including Project Gotham Racing 2, Mario Golf, Wario Ware Inc, The Legend of Zelda Four Swords and Manhunt and was complemented by a caged mini-basketball court and, crucially, a coffee stall. Upstairs, presentations were made in front of generous audiences, all seamlessly linked by football commentator Clive Tyldesley, who hosted the event for a second year.

Among the more interesting presentations at the industry event, EA’s worldwide executive of Music and Audio Steve Schnur’s essay, entitled ‘Videogames – The New Rock’n’Roll?, highlighted the growing importance of music in videogames, like the Madden franchise, especially for artists, who now call their managers insisting their latest tracks are included in games ahead of MTV.

Other highlights included a panel discussion on the economics of MMOGs, which was gloriously highjacked by EA’s Corporate Communications VP Jeff Brown, who at one point said the thought of someone making a living out of selling items from games on ebay was preposterous. He also dismissed the proposed existence of sweat shops, where Asian children are allegedly being whipped into playing MMOGs to level up characters their task masters then sell for real world profit.
image3
Seamus Blackley, he of the loud shirt, previous of XBox, now in Hollywood with Creative Artists Agency, gave us ‘Hollywood Model – Come on Up!’ which began when he poured what appeared to be comatose inducing Bloody Mary’s for himself and his panel to ‘get over their hangovers’. He encouraged videogame companies to take advice from the film industry in risk management, talent finding and social networking. By making moves to improve these, publishers would find it much easier to make a success of new IP.

The first BAFTA Interactive New Talent Award went to Paulina Bozek for her work producing EA’s karaoke title Singstar at Sony’s London studio, highlighting the importance of women and innovation to attract non-gamers to the industry. The 2005 EDGE award for Excellence and Innovation, which wrapped up day one, went to Wario Ware Inc, the manic GBA puzzle game, to nods of approval from the audience, most of which had been playing it on their way up to Edinburgh with bleary eyes.

The two-day event was wrapped up by the entertaining battle of the sexes quiz ‘Never Mind the Console Box’. Three lads and three ladies, including journalists and industry professionals, fought for gaming knowledge glory. Mike Goldsmith from Future Publishing gave us an excellent impression of Mario, sound effects and all, and Seamus Blackley looked so tired he could barely answer a question. Who won? The girls, 28/25, although most of their points were won by industry legend Jes San, who played the part of a woman for the first ten minutes while we waited for journalist Rhianna Pratchett to arrive.

Most delegates agreed the festival had been a resounding success, with much promise for the third EIGF next year. However, it was recommended that the two-day conference event be squeezed into one day to avoid padding of the presentation schedule, which many felt led to sparse audience attendance for some of the speeches. This would also make it easier for industry delegates to get time away from the office.

The public part of the event were also sparsely populated, which probably had something to do with the lack of exclusive and new games playable in the ‘Go Play Games’ exhibition. It is doubtful that those who arrived in Edinburgh for the Fringe will have chosen EIGF over stand up from Ricky Gervais.

EIGF, however, is more than an excuse to discuss the growing cultural relevance of videogames. It provides a networking opportunity for delegates to meet industry executives not only from the UK (although most in attendance were) but many from the major players in Europe and the US. Networking was facilitated by regular breaks in the Conference Centre’s main foyer, supported by free refreshments and name badges. Various stalls were set up, most from local Scottish companies, including information on ELSPA and government initiatives relevant to the area. Artem Digital glammed it up with a stand, where they showcased their new face rendering technology, and allowed attendees the chance to have their face rendered right in front of their eyes.

As a chance to meet and greet the industry, EIGF, however, pales in comparison with London Games Week, held during the first week of September. The European Games Network, run alongside GameStars Live at East London’s ExCel Centre, and ECTS, are simply bigger, bolder and better. EIGF might provide a more relaxed atmosphere, the feeling of a tight-knit group and the prospect of meeting most of the major players in the industry, but it is not on the same scale as events during LGW. (see news piece by Jamie McCormick on gd.ie)

If lessons can be learned, next years EIGF should continue to reinforce the place of games alongside film, music, comedy and theatre in Europe’s cultural mix as well as providing industry types with the chance to get stinking drunk in Scotland while striking up a few deals over a game of Mario Golf in the process.

Author’s Bio: Wesley Yin-Poole is a freelance videogame journalist and feature writer for The Mail on Sunday. He regularly contributes to videogame websites in Europe and the US.

Digra 05 Call For Papers – 2

** Changing Views: Worlds in Play **

This interdisciplinary conference encourages a range of contributions including paper presentations, symposia, poster presentations, author sessions, workshops, senior scholar mentoring roundtables, and, innovative formats which bring together games researchers, developers and emerging user communities.

Conference proposal themes will include, but are not limited to, the
following topics and categories:

* Theoretical Perspectives: History, Theory, and Game Typology:

* Design and Game Architectures:

* Serious Games: (How) are games serious?

* Research Methodologies and Case Studies:

* Game Aesthetics and Storytelling:

* Identity in Gaming:

* Learning to Play: Playing to Learn:

* From Player to Players: Social and Cultural aspects of games and game play;

* Industry and the Academy:

* Legal and Ethical Issues:

* Under Development: Exploding canons: Innovation and investigation into new forms and genres, games as transmedia, synaesthetic play, emerging technologies, devices and peripherals.

———————————————————————–

Proposal Submission and Instructions:

All proposals will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of scientific
committee specializing in the area of the paper topic, and authors will be
provided with reviewers’ critical comments as well as any suggestions for
revision.

Full paper submissions (papers of 2500-3000 words) require a 1000 word
abstract of the paper to be presented at the conference, and short papers (papers of 1250-1500 words) require submission of a 500 word abstract (excluding references).

If you are proposing a symposium, a 500 word overview of the session as a whole, and a 350 word abstract from each symposium participant are required.

In order to devise the best possible program arrangements and to secure suitable chairs and respondents, we are requesting that completed papers be submitted by April 15/2005 for review
for inclusion in the conference proceedings publication.

To encourage the widest possible range of alternative forms of work as well as work-in-progress, submissions of other kinds such as demos, roundtables and workshops are encouraged, and in each case a description of the proposed session should be submitted (up to 1000 words), with the type of session proposed being clearly specified.

All proposals are to be submitted to:
http://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocshttp://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocs

The online submission system is available from the beginning of September, 2004.

Particularly invited are papers and symposium proposals which directly
advance the conference themes of internationalism and interdisciplinarity.

Important Dates:

Conference Proposal submission, short papers (500 word abstracts) and full papers (1000 word abstracts): November 15/04

Notification of Acceptance: January 15/05

Completed Papers submitted: March 15/05

For Graduate Students:

A greatly reduced conference fee ($100.00) for student delegates makes
participation more accessible. In addition, limited financial support is
available to those, but especially graduate students and independent
scholars, for whom registration fees and travel costs impede participation.

Please submit your request for financial consideration before January 31st, 2005, to: Cher Hill, chill@sfu.ca Please include an overview of your costs, your institutional status (especially if you are a graduate student,
independent scholar or junior researcher), whether you are presenting at the conference, and a brief justification for your request.

Resources are limited, however. After all applications have been received, the conference committee will determine allocations of financial support, and decisions will be communicated by email to applicants by February 15th/2005.

———————————————————————–

International Advisory Board:

Serving as review and editorial board for the conference program and
publications:

Dr. Suzanne de Castell, (Conference Chair), Professor in New Media and
Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. John Waterworth, Professor of Informatics, Umea University, Sweden, and Research Manager, Tools for Creativity Studio, Interactive Institute

Sara Diamond, Artistic Director, Media and Visual Arts and Executive
Producer, Television and New Media at The Banff Centre for the Arts,
Executive Director of the Banff Institute for new media research

Dr. Catherine Beavis, Senior Lecturer, Deakin Centre for Education and
Change and School Of Social and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Education,
Deakin University, Australia

Gonzalo Frasca, Game Designer, Publisher of www.ludology.org, and PhD program, Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University in Copenhagen

Dr. Henry Jenkins, Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, U.S.A.

Dr. Frans Mäyrä, DiGRA President, Research Director, Hypermedia Laboratory, University of Tampere, Finland

Awakenings Website Goes Live

Awakenings is a one day games conference being organised by the Irish chapter of the IGDA in association with a number of partners, including ourselves, gamedevelopers.ie.

After months of behind the scenes work by the IGDA committee the following high profile speakers have been confirmed:

*Graham Devine, Ensemble Studios (U.S.)
*Marcus Maki, Remedy Entertainment (Finland)
*Chris Van Der Kuyl, Vis (Scotland)
*Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Director will MC the event (Canada)

This is a unique opportunity for Irish game companies, academics, students and others interested in the games industry to meet each other and to hear high quality international speakers discussing the key issues facing the games industry globally. Topics to be discussed include:

*the challenges facing independent games & middleware developers
*the changing & sometimes volatile nature of the games business
*the advent of next generation platforms & technologies
*licences & sequels vs. original IP
*convergence with Hollywood – real or imagined?

Attendance is free but you must register online at
awakenings/awakenings/

Preference will be given to IGDA member but otherwise it is first come first served..

Awakenings Website Goes Live – 2

Awakenings is a one day games conference being organised by the Irish chapter of the IGDA in association with a number of partners, including ourselves, gamedevelopers.ie.

After months of behind the scenes work by the IGDA committee the following high profile speakers have been confirmed:

*Graham Devine, Ensemble Studios (U.S.)
*Marcus Maki, Remedy Entertainment (Finland)
*Chris Van Der Kuyl, Vis (Scotland)
*Jason Della Rocca, IGDA Program Director will MC the event (Canada)

This is a unique opportunity for Irish game companies, academics, students and others interested in the games industry to meet each other and to hear high quality international speakers discussing the key issues facing the games industry globally. Topics to be discussed include:

*the challenges facing independent games & middleware developers
*the changing & sometimes volatile nature of the games business
*the advent of next generation platforms & technologies
*licences & sequels vs. original IP
*convergence with Hollywood – real or imagined?

Attendance is free but you must register online at
awakenings/awakenings/

Preference will be given to IGDA member but otherwise it is first come first served..

Digra 05 Call For Papers

** Changing Views: Worlds in Play **

This interdisciplinary conference encourages a range of contributions including paper presentations, symposia, poster presentations, author sessions, workshops, senior scholar mentoring roundtables, and, innovative formats which bring together games researchers, developers and emerging user communities.

Conference proposal themes will include, but are not limited to, the
following topics and categories:

* Theoretical Perspectives: History, Theory, and Game Typology:

* Design and Game Architectures:

* Serious Games: (How) are games serious?

* Research Methodologies and Case Studies:

* Game Aesthetics and Storytelling:

* Identity in Gaming:

* Learning to Play: Playing to Learn:

* From Player to Players: Social and Cultural aspects of games and game play;

* Industry and the Academy:

* Legal and Ethical Issues:

* Under Development: Exploding canons: Innovation and investigation into new forms and genres, games as transmedia, synaesthetic play, emerging technologies, devices and peripherals.

———————————————————————–

Proposal Submission and Instructions:

All proposals will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of scientific
committee specializing in the area of the paper topic, and authors will be
provided with reviewers’ critical comments as well as any suggestions for
revision.

Full paper submissions (papers of 2500-3000 words) require a 1000 word
abstract of the paper to be presented at the conference, and short papers (papers of 1250-1500 words) require submission of a 500 word abstract (excluding references).

If you are proposing a symposium, a 500 word overview of the session as a whole, and a 350 word abstract from each symposium participant are required.

In order to devise the best possible program arrangements and to secure suitable chairs and respondents, we are requesting that completed papers be submitted by April 15/2005 for review
for inclusion in the conference proceedings publication.

To encourage the widest possible range of alternative forms of work as well as work-in-progress, submissions of other kinds such as demos, roundtables and workshops are encouraged, and in each case a description of the proposed session should be submitted (up to 1000 words), with the type of session proposed being clearly specified.

All proposals are to be submitted to:
http://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocshttp://www3.educ.sfu.ca/conferences/digra2004/ocs

The online submission system is available from the beginning of September, 2004.

Particularly invited are papers and symposium proposals which directly
advance the conference themes of internationalism and interdisciplinarity.

Important Dates:

Conference Proposal submission, short papers (500 word abstracts) and full papers (1000 word abstracts): November 15/04

Notification of Acceptance: January 15/05

Completed Papers submitted: March 15/05

For Graduate Students:

A greatly reduced conference fee ($100.00) for student delegates makes
participation more accessible. In addition, limited financial support is
available to those, but especially graduate students and independent
scholars, for whom registration fees and travel costs impede participation.

Please submit your request for financial consideration before January 31st, 2005, to: Cher Hill, chill@sfu.ca Please include an overview of your costs, your institutional status (especially if you are a graduate student,
independent scholar or junior researcher), whether you are presenting at the conference, and a brief justification for your request.

Resources are limited, however. After all applications have been received, the conference committee will determine allocations of financial support, and decisions will be communicated by email to applicants by February 15th/2005.

———————————————————————–

International Advisory Board:

Serving as review and editorial board for the conference program and
publications:

Dr. Suzanne de Castell, (Conference Chair), Professor in New Media and
Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. John Waterworth, Professor of Informatics, Umea University, Sweden, and Research Manager, Tools for Creativity Studio, Interactive Institute

Sara Diamond, Artistic Director, Media and Visual Arts and Executive
Producer, Television and New Media at The Banff Centre for the Arts,
Executive Director of the Banff Institute for new media research

Dr. Catherine Beavis, Senior Lecturer, Deakin Centre for Education and
Change and School Of Social and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Education,
Deakin University, Australia

Gonzalo Frasca, Game Designer, Publisher of www.ludology.org, and PhD program, Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University in Copenhagen

Dr. Henry Jenkins, Director, Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT, U.S.A.

Dr. Frans Mäyrä, DiGRA President, Research Director, Hypermedia Laboratory, University of Tampere, Finland

Gd.Ie Shindig – 2

The September Shindig will be held on the 24th of September and it is likely with Awakenings in Oct. that there won’t be another one until the end of November. As usual all are welcome to attend – shindigs are just informal pub meets where developers, academics, students and others with a general interest in games meet.

Time: From 7.30pm onwards

Location: Downstairs in Toners pub on Baggott Street in Dublin. A couple of tables will have reserved signs on them.

Directions: From Stephen’s Green North walk past the Shelbourne Hotel and towards Merrion Row/Baggot Street. Keep walking straight with Upper Merrion Street on your left and Ely Place on your right. Toners is a wine & black pub and will be on your right on a corner. If you reach Pembroke Street. on your right you have passed it and gone too far.

The shindig will be downstairs. To get there you can walk through the pub to the back where there is a stairs or walk around the side outside where there is another door. I will put up signs so you know where you are going..

Still unsure? The address is 139 Baggot Street Lower.

check your route here
www.softguides.com/dublin/maps/p52s54.htmlwww.softguides.com/dublin/maps/p52s54.html

Iia National Conference

IIA ANNUAL CONGRESS – IIA State of the Net

The IIA Internet Congress 2004 will consiste of three events:
IIA State of the Net
IIA Web Developer
E-business seminars

One ticket will allow access to all events.

Venue: Clontarf Castle, Dublin 3

Time: Registration 8.30am – 9.15am

Cost: Early Registration: IIA Members EUR195 / Non Members EUR245

More info:
www.internetcongress.ie

London Games Week – 2

The result? A lot of confusion and shuffling around London, not the nicest thing to be doing at the best of times, but the uproar has now led to an announcement that two competing trade shows, the same week will never happen again. Compounding that was Sony’s no-show at both events; they will be running their consumer orientated Playstation Experience in Alton Towers at the end of September. After the success at Leipzig where both Microsoft and Sony made price cut announcements for Europe, many people were left wondering if indeed there is a future for the London shows, or if something fresh is required to become the premier European show that will effectively be able to compete with E3.

The shows themselves were as different as possibly could be. ECTS ran in the Earls Court for another year, but was notably subdued this time around. The vast majority of both developers and publishers passed on the opportunity this year, leading to a fairly drab and dull show that mainly seemed to feature retail products such as disc cleaning tools, a number of trade delegations from Korea and our own IDA, and the only two big names of Nintendo and Microsoft Xbox.

Upstairs, GDCE went on unabated, with a wide range of speakers and a specific focus on the next generation, with both Xbox 2 and PSP development talks and workshops going on. However, attendance was poor in some, but the overall opinion seemed to be that of the two Developers Conferences, this was the good one. EDF down in ExCeL suffered badly from the split resources, with many talks featuring more people on stage than were in attendance in the audience, and overall it seems that EDF failed to attract a sufficient number of attendees to justify itself.

Also in ExCeL, the European Games Network was a little bit more upbeat. With the large consumer show going on across the hallway, more games focused stands and a good showing from both developers and studios the show was full of activity and the bar was pretty busy for most of the three days. But it was not as open as previous ECTS’s have been, with very few public displays in the trade area meaning that it wasn’t really that enjoyable to walk around and just see closed doors everywhere.

However, the definite saving grace of the ExCeL programme was Game Stars Live. It featured pretty much every publisher other than Acclaim and Sony, with plenty of activity from the get go every morning. Halo 2 was on show, the new Mortal Kombat, Pro Evolution, Prince of Persia, Championship Manager 5, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and many more. With the recent events in the UK surround Manhunt, ELSPA were keen to show responsibility, and most publishers had restricted areas with security on duty to stop under 18’s viewing the more adult titles such as Fight Club and Leisure Suit Larry.

My own personal star of the show (other than the obvious wait for a chance to play Halo 2) was the Nintendo stand. While the DS was not on show, they had a Pier setup showing off all their planned titles for the rest of the year. Metroid Prime 2, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and a range of GBA titles were on show, but the ultimate game was there: Donkey Konga. Bongos will be heard all over the land come Christmas, and for good reason because it really is showing Nintendo’s commitment to making games fun again.

Overall the damage of having two shows running in separate venues concurrently really did show. Visitors that I spoke to who had been shuffling between the two areas were not too happy with the situation, and something will have to be done to address the splitting of resources if any of the London events hope to have any sort of long-term future.

For more info see and http://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.phphttp://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.php

Ei Trade Mission To Korea

Enterprise Ireland is organising a trade mission whereby Irish game companies will be visiting Korea and meeting with their Korean counterparts from the 14-16th of Oct. 2004. This is organised to co-incide with the Korean Game Development and Promotion Institute’s own game development conference in Seoul.

Contact Michael Kenna in EI.

More info: http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/eventscalendar/eventdetails.aspx?eventid=90http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/eventscalendar/eventdetails.aspx?eventid=90

London Games Week

The result? A lot of confusion and shuffling around London, not the nicest thing to be doing at the best of times, but the uproar has now led to an announcement that two competing trade shows, the same week will never happen again. Compounding that was Sony’s no-show at both events; they will be running their consumer orientated Playstation Experience in Alton Towers at the end of September. After the success at Leipzig where both Microsoft and Sony made price cut announcements for Europe, many people were left wondering if indeed there is a future for the London shows, or if something fresh is required to become the premier European show that will effectively be able to compete with E3.

The shows themselves were as different as possibly could be. ECTS ran in the Earls Court for another year, but was notably subdued this time around. The vast majority of both developers and publishers passed on the opportunity this year, leading to a fairly drab and dull show that mainly seemed to feature retail products such as disc cleaning tools, a number of trade delegations from Korea and our own IDA, and the only two big names of Nintendo and Microsoft Xbox.

Upstairs, GDCE went on unabated, with a wide range of speakers and a specific focus on the next generation, with both Xbox 2 and PSP development talks and workshops going on. However, attendance was poor in some, but the overall opinion seemed to be that of the two Developers Conferences, this was the good one. EDF down in ExCeL suffered badly from the split resources, with many talks featuring more people on stage than were in attendance in the audience, and overall it seems that EDF failed to attract a sufficient number of attendees to justify itself.

Also in ExCeL, the European Games Network was a little bit more upbeat. With the large consumer show going on across the hallway, more games focused stands and a good showing from both developers and studios the show was full of activity and the bar was pretty busy for most of the three days. But it was not as open as previous ECTS’s have been, with very few public displays in the trade area meaning that it wasn’t really that enjoyable to walk around and just see closed doors everywhere.

However, the definite saving grace of the ExCeL programme was Game Stars Live. It featured pretty much every publisher other than Acclaim and Sony, with plenty of activity from the get go every morning. Halo 2 was on show, the new Mortal Kombat, Pro Evolution, Prince of Persia, Championship Manager 5, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and many more. With the recent events in the UK surround Manhunt, ELSPA were keen to show responsibility, and most publishers had restricted areas with security on duty to stop under 18’s viewing the more adult titles such as Fight Club and Leisure Suit Larry.

My own personal star of the show (other than the obvious wait for a chance to play Halo 2) was the Nintendo stand. While the DS was not on show, they had a Pier setup showing off all their planned titles for the rest of the year. Metroid Prime 2, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and a range of GBA titles were on show, but the ultimate game was there: Donkey Konga. Bongos will be heard all over the land come Christmas, and for good reason because it really is showing Nintendo’s commitment to making games fun again.

Overall the damage of having two shows running in separate venues concurrently really did show. Visitors that I spoke to who had been shuffling between the two areas were not too happy with the situation, and something will have to be done to address the splitting of resources if any of the London events hope to have any sort of long-term future.

For more info see and http://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.phphttp://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/index.php

Carlow It Adds 4 Year Degree Course In Computer Games Development – 2

If you are interested in this course, you can apply directly to the college.

Course details are available at courses/comp/courses_comp_cw131.htmcourses/comp/

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?

The minimum entry requirement will be in accordance with those determined by HETAC with the additional requirement that the student must obtain a minimum Ordinary level grade D or better in English or Irish and Ordinary level grade B or higher in Mathematics in your leaving certificate.

For further information and application details please contact:
Joseph Kehoe, Head of Department; Phone: 059 9170435
Email: mailto: joseph.kehoe@itcarlow.iejoseph.kehoe@itcarlow.ie
Annette Murphy, Admissions Office; Phone: 059 9170401
Email: mailto: annette.murphy@itcarlow.ieannette.murphy@itcarlow.ie

Pc Pilots Ireland Flight Simulator Show – 2

Ireland s first combined Computer Flight Simulator and Aviation show

Sunday 19th September 2004
Red Cow, Naas Road, Dublin.
10.00am 5.00pm

The purpose of the event is to promote Computer Flight Simulation as a hobby in the context of the wider aviation interest. The show will feature exhibits from the computer Flight Simulator and Aviation communities in Ireland. Aviation fans will be the opportunity to fly Microsoft Flight Simulator, watch demonstrations of flying on the Internet with live virtual Air Traffic Control, and fly in a home built cockpit. Presentations from Flight Simulator and Aviation groups and screenings of Aviation Videos will take place in a seated Presentation Theatre .

Visitors will be able to enter a free draw to win Microsoft Keyboards and Mice, copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3 and Crimson Skies (for Xbox only).

Flight Simulators

Visitors will have the opportunity to use Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and fly a range of aircraft such as a Cessna 152 or a Boeing 747 in our home built cockpit. There will be demonstrations of On-Line Flights, where Flight Simulator Pilots will have live Air Traffic Control while flying on the Internet.

National Flight Centre

The National Flight Centre, based at Weston Airport, Leixlip will be on hand to provide information about taking an Introductory Flight or taking Flying lessons.

Model Aircraft

The Model Aeronautics Council of Ireland have all the information on who, where and when they fly remote controlled model aircraft.

Microlights

For those who are looking for a different approach to flying, the National Microlight Association of Ireland will introduce you to their style of flying.

Presentations

Presentations from Aviation Groups, Flight Simulation Organisations and screening of aviation DVDs will take place in the seated ‘Presentation Theatre’.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 will be on sale, along with additional software (Aircraft and Scenery) for use on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and 2002, plus Joysticks, Throttles, Flight Control Yokes, Rudder Pedals.

Technology

Alpine Systems specialise in building PCs to suit your needs, be it for Flight Simulator, Office, or Home.
Experts will be available to give advice on suitable home computers, graphics cards, joysticks, control yokes, rudder pedals, etc.

Aviation Clubs & Societies

Want to share your interest in aviation with other enthusiasts? Talk to the Aviation Society of Ireland at the PC Pilots Flight Simulator Show.
The National Aero Club of Ireland (formally the Irish Aviation Council) is the aviation umbrella organisation in Ireland will be in attendance.
If you’re looking for a dedicated Irish aviation magazine, ‘Wing Ireland’ is Ireland’s new aviation magazine.

PC Pilots Ireland

Information will be available ‘PC Pilots Ireland’ and their magazine ‘PC Flight’.

Entrance fee is 5.00

For further information log onto www.pcpilotsireland.com

Terry McGee
PC Pilots Ireland
www.pcpilotsireland.com
email: tmcg@iol.ie

Carlow It Adds 4 Year Degree Course In Computer Games Development

If you are interested in this course, you can apply directly to the college.

Course details are available at courses/comp/courses_comp_cw131.htmcourses/comp/

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?

The minimum entry requirement will be in accordance with those determined by HETAC with the additional requirement that the student must obtain a minimum Ordinary level grade D or better in English or Irish and Ordinary level grade B or higher in Mathematics in your leaving certificate.

For further information and application details please contact:
Joseph Kehoe, Head of Department; Phone: 059 9170435
Email: mailto: joseph.kehoe@itcarlow.iejoseph.kehoe@itcarlow.ie
Annette Murphy, Admissions Office; Phone: 059 9170401
Email: mailto: annette.murphy@itcarlow.ieannette.murphy@itcarlow.ie

Pc Pilots Ireland Flight Simulator Show

Ireland s first combined Computer Flight Simulator and Aviation show

Sunday 19th September 2004
Red Cow, Naas Road, Dublin.
10.00am 5.00pm

The purpose of the event is to promote Computer Flight Simulation as a hobby in the context of the wider aviation interest. The show will feature exhibits from the computer Flight Simulator and Aviation communities in Ireland. Aviation fans will be the opportunity to fly Microsoft Flight Simulator, watch demonstrations of flying on the Internet with live virtual Air Traffic Control, and fly in a home built cockpit. Presentations from Flight Simulator and Aviation groups and screenings of Aviation Videos will take place in a seated Presentation Theatre .

Visitors will be able to enter a free draw to win Microsoft Keyboards and Mice, copies of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3 and Crimson Skies (for Xbox only).

Flight Simulators

Visitors will have the opportunity to use Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and fly a range of aircraft such as a Cessna 152 or a Boeing 747 in our home built cockpit. There will be demonstrations of On-Line Flights, where Flight Simulator Pilots will have live Air Traffic Control while flying on the Internet.

National Flight Centre

The National Flight Centre, based at Weston Airport, Leixlip will be on hand to provide information about taking an Introductory Flight or taking Flying lessons.

Model Aircraft

The Model Aeronautics Council of Ireland have all the information on who, where and when they fly remote controlled model aircraft.

Microlights

For those who are looking for a different approach to flying, the National Microlight Association of Ireland will introduce you to their style of flying.

Presentations

Presentations from Aviation Groups, Flight Simulation Organisations and screening of aviation DVDs will take place in the seated ‘Presentation Theatre’.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 will be on sale, along with additional software (Aircraft and Scenery) for use on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and 2002, plus Joysticks, Throttles, Flight Control Yokes, Rudder Pedals.

Technology

Alpine Systems specialise in building PCs to suit your needs, be it for Flight Simulator, Office, or Home.
Experts will be available to give advice on suitable home computers, graphics cards, joysticks, control yokes, rudder pedals, etc.

Aviation Clubs & Societies

Want to share your interest in aviation with other enthusiasts? Talk to the Aviation Society of Ireland at the PC Pilots Flight Simulator Show.
The National Aero Club of Ireland (formally the Irish Aviation Council) is the aviation umbrella organisation in Ireland will be in attendance.
If you’re looking for a dedicated Irish aviation magazine, ‘Wing Ireland’ is Ireland’s new aviation magazine.

PC Pilots Ireland

Information will be available ‘PC Pilots Ireland’ and their magazine ‘PC Flight’.

Entrance fee is 5.00

For further information log onto www.pcpilotsireland.com

Terry McGee
PC Pilots Ireland
www.pcpilotsireland.com
email: tmcg@iol.ie

Ida Meeting Point @ Ects

They are making their stand available as a meeting point for Irish companies working in the sector who will be visiting or exhibiting at the show.

Tel: +353 1603 4000
Fax: +353 1603 4040
www.idaireland.com
idaireland@ida.ie

Ida Meeting Point @ Ects – 2

They are making their stand available as a meeting point for Irish companies working in the sector who will be visiting or exhibiting at the show.

Tel: +353 1603 4000
Fax: +353 1603 4040
www.idaireland.com
idaireland@ida.ie

Seminar Series In Ulster Uni – 2

This seminar will be presented by Dr Chris Chesher, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communications at the University of New South Wales. Dr, Chesher will pose the question – what is the difference between computer games and art? Described as having ‘an unhealthy obsession’ with new media, Chesher’s PhD was on what makes computer-based media distinctive, and went on to set up the MA (New Media) program at UNSW, which introduces new media practitioners to contemporary cultural theory.

As one of the facilitators of the critical Internet studies mailing list Fibreculture, he organised the "Networks of Excellence" conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in November 2002. Dr. Chesher also recently co-edited a special edition of Media International Australia on computer games and media studies methodologies. His writing can be found online in Cultronix, Ctheory and CultureMachine, in hard copy in several books, and in journals including Convergence and Media International Australia.

An abstract of his seminar subject appears below.

Date: Tuesday 25 August, 2004
Time: 1 – 2.30pm
Place: Room C102, University of Ulster Coleraine Campus

For further details, contact:

Ned Rossiter
Senior Lecturer in Media Studies (Digital Media)
Centre for Media Research
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Coleraine
Northern Ireland
BT52 1SA

tel. +44 (0)28 7032 3275
fax. +44 (0)28 7032 4964
email:mailto:n.rossiter@ulster.ac.uk n.rossiter@ulster.ac.uk

Chris Chesher’s contact details:
Dr Chris Chesher,
School of Media and Communications,
University of New South Wales,
Australia.
mailto:c.chesher@unsw.edu.auc.chesher@unsw.edu.au
http://media.arts.unsw.edu.au/homepage/index.htmlhttp://media.arts.unsw.edu.au/homepage/index.html

*******
Abstract
What are the differences and connections between new media art and computer games? Whether in an art gallery or an arcade, confronting an installation or playing on a console, game players and gallery visitors encounter experiments with the implications of new media technology for desire, sensation and affect. While they are quite different, the institutional positions for both game designers and new media artists give them conditional licence to escape instrumentalism to privilege the invocational image, sensorimotor interaction, the generation of desire and the modulation of affect. Using examples of works in both fields, this paper illustrates some emerging topologies of human-technology relations that characterise contemporary and emerging structures of feeling.

Seminar Series In Ulster Uni

This seminar will be presented by Dr Chris Chesher, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communications at the University of New South Wales. Dr, Chesher will pose the question – what is the difference between computer games and art? Described as having ‘an unhealthy obsession’ with new media, Chesher’s PhD was on what makes computer-based media distinctive, and went on to set up the MA (New Media) program at UNSW, which introduces new media practitioners to contemporary cultural theory.

As one of the facilitators of the critical Internet studies mailing list Fibreculture, he organised the "Networks of Excellence" conference at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in November 2002. Dr. Chesher also recently co-edited a special edition of Media International Australia on computer games and media studies methodologies. His writing can be found online in Cultronix, Ctheory and CultureMachine, in hard copy in several books, and in journals including Convergence and Media International Australia.

An abstract of his seminar subject appears below.

Date: Tuesday 25 August, 2004
Time: 1 – 2.30pm
Place: Room C102, University of Ulster Coleraine Campus

For further details, contact:

Ned Rossiter
Senior Lecturer in Media Studies (Digital Media)
Centre for Media Research
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Coleraine
Northern Ireland
BT52 1SA

tel. +44 (0)28 7032 3275
fax. +44 (0)28 7032 4964
email:mailto:n.rossiter@ulster.ac.uk n.rossiter@ulster.ac.uk

Chris Chesher’s contact details:
Dr Chris Chesher,
School of Media and Communications,
University of New South Wales,
Australia.
mailto:c.chesher@unsw.edu.auc.chesher@unsw.edu.au
http://media.arts.unsw.edu.au/homepage/index.htmlhttp://media.arts.unsw.edu.au/homepage/index.html

*******
Abstract
What are the differences and connections between new media art and computer games? Whether in an art gallery or an arcade, confronting an installation or playing on a console, game players and gallery visitors encounter experiments with the implications of new media technology for desire, sensation and affect. While they are quite different, the institutional positions for both game designers and new media artists give them conditional licence to escape instrumentalism to privilege the invocational image, sensorimotor interaction, the generation of desire and the modulation of affect. Using examples of works in both fields, this paper illustrates some emerging topologies of human-technology relations that characterise contemporary and emerging structures of feeling.

New Jobs Added

These include 2 wireless positions (programming and art), a PC/Xbox programming job based in Galway and a Ph.D position. Have a look in the jobs section @ community/jobs/community/jobs/.

New Jobs Added – 2

These include 2 wireless positions (programming and art), a PC/Xbox programming job based in Galway and a Ph.D position. Have a look in the jobs section @ community/jobs/community/jobs/.

August Shindig

This month’s shindig has finally been planned, after much wranging and debate on the boards. Toners, Saturday 14th August, from around 7pm onwards.

Everyone is welcome, and there is usually a good turnout at these events, so if you’re new, and you want to come along to meet some of the regulars, inbetween many pints, join us there.

Serious Games Summit

The number of non-entertainment games under development is rapidly increasing and demand for the ideas, skills and techniques used in commercial entertainment games is at an all time high. As a result, an entirely new market has emerged.

Game developers and tool providers can tap into this new market and develop new revenue streams.

The Serious Games Summit D.C. gives game developers and program managers the opportunity to learn from successful serious games applications and forge links between the traditional videogame industry and public and private sectors; homeland security, state and local governments, military agencies, and educational institutions.

In this Serious Games Summit Update:
-Serious Games Summit D.C. Keynote Speaker – Jim Dunnigan
-Serious Games Summit D.C. Featured Sessions
-Opening Night Reception
-Registration
-Hotel Reservations

-Serious Games Summit Keynote Speaker: Jim Dunnigan

Jim Dunnigan is one of the first pioneers of serious games. In his keynote, Jim will share his vast experience and unique perspective on developing game-based simulations and models.

-Serious Games Summit Featured Sessions

INCIDENT COMMANDER and A FORCE MORE POWERFUL
-Douglas Whatley

Experiential Learning Assessment Strategies
-David Williamson Shaffer

Games as Mass Media Dialogue Devices
-Ian Bogost

Game Based Approaches to Story Based Training
-Matt Costello

Game Developer is Listed in the Yellow Pages: Finding The Right Help
-Ian Bogost

Game Models for E-learning Systems
-Doug Nelson

The Darwinian World of Game AI: The Current State of Human-Level Artificial Intelligence in Computer Simulations and War Games
-D. Ezra Sidran

Homeland Security: Uses and Opportunities for Simulations and Games
-Julia Loughran

How Can Games Shape Future Behaviors?
-Jim Gee

How Mods Really Get Built
-Tim Holt

Inside Building an Engine for Learning Games
-Tom McCormack

Into the Depths of a Major Commercial Game
-Don Daglow

Moving America’s Army from Recruitment to a Testing and Training Platform
-COL. Casey Wardynski

Things You Should Know About Serious Games But Probably Don’t: Better Collaboration by Avoiding Key Stumbling Blocks
-Jason Robar

Project Connect: From A to Z
-Ian Bogost & Ben Sawyer

Using Games: The War College Perspective
-Henry Lowood

What Happens When Games Go Into Any Classroom Situation?
-Kurt Squire

Visit www.seriousgamessummit.com/conference for updates and descriptions to the session schedule.

Serious Games Summit D.C.
October 18-19, 2004
Washington, D.C.
www.seriousgamessummit.com

Eigf: Games Are Good

As things calm down after the media frenzy surrounding Manhunt, the Edinburgh International Games Festival is showing the world that games can be good.

Part of the EIGF is allowing schoolchildren to design their own small videogames, showing the processes involved from designing characters, story plots and dialogue.

The EIGF is currently on in Edinburgh, and runs from August 8th-22nd. More information can be found at http://www.eigf.co.uk/EIGF

The BBC Report can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3553352.stmBBC News Online

Shindig – 2

The usual shindig events are on August 14th, drinking, more drinking, and banter. Kicks off at around 7pm and there are tables reserved downstairs, so if you’re new keep an eye out for people down there.

Toner’s is located opposite Burger King at the Stephen’s Green end of Baggot Street

August Shindig – 2

This month’s shindig has finally been planned, after much wranging and debate on the boards. Toners, Saturday 14th August, from around 7pm onwards.

Everyone is welcome, and there is usually a good turnout at these events, so if you’re new, and you want to come along to meet some of the regulars, inbetween many pints, join us there.

Serious Games Summit – 3

The number of non-entertainment games under development is rapidly increasing and demand for the ideas, skills and techniques used in commercial entertainment games is at an all time high. As a result, an entirely new market has emerged.

Game developers and tool providers can tap into this new market and develop new revenue streams.

The Serious Games Summit D.C. gives game developers and program managers the opportunity to learn from successful serious games applications and forge links between the traditional videogame industry and public and private sectors; homeland security, state and local governments, military agencies, and educational institutions.

In this Serious Games Summit Update:
-Serious Games Summit D.C. Keynote Speaker – Jim Dunnigan
-Serious Games Summit D.C. Featured Sessions
-Opening Night Reception
-Registration
-Hotel Reservations

-Serious Games Summit Keynote Speaker: Jim Dunnigan

Jim Dunnigan is one of the first pioneers of serious games. In his keynote, Jim will share his vast experience and unique perspective on developing game-based simulations and models.

-Serious Games Summit Featured Sessions

INCIDENT COMMANDER and A FORCE MORE POWERFUL
-Douglas Whatley

Experiential Learning Assessment Strategies
-David Williamson Shaffer

Games as Mass Media Dialogue Devices
-Ian Bogost

Game Based Approaches to Story Based Training
-Matt Costello

Game Developer is Listed in the Yellow Pages: Finding The Right Help
-Ian Bogost

Game Models for E-learning Systems
-Doug Nelson

The Darwinian World of Game AI: The Current State of Human-Level Artificial Intelligence in Computer Simulations and War Games
-D. Ezra Sidran

Homeland Security: Uses and Opportunities for Simulations and Games
-Julia Loughran

How Can Games Shape Future Behaviors?
-Jim Gee

How Mods Really Get Built
-Tim Holt

Inside Building an Engine for Learning Games
-Tom McCormack

Into the Depths of a Major Commercial Game
-Don Daglow

Moving America’s Army from Recruitment to a Testing and Training Platform
-COL. Casey Wardynski

Things You Should Know About Serious Games But Probably Don’t: Better Collaboration by Avoiding Key Stumbling Blocks
-Jason Robar

Project Connect: From A to Z
-Ian Bogost & Ben Sawyer

Using Games: The War College Perspective
-Henry Lowood

What Happens When Games Go Into Any Classroom Situation?
-Kurt Squire

Visit www.seriousgamessummit.com/conference for updates and descriptions to the session schedule.

Serious Games Summit D.C.
October 18-19, 2004
Washington, D.C.
www.seriousgamessummit.com

Eigf: Games Are Good – 2

As things calm down after the media frenzy surrounding Manhunt, the Edinburgh International Games Festival is showing the world that games can be good.

Part of the EIGF is allowing schoolchildren to design their own small videogames, showing the processes involved from designing characters, story plots and dialogue.

The EIGF is currently on in Edinburgh, and runs from August 8th-22nd. More information can be found at http://www.eigf.co.uk/EIGF

The BBC Report can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3553352.stmBBC News Online

Ects 2004 – 3

ECTS 2004 takes place from September 1-3 at Earl’s Court , London. This years lineup features the Game Developer Conference Europe, as well as featuring the World Cyber Games. Please note that this is generally a trade only event, featuring a lot of companies, but not the major publishers. The IDA are also exhibiting. More @

Gdc Europe 2004 – 3

The Game Developers Conference Europe 2004 takes place from August 31st until September 3rd at Earl’s Court , London. It is running alongside the ECTS.

The key topics this year are:

· Managing the risk associated with bigger teams and multiple projects
· Delivering an ever more sophisticated AAA games experience in shorter time-scales
· Managing the tight deadlines of delivering games tied to film release
· Funding models: how they work, what they cost the developer and how they change the business model
· Developing for PSP and Xbox2
· Post-mortems on AAA games
· Tutorials on leading games software tools for new platforms

There are a wide range of speakers including Ernest Adams and Tim Ansell.

More @

European Games Network 2004

EGN 2004 takes place from September 1-3 at ExCeL, near Canary Wharf in the London Docklands. This is the official ELSPA industry event of the London Games Week, and also features Game Stars Live. The event has seven components:

The Market Place
The Waterfront Rooms
The Hub Club
The TIGA International Content Market
The Net Bar
The Meeting Planner
The Conference and Seminar Programme

It also features all the big-name publishers and developers.

More info is available @ http://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/

European Games Network 2004 – 2

EGN 2004 takes place from September 1-3 at ExCeL, near Canary Wharf in the London Docklands. This is the official ELSPA industry event of the London Games Week, and also features Game Stars Live. The event has seven components:

The Market Place
The Waterfront Rooms
The Hub Club
The TIGA International Content Market
The Net Bar
The Meeting Planner
The Conference and Seminar Programme

It also features all the big-name publishers and developers.

More info is available @ http://www.europeangamesnetwork.co.uk/

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