Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Foundations Of Digital Games Conference

The Game Development in Computer Science Education conference has been renamed and this year’s event is called the Fourth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. This is the premier educational conference for faculty who use game development to teach computer science concepts and principles. In the past we have had a small number of high school computer science faculty come on the conference but I am hoping that by giving people early warning we can get more this time. A lot of the work being done for early university computer science scales to high school as well. Frankly I am also hoping that some of the pioneering high school faculty out there will submit papers (and hopefully get them accepted) and be able to present as well. My observation is that some high schools are really getting a lot of value out of game development courses and people can really learn from those experiences.

Conference dates:

April 26-30, 2009

Conference location:

Disney Wonder cruise ship, departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, USA


FDG '09, the International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games is a focal point for academic efforts in all areas of research involving computer and console games, game technologies, game play and game design. Previously known as the Conference on Game Development and Computer Science Education, this year's conference takes on a new scope covering the breadth of game research and education. The conference is targeted at researchers making contributions that promote new game capabilities, designs, applications and modes of play.

The call for papers can be found on the web site for the conference at The web site is still building out and more information will be coming over the next few weeks and months. I’ll post much of it here as well.

Oh and yes the conference is on a cruise ship but it is as serious and professional a conference as you can imagine. The venue (especially with very limited cell phone and Internet coverage) promotes an awful lot of serious, valuable and educational conversations. The networking potential (of the human kind) is in my opinion unparalleled. Some of the top computer science faculty in the world present at this conference. There is also good attendance and technical presentations by people in the main stream of the game industry. This is an amazing learning opportunity.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interesting Links – 15 July 2008

I am struggling to  catch up from my vacation. One of the trailing points in my activity is blogging – both reading and writing. I’ve got over 500 blog posts (mostly in the education category – aren’t you all on vacation?) to read. But I’ve come up with a few things already that are worth giving some attention to.

The $40 Billion GorillaBen Chun had an interesting post complete with slide show on his talk titled “Bringing a $40 Billion Gorilla Into Your Classroom: Using Video Games to Teach Computer Science” with some links to some free resources he uses. $40 billion is the projected value of the video game development industry.

Learning Before Learning – A Canadian university student, Aziz, takes on the controversy about students learning things on their own before they are taught them in class in a post called “Learning Before Learning (or getting ahead of school curriculum)”. I have to think about this one still

Imagine Cup Advice – This year’s Imagine Cup recently finished up and involved students from around 100 countries this year. Two university faculty whom I respect greatly have posts about what it takes to make a successful team for a competition like this. Didith Rodrigo from Ateneo de Manila (Philippines) wrote her comments at a post called Moving forward from the Imagine Cup While Rob Miles from the university of Hull (UK) wrote a post called How to Make a Great Imagine Cup Entry A lot of their advice works for any important project (or start up business plan) that has to be presented to an important audience. Well worth the short reads.

Interesting Things Among My Team – I work with an interesting group of people just about any way you define “interesting.” A couple of them are up to special things these days. Clint Rutkas is getting very close to getting his self stabilizing skate board working. He’s got a video of him testing it on his blog here. Clint writes about some of his remaining issues here. I love that he admits in advance that his father is going to say “I told you so.”

The connection between music and math is fairly well known but there seems to be a connection between music and computer science as well. (I don’t just mean things like Dan Waters’ creation of Guitar Matey for the Xbox 360 using XNA either) DeVaris Brown who is a full time high tech member of the Microsoft team is also a professional DJ under the name DJ Fury. So when the Imagine Cup team needed a DJ for a major party in Paris they brought DeVaris along. The interview is here and you may find it very interesting just how computer technology fits into his DJ practice. He uses technologies like SilverLight and Popfly to bring his shows to the Internet. I wish I was a talented and as musical as DeVaris but I’ll probably have to stick with just being better looking. (I added that to see if DeVaris reads my blog. :-) )

Well I have a lot more catching up to do. More interesting stuff to blog about soon.

[Note: cross posted from to give my friends some extra link love.]

Friday, July 04, 2008

Imagine Cup – Student Environment & Technology Competition

The 2008 Imagine Cup finals is currently being held in Paris France. This international competition involves tens of thousands of university students around the world. This year’s theme is "Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment." The creative projects that teams have come up with are downright amazing. I think that these teams are demonstrating ways that computer science and technology can make a real difference in the world. Exciting stuff.

The official Imagine Cup finals blog is open and active. There you will find regular updates from the staff at the finals event (no I didn’t get to go – maybe one day) as well as links to blogs by many of the competitors. The team is adding all sorts of information including team profiles, interviews, pictures and much more! There are also video updates at Channel 8 BTW.

There are team blogs from all over the world. The list alone is worth checking out to see not only who is their from your country or geographic region but from other parts of the world as well. (The US Software Design team blog is here.)

Also several friends of mine at there and blogging. Didith Rodrigo is a professor of Computer Science at Ateneo De Manila in the Philippines. I never miss an update at her blog and will be following her stay in Paris with interest. And Rob Miles who is a lecturer at the University of Hull in the UK is there. Rob is always interesting. Both have posted their first messages from the Imagine Cup finals.

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