Tuesday, January 3, 2012

USC Film Students Practice Artistic Craft Through Games

Read, "USC Film Students Practice Artistic Craft Through Games," Wired's overview of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts' intriguing method to introduce freshman an active learning environment through an immersive alternate reality card game, called 'Reality'. Yes, the idea of a card-trading game with real-life stakes is intriguing. And Nerdy. Even nerdier? The recognition by the game concept designers that, "A face-to-face mechanic, that prompted casual discussion and ramped up to collaboration was what was needed," and that's why they built a card-game instead of solely a web portal in the first place.

However, the best part of this article is the super project collaborated upon by rival competing teams. The students learned that success was more probable under "forced collaboration", because in real life there is no such thing as winning. That's right, I'm going on the record to say that Donald Trump and Lord Sugar are wrong and Dr. Phil is right. Winning is a paradigm concept. It's a moment. And you can't win life because life is an infinite collection of moments. You can't win them all. You can't even win most of them. It's classically forbidden at the quantum level. Things show up where they are not supposed to be all the time.

So why not collaborate with some friends, or enemies, and build something. Build something then play with it. Than let other people play with it. And let them build on it. By continually adding energy to the system you can give entropy the middle finger.


Too geeky?

Learn more about the projects the students created as a result of Reality by checking out the game’s online archive of deals, where highlights (suggested by Wired) include a special effects-ridden science fiction trailer, a satiric dramatization of students’ experiences with the project, and a game of live-action Minesweeper at IndieCade.

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