tirsdag 8. februar 2011

Norwegian Game Conference; Part 1

Last week I had the pleasure of attenting the Norwegian Game Conference in Hamar. Joined by a few fellow students and friends, I headed out at 0700 in the morning to get there in time. One has to love Norwegian distances! 

This years conference focused on media, games and learning. I found it to include quite a wide variety of speakers. Among the speakers one could find a state secretary, bloggers, a media developer, a sales- and marketing director, an army major, a designer and a British Baronesse and Professor.

The first speaker was Lotte Grepp Knutsen, state secretary in the Norwegian Department of Culture. She spent some time describing the Norwegian Parliament Report on video games( Can be read here, Norwegian only though.) and how Norway is possibly the only country in the wolrd with a report like this. The report acknowledges video games as culture and an audio visual means of expression with great value. The department of culture would love more video games based on Norwegian culture and there are actually several funds available for game developers chosing this approach. The library of Drammen was also mentioned as a great culture carrier keeping up with the times we are living in. This library started arranging game nights, LAN’s and keeps a good selection for video games for rent. This is an interesting approach to the traditional library that I quite like. Libraries used to be a place you had to go to get knowledge. These days the knowledge is everywhere (computers at home etc) and libraries should rather become places of culture. To support this, the Norwegian Government has spent some of the state budget on games for libraries. 
Kristine Løwe(Media Blogger for VG(Norwegian Newspaper)) spoke briefly about how new technology gives us new media habits and how the technology enables a new kind of information source.
Marius Arnesen(NRK Beta Blogger and Media Developer) described the technology department of NRK (Norwegian State run TV Channel). For those not familiar with this, NRK Beta is a fairly open environment where new technology is tested. They have been producing several games, usually at a smaller scale, and have been covering news from the game world. Currently they are working on adjusting the NRK WebTV to all the new platforms available. They also showed off a sneak peak ofwhat might be the new Web TV design.                                                  
What my phone managed to snap before the slide changed! IMAG0023 
Lars Ragnar Kristiansen (Sales and Marketing Director of Mobiletech) shared thought on the developing business of mobile phones. He shared some statistics on the power of utilizing mobile devices by showing off Swedish Aftonbladet, which went from 50 thousand to 650 thousand views per week as they went mobile. He also touched the native VS web app debate. With so many mobile devices on the market, it becomes difficult for developers to keep up with every single version of a single app. Kristiansen suggested that a mix of the two is probably what’s going to happen. Thin client apps with content fetched from the web will possibly be the apps of the near future.
Then there was time for lunch, which included yummy salmon wraps! Stay tuned for part two, which included a very interesting talk by Baroness Greenfield on the gaming brain.
 Me holding my notes and food!  IMG_20110203_114002

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