Games Library Night

Games Library Night at Goldsmiths, University of London

For the second year in a row, at Goldsmiths we have celebrated the connection between our library and the world of games. The social space in the library is an incredible setting for showcasing games and have a friendly meetup and talk sessions with people from the game industry.

Plus, we had popcorn, cupcakes and tea for getting cosy and relaxed as the reading week is fading out and the winter is kicking in.

Across the evening we showcased many student games, some of which are making their own way to publishing and hitting the market. We played and talked together, giving and receiving feedback.

After a brief opening by Eve Jamieson and Alan Zucconi we’ve welcomed on stage our speakers.

Jupiter Hadley has introduced the audience to her job as a journalist and a reviewer, pointing out what are the elements that stand out in independent and game jam games.

Allan Cudicio, the second speaker of the evening, talked about how to research precolonial Africa for games. His talk was very well received, especially given how strong the discussion about decolonising the library currently is.

Anisa Sanusi closed the event talking about her mentorship programme for underrepresented genders in the game industry. We think this discussion is extremely relevant and important in an industry that is changing a lot and which is not always welcoming people in the best way.

We recorded all of the talks, which you can see in this playlist:

We’ve literally filled the space up to the brim and the Games Library Night has been a success for Goldsmiths. The feedback has been great, and the event was also featured on Timeout London.

Alan Zucconi, Federico Fasce, Eve Jamieson and Pete McKenzie

Games Library Night

To celebrate International Games Week, Goldsmiths Computing and Goldsmiths Library present a night with special guest speakers from across the games industry.

The event is free and open to the public, all are welcome. Participants will have an opportunity to play exciting new games created by Goldsmiths alumni and current students.

  • When: Friday 8 November 2019, 5pm – 9pm. Talks start at 6pm
  • Where: Goldsmiths Library
  • FREE. Register on Eventbrite

Speakers

Jupiter Hadley: Game Jams and Games You’ve Never Heard of….

Jupiter Hadley

This talk will explore Game Jams and highlight a collection of amazing game jam games that you have probably never heard of before.

Jupiter Hadley is a games journalist and YouTuber, primarily of indie games. Jupiter is also the Games Wizard at Armor Games.

Allan Cudicio: Make Pre-Colonial Africa Great Again – in Your Game

Allan Cudicio

This talk will tell you why you should start thinking about including precolonial Africa in your game (or other media) and will provide actionable first steps on how to research and implement it.

Allan Cudicio is Founder & Creative Director at Twin Drums, a new independent games studio focused on bringing together the fantasy genre and African folklore. Berlin based, Allan has worked for, among others, Candy Crush’s maker King and story driven mobile game developer Wooga.

Anisa Sanusi: Mentorship for the Underrepresented

Anisa Sanusi

Anisa discusses the story behind Limit Break Mentorship, a program created specifically to connect senior women in games to new or mid-level developers who are considered to be underrepresented in the industry.

She delves into how help can be sought after at any level of ones career, and the importance of giving back to a community – whoever you are.

Anisa Sanusi is a video games UI/UX Designer and Founder of Limit Break, a mentorship program for developers of underrepresented genders in the games industry. Throughout the years Anisa has cultivated a devotion to ethical UX design, speaking at the first UX Summit held at GDC in San Francisco and also served as a Juror for the BAFTA Games Awards for multiple years.

Anisa is an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the industry, and this year she was listed as one of the Top 100 Influential Women in the UK Games Industry.

Tea & Testing ☕️🎮

On Monday 14 October, games students from across the department came together for our very first ‘Tea & Testing’ session.

Created by games lecturer Alan Zucconi, the event is an opportunity for students in different years and on different courses to test out their games, and explore the games that are being made by their fellow students. What’s more, there’s tea and biscuits, an important part of the testing process.

As a bonus addition to the first session, a guest visitor was invited.
Award-winning game developer Alan Hazelden came along to get some feedback on a new game he is developing. The room was buzzing and many different weird and wonderful games were played, and plenty of chatting and mingling alongside.

The event highlighted that alcohol isn’t a necessary ingredient for testing sessions. Alan Zucconi said “Most social events that give students an opportunity to playtest their games tend to revolve around pubs, which are rarely accessible and not always promoters of an inclusive environment.

“The people who don’t feel comfortable in those environments are the ones we need to hear the most. The idea to switch to tea instead is to provide students with a safer and more inclusive space.”

If you’re interested in attending the next session – either because you have a game you would like to playtest, or because you want to play some games – the next sessions are….

  • Goldsmiths library, 3pm-6pm Friday 8 November
  • Room 219, Whitehead Building, 5pm-7pm Monday 25 November

Hacksmiths: Ethics in modern AI

Goldsmiths’ student-run tech society, Hacksmiths are running a day of talks about the ways in which ethics are considered and ignored in modern applications of Artificial Intelligence.

When: 11am-2pm, Saturday 12 October 2019
Where: St James Hatcham Building, Goldsmiths. Map
Tickets: Free on eventbrite

Technology is ingrained in most of our lives. So why is it that only a small fraction of us understand how our everyday choices are being steered by others, and the systems they create?

Whether it’s who Facebook is telling you to vote for, or what Amazon is telling you to buy, democracy and freedom are being tested. Academic experts give us their insight on why we should be embedding ethics into Artificial Intelligence in 2019.

11.30am: Professor Stuart Russell
Stuart’s research on the history and future of Artificial Intelligence and its relation to humanity includes machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, real-time decision making, multitarget tracking, computer vision, inverse reinforcement learning, and the movement to ban the manufacture and use of autonomous weapons.

Prof Stuart Russell

Stuart was born in Portsmouth, England. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with first-class honours in Physics from the University of Oxford where he was an undergraduate student at Wadham College in 1982, and his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1986.

12.30pm: Dr Dan McQuillan on Post-austerity AI
This talk will not focus on the long term future of AI but on the political and social damage that will flow from the AI we already have. It will describe the way its concrete operations of optimisation and prediction lead to thoughtlessness, epistemic injustice and segregation, and how that resonates with the wider politics of austerity and the rise of the far right. The talk will propose a route to an alternative AI based on feminist technology studies and forms of direct democracy such as people’s councils. It will call for an approach to AI in the here and now that puts matters of care at its core, and that recomposes the very idea of AI as computation in the service of togetherness.

Dr Dan McQuillan

Dan is a Lecturer in Creative and Social Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London. After a PhD in Experimental Particle Physics, he worked with people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, and was Digital Director for Amnesty International.

12.50pm: Dr Kate Devlin
Kate is Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence at King’s College London, where she researches how society reacts to technological change.

Dr Kate Devlin

Her book, Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots (Bloomsbury, 2018) has received wide acclaim.

She campaigns for gender equality in tech, and has recently been elected as a Director of the Open Rights Group. She tweets far too often as @drkatedevlin.

1.10pm: Q&A
1.50pm: Stuart’s book signing for Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control

Experiments in Play

Join us for a showcase of inventive and experimental playful experiences developed by students on the MA Independent Games & Playable Experience Design.

Website: EXPERIMENTS IN PLAY
Course: MA Indie Games + Playable Experience Design

The exhibition promises to push the boundaries of what games can offer as a medium, and experiments with the vast capabilities of play. Expect an array of inventive and experimental playful experiences that sit at the intersection of games, interactive design, and creative technology.P

  • Opening gala: 6pm-10pm, Thu 19 September 2019
  • Exhibition continues: 10am-8pm, Fri 20 and Sat 21 September 2019

Work on show includes physical performances and workshops, interactive literature, VR & AR experiences, alternative controllers, and playable works of art, as well as more traditional video game and board game experiences.

The show explores the possibilities of embodied and immersive storytelling and alternative narrative structures, considers how games are evolving to critically impact on issues of gender, mental health, sexuality and intimacy, and reimagines a world of gaming that champions inclusion and accessibility.

As part of the Experiments in Play showcase we are holding an Opening Night Gala, which will feature a series of talks and panel discussions. Speakers will be announced soon.

Website: EXPERIMENTS IN PLAY
Course: MA Indie Games + Playable Experience Design

MA/MFA Computational Arts Degree Show 2019

We warmly invite you to Goldsmiths’ 2019 MA/MFA Computational Arts degree show exhibition, So how is that working for you?

It’s our biggest exhibition to date with more than 60+ computational artists. There will be interactive installations, performances, workshops, panel discussions, drinks and nibbles.

Private view + party: 5-10pm Thursday 5 September 2019
Where: St. James Hatcham (‘The Church’), Goldsmiths. Google map
Exhibition continues: Friday 6 September (11am-8pm), Saturday 7 September (11am-8pm) and Sunday 8 September (11am-5pm).

ARTISTS’ STATEMENT

Working through the ever evolving tensions around technology and art, we feel the responsibility to explore and reflect on some critical questions surrounding the past, present and future of technologies that permeate our everyday lives.

How do we situate and consolidate our artistic agency within a world where technologies are seemingly integrated into the very fabric of society on the one hand and weaponised and used against us on the other?

What is the role of computational art in the Anthropocene’s era where technology is simultaneously part of the problem and part of the solution?

So how is that working for you? is a speculative response to these questions and tensions. Comprising current work from our practice, the show traces a route through seven conceptual threads: intelligence, phenomenon, narration, network, matter, embodiment, surveillance.

List of performances and events

Instagram feed

Is Virtual Reality the future of education?

Dr Marco Gillies, Reader in Computing at Goldsmiths, gave a talk at the Virtual and Augmented Reality to Enhance Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Conference, that explained how virtual reality, and particularly interactive virtual characters, could enable us to learn the kinds of social skills that we need for work. These are the kinds of skills that are so hard to learn in a traditional way, anything from a doctor breaking bad news to a patient to a police officer interviewing a suspect. Professional social skills of this type are very different from our ordinary social lives, and handling them well can only be learned through experience.

Together with Dr Sylvia Pan, Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, Marco has over 20 years experience of developing animated interactive characters that have realistic body language. Encountering a life-sized virtual human in immersive VR is a really powerful experience because body language cues like eye contact or personal space feel very realistic in VR. Making eye contact on a traditional computer just means looking out of the screen, but in VR it feels like eye contact in real life. That means that a VR conversation feels real. We can use this type of realistic social interaction to help train people to be better at their professional social skills.

The conference as a whole included many examples of how VR could be used to teach skills that you can only learn by experience. VR is much cheaper and safer than doing things for real, but much closer to real life than a book or video. In the next few years we will probably see a revolution in immersive media for education, and no where is this going to be more beneficial than in one of the most important skills we need in life: how to interact with other people.

You can see Marco’s write up of the talk here:
Purposeful Practice for learning social skills in VR

And this is a write up of the whole conference:
Virtual and Augmented Reality in Education Conference

If you are interested in Virtual Reality you might be interested in our new Masters in Virtual and Augmented Realityor our MOOC on Virtual Reality