- About Us
TechRaking Two is a daylong event on Sept. 19, 2012, dedicated to the intersection of news and games. Social and gaming continue to play a major role in how the public gathers information and interacts with content online.
Gaming industry executives, designers and artists will convene with investigative journalists to explore how gaming platforms can be used to reach and engage citizens in investigative journalism. In addition to participating in discussions with industry leaders, conference participants will be divided into teams and challenged to develop pitches for news games that connect players in radically new ways. The winning team will receive $10,000 worth of development time from Coco Studios to jump-start its idea with the Center for Investigative Reporting.
This conference is co-presented with the Online News Association and Public Radio International, hosted by IGN at its headquarters in San Francisco. For registration information, please contact Kristin Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: IGN Headquarters
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Sept. 19, 2012, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
IGN Headquarters, 625 Second St., third floor, San Francisco
Follow @cironline and use #TechRaking for more information.
Tal Blevins, IGN’s vice president of games content (@talign)
With a background in city planning, Blevins' interest in pursuing a career in video games was ignited by Will Wright’s breakthrough game "Sim City." He will get the morning started by addressing this question: Can journalism and gaming converge to transform the news?
Small breakout sessions exploring current best practices in gaming, news and engagement. There will be two one-hour sessions on each topic:
1) Heather Chaplin – The Arc of History (@heatherchaplin)
One reporter gives her account of getting the story on game designers and gamers revealing the hidden side of their impact on our society. It’s been seven years since Chaplin’s book, "Smartbomb," was published. Come hear what’s changed and what hasn’t since then. Chaplin has been covering games since 2001. She'll talk about what makes games a different form of media than linear narrative storytelling, as well as the importance of understanding games as systems and the untapped potential for journalists to use games and models for explaining the underlying mechanics of complex issues.
2) Dennis Bonilla – Space: The Final Frontier and Fantasy (@harbingeralpha)
NASA is once again dropping knowledge and reminding the world just how awesome the universe is. From the Mars Curiosity Rover to solar system data, NASA is empowering citizen scientists with innovative public engagement platforms and creating revolutionary solutions. Hear from a creator of NASA software who uses game technology and mechanics to bring out-of-this-world data closer to earth.
3) Nonny De La Peña – Immersive, Recursive and Subversive
Immersive environments are core to many game experiences. This session will survey the most powerful examples of applying this principal to the difficult stories of our time, from the creative visionary behind many of them. She will talk about when to consider using gaming platforms for breaking news and how to apply game mechanics to detailed stories.
4) IGN – The News, the Games and the Players who love them (@IGN)
What’s it like to run the biggest network covering the gaming Industry? How about managing the second-biggest You Tube Channel on the planet? Come hear from the people who make it happen.
5) Chase Davis – Math, Machines and Mouths (@chasedavis)
Science fiction writers have long imagined a world run by learning machines. We are surrounded by expressions of their creative foresight - ubiquitous networking, semantic Web and startling advances in artificial intelligence. Will it also happen to news? Davis will catch us up on some of the important advances that might soon answer the big questions. He’ll also preview some very cool small ideas that might have wide ranging implications. Warning: Be careful what you wish for… if that wish is said aloud anywhere humans are present with technology.
Provided by IGN + conversation with special guest speaker
Speaker Intro: Alisa Miller, CEO PRI
Keynote Speaker: David Helgason, Founder and CEO of Unity Technologies (@davidhelgason)
Unity Technologies is revolutionizing the game industry with Unity, its award-winning breakthrough development platform. Unity Technologies has more than 450,000 registered users worldwide — including Bigpoint, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nickelodeon, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., large and small studios, indies, students and hobbyists — all using Unity to create games and interactive 3D on the web, mobile, consoles and beyond.
Sessions with six groups designing “News Games”
1:30-3 p.m. Launch sequence
3:-3:30 p.m. Speed round concept presentations for judges
3:30-5 p.m. Design pitches
1) "Decisions on a Deadline" – Samantha Grant
"Decisions on a Deadline" is social news game played on Flipboard. Friends compete with one another writing headlines, editing photos and curating feeds, all against the clock. Like the companion documentary "A Fragile Trust" (the ITVS Open Call-funded documentary about the Jayson Blair/New York Times plagiarism scandal of 2003), "Decisions on a Deadline" explores issues of ethics, accountability, diversity and power in the media.
2) Data Toys – Heather Chaplin
Data Toys explore one central challenge: how to report and present the complex systems behind the news in a way that fosters deep understanding and independent analysis. Data Toys are, literally, toys. They’re potentially screen-based software as well as physical objects - beautiful and human-centric in design - that encourage people to play with data to enhance their understanding of complex systems.
3) "What's for Lunch?" – CIR
If you think feeding 600 hungry, screaming, picky children is easy, just ask any parent who has tried to feed even one. With obesity skyrocketing, the government has made the job much harder for schools by requiring tougher nutrition standards for lunches, starting this summer. Those who serve school lunches have many enemies in their quest to feed more fruits and vegetable to kids: the Burger King and Taco Bell across the street; an insatiable appetite for sugar, salt and fat; snotty attitudes about cafeteria food; lunch-money bullies; crushing poverty; and crippling budget cuts. Oh, and make sure it costs less than $1.50 per meal. Good luck!
4) The Nexus Game – Nonny De La Peña
A news game that asks players to meet the difficult but crucial challenge of creating a balance in the food/energy/water nexus. Achieving water, energy and food security for all will only be made possible by considering the interdependencies among the sectors. Drinking water supply, energy production and agriculture are all based on water and land resources. Demographic growth, urbanization and climate change are accentuating the pressure on these limited resources. Players will work trying to balance the food/energy/water nexus and the coincident elements of collaboration and competition while gaining a deeper understanding of this important story through their engagement with details.
5) Open Challenge 1
6) Open Challenge 2
1) Olivia Ma (@oliviama)
Ma is YouTube's news manager. She oversees YouTube's news programming and product strategy, working closely with both news organizations and citizen reporters using the site to share news video around the world. She also manages YouTube's news editorial through CitizenTube (youtube.com/citizentube), YouTube's news channel, and is responsible for YouTube's coverage of major global news events. Ma has produced three YouTube interviews with President Barack Obama and last fall's Fox News/Google GOP Primary Debate. This year, her focus is on YouTube's 2012 election strategy. Prior to joining YouTube, Ma was a product manager for Plum, a social media-sharing website, and ran Current, a national college news magazine published in partnership with Newsweek. Ma graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature. She is also on the board of directors for the Center for Public Integrity.
2) Phil Bronstein (@PhilBronstein)
Bronstein was named executive chairman of the board of the Center for Investigative Reporting in April, when the organization merged with The Bay Citizen. Bronstein joined the CIR board in 2006 and became board chairman in 2011. He is now in charge of overall operations. Previously, Bronstein was editor-at-large and director of content development for Hearst Newspapers. Before that, he was executive vice president and editor-at-large of the San Francisco Chronicle, after serving as the newspaper’s editor from 2000 to 2008. Bronstein was editor of the San Francisco Examiner, which merged with the Chronicle in 2000, from 1991 to 2000. He started at the Examiner as a reporter in 1980, where he specialized in investigative projects and was a foreign correspondent for eight years. He was a 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work in the Philippines. Before joining the Examiner, he was a reporter with public television station KQED in San Francisco. He is the former chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ International Committee and is currently on the advisory board of Litquake, the annual San Francisco literary festival.
3) Tal Blevins: (@talign)
Blevins is the vice president of games content for IGN Entertainment, overseeing video game content creation and strategy for all of the IGN Entertainment sites. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a master's in geography, Blevins joined IGN.com in October 1998 as an associate editor on the PC channel. He is a founding member of IGN Entertainment and has worked in the video game reporting industry for more than 15 years. Blevins' articles have appeared in Next Generation magazine, Games Business magazine and TV Guide, among other publications. He has also appeared as an expert in the field of video games on several national and international television and radio networks, including G4TV, BBC and NPR.
Gallery 16, 501 Third St., San Francisco
Co-presented with PBS MediaShift
Sponsored by CUNY Graduate School of Journalism