Vancouver was Kung Fu Fighting

Friday May 28th in Vancouver Canada was the Centre for Digital Media's Digital Kung-Fu 2 (DKF2) event. Its focus to, "Bringing together experts and leaders from an array of sectors in digital media, this workshop offers a full day of interactive sessions to help inspire new ideas and develop them into realizable goals. Participants will be treated to insider techniques for the conceptualizing, visualizing, prototyping and pitching of ideas, as well as insights into current industry trends and technologies. This is your opportunity to get a crash course in digital martial arts!

Part of Vancouver Interactive Digital Week, Digital Kung Fu 2 is a one-day intensive professional development seminar delivered by industry experts. Kick-start, augment and accelerate your digital ideas into realizable apps, services (or products) and start-ups." - DKF

The Centre for Digital Media is a converted multimedia facility at Vancouver's Great Northern Way Campus that is a collaborative university campus environment between UBC, SFU, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, and BCIT. An impressive little building that is a collection of Canada's best. The Centre offers a Masters Program in Digital Media.

The MC throughout the day was the Centre's Director of Industry Relations Dennis Chenard. Also known as a ‘Director of Hook-Ups´, Dennis has a history of connecting creators, producers, and distributors of digital content with peers from around the world and works with a variety of stakeholders in industry, government and education in Canada and abroad. No better person to host a variety of panel guests from a variety of backgrounds including indie game developers and mixed reality experts with invited delegations from Japan and the Netherlands included in the audience.

The day started with an interactive team exercise to build the tallest structure with a marshmallow, dry spaghetti sticks and a meter of tape and string. Based on Tom Wujec's recent TED 2010 presentation, the purpose of the exercise is to learn more about collaboration, innovation, and creativity. I am happy to say I was on the winning team but will be honest in that fact I contributed nothing other than moral support as it was done pre-coffee and my brain is non-functioning that early before a first cup. High 5 to my team members!

I learned a lot about the BC Game Industry scene the night before the Centre's event at the first Vancouver Indie Game Developer Meetup. Seems Vancouver has a growing gaming (pro & indie) community with game and new media studios popping up everywhere. More big game companies are opening offices in the BC area. Makes sense that the tone of DKF2 would be heavy into gaming.

Covering a variety of game industry related topics from local successful small and big businesses, panel titles included:

1. How to Boot-Strap a Successful Digital Media Startup:101 with examples from Babylonian Twins (Cosmos Interactive)

and EcoBuddies, the worlds largest green children's virtual world.

The EcoBuddies virtual world reminded me of Jane McGonigal's TED talk on how gaming can make a better world.

2. If you're not Indie.. Stories from the front line (with this funny video)

My favorite presentation from this panel was from indie developer Gene Endrody that is responsible for the MMORPG Sherwood Dungeon. This 3D World of Warcraft style game has over a million players, is free, playable in the browser via Adobe's Shockwave player, and has a nice look with good game play especially given it is created by a husband and wife team.

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3. Augmented Reality - What's up with that
I was honored to be asked to lead this panel and present with mixed reality experts that are doing amazing work. The theme of our panel was Augmented Reality but not in regards to the technology, but how we as humans augment our reality with digital data that we view and interact with in a variety of ways.

My fellow presenters were Dr. Nick Hedley, founding director of the Spatial Interface Research Lab at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and an Asst. Professor in the Department of Geography. Nick has been researching and developing geovisualization interfaces, virtual environments, and mixed reality applications for over 15 years. A contributor to many mixed reality applications across a variety of industries, his primary areas of R&D are geospatial tangible augmented reality (GeoSTAR), mobile geospatial augmented reality, and serious games applied to real geographic problems. He showed many great examples of AR/VR and I will be including his slides here shortly.

Ian Stavness, a PhD candidate at University of British Colombia (UBC) working on computer graphics and modeling in biomedical applications was our panel's other presenter. He presented on a super cool project he is leading at UBC that has developed a new 3D display technology called pCubee (PCWorld write-up).

I thank my fellow panelists and Dennis for putting together a panel that many came up after and said was very informative and inspiring. Digital Kung Fu 2 was an action packed day full of information, great networking, and top of the line technology demonstrations that are being developed in Canada.


glennjacob said…
Thanks a lot your blog is very informative.
Keep it always updated.
Kung Fu and Martial Art is immensely popular among peoples as it is practiced by the people as a self defence skill.
Plumber Burbank said…
I have seen all video`s given in your blog. Babylonian Twins game are very interesting.thanks for sharing this information. It is really informative and quality of the content is extraordinary.

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