Michael to serve as ICIDS ’12 Program Co-Chair

R. Michael Young will serve as the Program Co-Chair for the ICIDS 2012, the International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, to be held in Spain in the late Fall of the year. Together with Dr. Federico Peinado, Michael will work to form the program committee, supervise the review process for the scientific paper submissions and compose the program for the conference event. The conference General Chair for 2012 will be Dr. David Oyarzun.

ICIDS is the premier international conference on interactive digital storytelling. It was successfully launched in 2008, superseding the previous two European conference series, TIDSE (“Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling”) and ICVS (“Virtual Storytelling – Using Virtual Reality Technologies for Storytelling”).

For more information on ICIDS (and TIDSE and ICVS), visit: http://icids.org

Barik and Cardona-Rivera Speak At Carolina Games Summit


Two DGRC Ph.D. students, Titus Barik (from the CIIGAR research group) and Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera (from our own Liquid Narrative group), presented a talk at the Carolina Games Summit, an event which is celebrated annually at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The event unites game developers, game educators, and game players, and features video game tournaments, industry speakers, educational sessions, and exhibition booths.

Titus and Rogelio gave a live programming talk on the basics of Artificial Intelligence in Video Games. The talk was given to a broad audience, ranging from High School Students to Industry Professionals and covered what goes on “under the hood” in video games when you play against computer opponents. Titus and Rogelio discussed how artificial intelligence is used for creating challenging gameplay as well as believable character behavior.

“Our presentation at the Carolina Games Summit was more than just an opportunity to talk about the practical aspects of artificial intelligence in games. It also offered us a chance to encourage potential students at community colleges and high schools around North Carolina to consider an education in STEM fields, such as Computer Science.”, said Titus, who is a licensed Professional Engineer and has a Masters of Engineering from the ECE Department at NC State.

“We were very excited to present at the Carolina Games Summit. Being able to show the skills that we acquire at the Digital Games Research Center and NC State is important; not only for prospective students considering applying to NC State, but also for current students aiming to get jobs in the games industry. We once again showed that the Wolfpack is technically competent and professionally capable.”, said Rogelio, who is a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow.

Michael Everett, Creative Director of the Carolina Games Summit and Wayne Community College Instructor, highlighted the importance of the presentation: “One of our goals here at Wayne Community College has been to introduce more technical subjects within our Simulation and Game Development curriculum. Their presentation has provided us with a clear path towards accomplishing this goal. As a direct result of the presenter’s work, we will be offering a course in Game AI (SGD 125: Artificial Intelligence) next Fall.”

Sharon Bull, Department Chair of Information System Technology at Wayne Community College felt that “Titus and Rogelio did an excellent job of presenting a complicated subject in a way that everyone could understand. I am very grateful that both of them gave up their Saturday to help make the Carolina Games Summit a success.”

After the event, Titus and Rogelio remarked, “It is always fun to come out and give a talk about the field you are passionate about. Artificial intelligence is an exciting but technically difficult subject. Being able to present it in a way that could be appreciated by both experts as well as non-technical participants was very rewarding.”

For more information about Titus Barik, click here: http://www.barik.net

For more information about Rogelio Cardona-Rivera, click here: http://go.ncsu.edu/recardon

For more information about the Carolina Games Summit, click here: http://www.carolinagamessummit.com/

For more information about Wayne Community College, click here: http://www.waynecc.edu/

STEM Video Game Challenge Pushed by LN Team


The 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge is coming to North Carolina on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 7 p.m. at Franklinton High School, 910 Cedar Creek Road, in Franklinton, NC. Team members from the Liquid Narrative Group will be there, pusing the role of science in video game development. All North Carolina middle school through college age youth and their families are invited to attend.

The Challenge, which runs through March 12, 2012, invites game-creators to create video games that excite and educate users about science, technology, engineering and math. The contest is open to four different categories: middle school students (5th – 8th grade), high school students, college students and teachers/educators. Prizes are awarded to winners in each category.

Special guest speaker is Brian Alspach of E-Line Media, a publisher of game-based learning products and implementing partner of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. Students of all ages will be demonstrating educational video games and other STEM activities, and several gaming companies from the Research Triangle Park area will have demonstrations.

Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera and Charles Bevan, Ph.D. Students from the Digital Games Research Center in the Computer Science Department at NC State will be will be showing demos and videos of a range of games built at the NC State. Included in the demos is IC-CRIME, a game-based collaboration tool for investigators working to solve real-world crimes. Development of the IC-CRIME system was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with a $1.2M award and includes researchers from computer science, textile engineering, anthropology and sociology. Also, several student-made games that were created by students in the department’s Game Development Concentration will be demonstrated including Compound Reaction, a game that teaches high school chemistry principles to players who gather and assemble molecular compounds to fuel a crashed space ship, their only means of escape from an alien world. Compound Reaction received an honorable mention in the 2009 I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase and Challenge, a national competition to identify innovative games-based designs for training and education.

The Challenge, sponsored in NC by PBS Ready to Learn, UNC-TV, Franklin County Schools, and North Carolina Cooperative Extension, is inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. It is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.

The Challenge is launched in partnership with Digital Promise, a new initiative created by the President and Congress, supported through the Department of Education. The initiative is designed to unlock the promise of breakthrough technologies to transform teaching and learning.

For more information on the Challenge, click here.