SMSC at ISEA2009

Posted on Sunday, September 13th, 2009 at 10:50 pm by Jeremy in process | No Comments

I recently travelled to Belfast to attend ISEA2009, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, and to give a short presentation on the Social Media for Social Change project. The event afforded a great opportunity to look back and reflect upon our work and process to date. It was valuable to assemble the various iterative steps along the way in order to communicate a cohesive story about the project. So, the fundamental question we are asking is: how can we reimagine civil discourse in the context of social media and networked communication? Our objectives are: 1) to learn more about human interaction (online and offline); 2) to create structural changes (as opposed to merely tweaking existing tools); and 3) to build environments that accommodate divergent perspectives, mediate disagreement, and encourage civil debate.

The presentation also marks the end of phase one. Future funding for the project is uncertain — our funding from UArts has ended — but we hope to continue on. The NIMBY Game has number of possible ways forward, including:

  • a limited edition production of the game
  • use the game as an educational or training tool in more specific applications, e.g. neighborhood conflict resolution and mediation, training for urban planners, general civics education
  • a version that replicates an actual neighborhood to give players a more intimate knowledge of the place and deal with very specific conflicts residents may be confronted with
  • scale the game up to the urban level by developing a BUG (big urban game)
  • digital versions that more explicitly incorporate social media and networked technologies

Look for more updates here soon. In the meantime, here’s the slide show from the ISEA presentation: