Wellcome Trust Panel a Success!


A big thanks to our panellists and all who took part in the Develop 2001 panel discussion and who helped to make the event a great success.  Here is a description of the event from Tomas's blog:

Then was the session I was part of for the Wellcome Trust.  I’d say it was the most eclectic line-up at Develop this year from a neuroscientist (Demis Hassabis) to a new start-up doing 3D printing (Alice Taylor) to mainstream games development (from Jez Harris).  I think it went well, at least the panel did a great job of talking about serious stuff like fun, death, sex and drugs. Paul Canty from Preloaded showed off their fascinating new game for Channel 4, that looks at death; The End.  Demis also gave us some great insight from a scientific perspective on games development saying that games (and digital media) are rewiring our brains in some ways and that the data that can now be gathered from games and gaming can offer insights into not only how to make better (scarier!) games, but also into how our brains work.  Notes on the Wellcome Trust’s funding for making games is here.

It was also independently reviewed by another blogger (our emphasis):

Next stop was a business seminar (I tried to mix up the tracks I attended) entitled “Money for Good Games”. With the support of the Wellcome Trust (a charitable organisation who offer to fund the development of games with a biomedical theme), an impressive panel chaired by Tom Rawlings comprised of Alice Taylor, Dr Demis Hassabis, Jez Harris and Paul Canty discussed the use of games in the wider world in such fields as education, medicine, mental health and death. However, let’s not forget about the aspect of fun in video games. Indeed, Alice Taylor was keen to emphasise the importance of fun in educational games and beyond, saying: “If you’re bored, you’re not learning”, as well positing that Facebook games such as Farmville were “training wheels for real games”, these often causing players to seek out other, more meaty video game fare in the future. It was also interesting to find out that, according to research, 52% of players think of moral and ethical questions during play… so perhaps people really do care when they’re hurling their villagers to their deaths in Black & White (one of Demis’s past projects). Additionally, some research done for the BBC in 2005 allegedly revealed an almost 50/50 gender split in gaming, the latter statistic arguably quite contrary to the usual assumption of all gamers being male.