The Future is Digital: Malta as hub for doing in the digital
The Institute of Digital Games (IDG) will be inaugurating their new premises on Wednesday 25 September and to celebrate this they’re highlighting the bright future of the digital games and games research in Malta. The full-day event is a festival of celebrating the evolution of digital games in Malta from the perspective of industry and education.
The update schedule for the kick-off speeches is as follows:
11:00 Welcome and Introduction – Prof. Georgios Yannakakis, Director Institute of Digital Games
11:10 Video Game Strategy Malta – Ivan Filletti, Head of Operations and Business Development for Gaming Malta
11:15 Academic research, a precious partner for innovation – Gabriel Robert, Lead Gameplay Programmer at Ubisoft Montpellier
11:25 Importance of Research at the University of Malta – Prof. Alfred Vella, Rector University of Malta
11:30 Inauguration by Hon. Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation
11:35 – 12:00 Workshops
Player-Avatar Relationship in VR – Dr Daniel Vella
Location B (Ground Floor Common Area)
Dr Daniel Vella has been researching the player-avatar relationship through existential philosophy, and will be delivering a keynote address on the subject in October at the Philosophy of Computer Games conference in October. During this workshop, he will talk about the relationship between players and the avatars they play in virtual worlds. He will be using a VR demo to showcase this relationship in action.
Musical Behaviour in Games – Mr Costantino Oliva
Location C (Game Room)
This is a short musical workshop with an interactive component where audience may try out a variety of music-oriented games – Mr Costantino Oliva will explain the nature of players' musicality in this digital context. His research focuses on musical activities in computer games and soundscape analysis.
Affective Computing: Emotion AI – Mr David Melhart
Location A (Main Stage)
Affective Computing is the multidisciplinary study of emotions via computational lenses. David Melhart will take the audience through the steps of setting up research experiments that use affective computing and demonstrate the use of various sensors and measurement tools. Some of the fun and interesting tools the audience will get to see in action are:
Demo of Tobii Eyetracker
Demo of Affectiva face-tracking software
Research Overview Room
Location E - Research Room (Ground Floor Lecture Room)
The Institute of Digital Games has a large amount of completed research projects and in the space of one day it would be impossible to show them all. To give visitors a snapshot of the research several deliverables will be available to try out as well as some information and videos related to the research. The Institute of Digital Games has developed games and other media for various research projects (H2020, Erasmus+, and smaller grants) and the audience will have a chance to stop by and try these out at their leisure.
12:00 – 13:00 Reception
Location D (Outdoor patio) – Enjoy a selection of finger food and coffee in our outdoor area together with students and researchers to learn more about the game research and game industry in an informal setting.
13:00 – 13:30 BREAK
13:30 – 16:00 Games and Research at the University of Malta – Microtalks
Quick-fire talks by academics at the University involved in Game-related Research and Projects – Chaired by Prof. Yannakakis
13:30 – 13:45 Game Studies – Presence in Game Worlds - Prof. Gordon Calleja – Institute of Digital Games
13:45 – 14:00 Artificial Intelligence – AI-Assisted Game Design – Dr. Antonios Liapis – Institute of Digital Games
14:00 – 14:10 Language Games and Gaming: Natural Language Processing as a Challenge for Digital Games – Dr Albert Gatt - Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology
14:10 – 14:20 Digital Games and Literary Studies – Prof. Ivan Callus – Department of English
14:30 – 14:40 Playing with Blockchain – Prof. Gordon Pace – Department of Computer Science
14:40 – 14:50 Using Games to Measure the Mind - Prof. Ian M. Thornton – Department of Cognitive Sciences
14:50 – 15:00 AI in the Creative Industries – Prof. Alexiei Dingli – Faculty of ICT
15:00 – 15:10 Digital Creativity Training – Prof. Sandra Dingli and Dr Leonie Baldacchino – E de Bono Inst. for the Design & Development of Thinking
15:10 – 15:20 Digital Arts – Mr Fabrizio Calì – Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences
15:20 – 15:30 Importance of Research – Prof. Godfrey Badacchino – Faculty of Arts
15:30 – 15:40 Towards Real Virtuality – Dr Keith Bugeja and Dr Sandro Spina – Faculty of ICT
15:40 – 15:50 The Biobank Game – Ms Joanna Vella – Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking
15:50 – 16:00 BREAK
16:00 – 18:00 Setting the Scene: Malta’s digital game industry showcase
Location A (Main Stage) – Product presentations and demos and talks by various game studios
Location B (Ground Floor Common Area) – Recruitment and information sessions by various game studios – Open format with different stands place around the IDG. Stands and booths to recruit and inform students.
16:00 – 16:30 Dorado Games – THE DORADO STORY: Hardcore Online Strategy Made in Malta – Nick Porsche – CEO/Studio Head
16:30 – 17:00 Playmagic – GAMES AT PLAYMAGIC – Julius Carter – Lead Designer
17:00 – 17:30 Exient – THIS IS EXIENT – Scott Rombach – Lead Designer and Jessica Azzopardi - UX Artist
17:30 – 18:30 Closing Drinks and Reception
Location B (Ground Floor Common Area) and Location D (Outdoor patio)