PBS Off Book is a documentary series exploring the intersection of technology and art. A recent video touched on the implications of 3D printing technology.
It’s a brief yet thought-provoking piece about the use of 3D printing in medicine, education and design. It also looks at the potentially disruptive influence that 3D printing could have on traditional manufacturing, and explores issues of intellectual property and design.
As part of the Off-Book series exploring cutting edge art and internet culture, PBS has released a fascinating video examining the Creativity of Indie Video Games. The video makes some interesting observations about the changing culture of gaming, which organisers of the Freeplay festival argue is “the dominant art-form of the 21st century”.
Indie games are seeing a surge in popularity and are seen by many as a reaction to overblown, overhyped or overly violent big budget games (often referred to as Triple A titles). In contrast to Triple A games, Indie games place emphasis on visual styling, innovative game mechanics and storytelling. Games like Passage, Papa & Yo or Journey explore complex themes and aim to create an emotional response in the player, while games like Bastion place an emphasis on the importance of story.
While the use of gaming in education is a developing field, these Indie titles certainly present some exciting prospects for exploration in the classroom in terms of storytelling, art and game development. The other benefit is that many of these titles are relatively inexpensive and run on mobile devices or low specification computers, so have a look at this video and then jump in and try some of these fantastic indie games. The full list of games featured in the documentary is available in the video description on YouTube.
With the launch of ACMI’s new Games Masters exhibition we thought you might like to get in a gaming mood with a video from the fabulous PBS Off Book series. It explores the changing landscape of gaming and in particular the artistry that is coming from the rise of independent games (Jason Rohrer’s amazing indie game Passage is a particular favourite of ours. Play it before you watch the video to avoid spoilers). The documentary is a great reminder of how games can be used to tell stories, create experiences and explore decision making. It is food for thought for educators looking to harness the power of games in the classroom.
The video also touches on a couple of the more popular games that are currently being used in learning, Minecraft and Portal. To find out more about using games like these in education make sure you have a look at the work of two outstanding Victorian educators Adrian Camm and Lynette Barr. You can also find out about using Portal in the classroom at the recently launched Teach with Portals site.
The PBS Off Book series features other great videos exploring cutting edge art (often with a digital focus). The Youtube channel is well worth a look.
The US television network PBS has an excellent website for art teachers. The Art: 21 website is based on the television series of the same name and contains videos (Australian users can watch the videos, unlike the BBC iPlayer), artist biographies, slideshows of artworks and educational materials.
Teachers are given free access to teaching guides for each of the five series of Art: 21 as well as an online lesson library that includes the topics:
Abstraction and realism
Home and displacement
Individuals and collectives
Craftsmanship and labour
The natural world
Public and private space
Ritual and commemoration
Technology and systems
War and conflict
A resource certainly worth referring to art teachers.