Real Players?

This blog extends the thoughts, observations and discussions described in the book "Real Players? drama, education and technology" by John Carroll, Michael Anderson and David Cameron. Primarily it is concerned with issues surrounding education (particularly educational drama) in a screen-mediated world.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Broadcast yourself: digital children create vision splendid

Michael's opinion piece discussing young people and participatory media was published in the Sydney Morning Herald today, coinciding brilliantly with the sale of YouTube to Google.

Broadcast yourself: digital children create vision splendid

AS POLITICIANS and media groups squabble over rewriting the rules controlling the mass media, new technological developments have resulted in many young people opting out of the debate as they go about creating their own media, taking full advantage of the digital revolution ... more

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mobile Media, Sydney, 2007: CFP

call for papers

Mobile Media
an international conference
on social and cultural aspects of
mobile phones, convergent media, and wireless technologies

2-4 July 2007
The University of Sydney

Barely twenty-five years since their commercial introduction, mobile cellular phones are widely used around the world. Having become an important technology for voice and text communication in the daily lives of billions of people, mobiles are now recognised as central not only for communications but also for contemporary transformations in cultural and social practices, and in new developments in computing, media, telecommunications, Internet, and entertainment.

Equipment manufacturers, cultural and content producers, and user groups and creative communities are now focussing on the possibilities of mobile media – with mobiles and wireless technologies, platforms, services, applications, and cultural forms being designed, manufactured, and reconfigured as convergent media.

Various forms of mobile media have been imagined for sometime, and are now a reality: mobile Internet, new forms of mobile text, mobile music, mobile film and video, mobile games, mobile learning, mobile media for the workplace, videotelephony, and mobile television. This relatively short history of mobile telephony is concurrently marked by the shift of the role of users from consumers to active producers – and mobile media is being heralded as a new site for consumption, democratic expression, individualism, citizenship, and creativity.

In this international conference we aim to comprehensively analyse and debate mobile media – exploring its emerging structures, features, practices, value chains, producers and audiences, delving into its social, cultural, aesthetic and commercial implications, and debating its futures.

The conference will feature leading scholars including Genevieve Bell (Intel), Stuart Cunningham (Queensland University of Technology), Shin Dong Kim (Hallym University), Leopoldina Fortunati (University of Undine), Leslie Haddon (London School of Economics), Angel Lin (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Dong Hoo Lee (Incheon University), Rich Ling (Telenor), Shin Mizukoshi (University of Tokyo), Raul Pertierra (Ateneo de Manila and University of Philippines), Misa Matsuda (Chuo University) and Judy Wajcman (Australian National University).

We also invite papers on all aspects of mobile media, including, but certainly not restricted to:

  • what does it mean to talk about mobiles as media?
  • how do we map and theorise the transformations underway with mobile platforms, applications, and networks?
  • mobile art
  • mobiles and photography
  • emerging cultural and narrative forms for mobiles (such as mobile films and videos)
  • intersections between mobiles and Internet technologies
  • wireless technologies and cultures
  • mobile television, radio, and other kinds of broadcasting
  • video calling and communications
  • sexuality, intimacy, and mobile media
  • mobile media and national or regional cultures
  • subcultures, minority cultures, majoritarian cultures, and mobile media
  • how do issues such as gender, sexuality, disability, socio-economics, cultural and linguistic contexts continue to inflect differing practices in the far-from-even-and-even terrain of mobiles?
  • mobile media and political economy
  • mobile gaming
  • what are the implications of mobile media for our concepts of culture, communication, and media
  • mobiles, community, and public sphere
  • mobile media, place and space
  • ramifications of mobile media for creative, cultural and media industries
  • challenges of mobile media for policy, regulation, and legislation.


Abstracts of 300 words are due by 10th September 2006 (please send copy of abstract to both organizers).
Acceptance advised by 25th September 2006, with full papers due by 15 January 2007.
All papers will be subject to masked peer review and published in the conference proceedings.

For further information, contact: Gerard Goggin, Media & Communications, The University of Sydney, (; Larissa Hjorth (Games programs, RMIT University, (

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Australian book launch - Real Players?

We will be launching Real Players? at the Drama Australia conference on Saturday 30th September.

John, Michael & I are presenting a paper in the 3.30 - 4.00 pm slot, then cracking open some champagne courtesy of our publishers (Trentham UK).

We're not sure what our paper will be about, but it may be along the lines of this Sydney Uni media release:

Generation Y not content to be "couch potatoes"

15 August 2006

Educators, drama producers and media workers need to start thinking of Generation Y as interactive "creative partners" rather than passive consumers of entertainment and information, a new book argues.

Far from producing a generation of "couch potatoes", digital technology and screen-based culture has produced a generation of young people hungry for interactive experiences, according to one of the book's authors, the University of Sydney's Dr Michael Anderson.

"A generation born into a world of connected, mobile, media-rich technology seems less inclined to passively consume whatever is served up to them in traditional forms," said Dr Anderson. "This has huge implications for the media and the visual and performing arts."

Dr Anderson says the book, titled Real players? drama, technology and education, argues that young people's everyday use of technology means they often want to be creative collaborators, and media and drama producers should take this into account.

"Young people live in a world where the boundaries between producer and consumer have become quite fluid; their mobile phones are becoming personal media production studios for real-time interaction," says one of the book's co-authors, Associate Professor John Carroll from Charles Sturt University. "We've only just started to scratch the surface of this trend, with TV shows using phone-in SMS or online chat content for example, but there's scope for much more creative collaboration."

Real players? also explores the use of technology to enhance educational drama and role-based learning. In one example students were enrolled as reporters responding to the unfolding "emergency" of a virtual flood in a major Australian country town. Teachers used drama approaches linked with websites and artificial intelligence software to create an authentic learning experience for these students.

"In a sense, drama is the original virtual reality classroom," says co-author David Cameron, a Charles Sturt University lecturer. "Meanwhile, digital game designers intuitively build learning, assessment and review principles into entertainment products - which is why people can start playing a new game without reading a manual. Emerging somewhere in the middle is an exciting new approach to education and training."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

CFP: Game-Based learning

ECGBL 2007: The European Conference on Games Based Learning
University of Paisley, Scotland, UK
25-26 October, 2007

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:-


§ innovative games-based learning technologies, applications, tools and environments;

§ use of mobile games for learning;

§ technology for massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) for learning;

§ implementation issues associated with games-based learning.


§ learning and instructional theory for games-based learning;

§ assessment in games-based learning;

§ evaluation of games-based learning;

§ use of narrative and storytelling; use of audio;

§ case studies and best practices in the use of games-based learning;

§ future of games-based learning.

Social and Ethical Issues:

§ social and collaborative aspects of games-based learning;

§ gender, cultural and violence issues;

§ ethical issues;

§ organizational issues associated with the implementation of GBL in education and training

Abstracts are due: 17 May, 2007

Visit the ECGBL Website at:

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Real Players ... the book

Our book is finally published:

Real Players? drama, technology and education
John Carroll, Michael Anderson, David Cameron
Trentham Books
ISBN: 1858563658

This is the cover blurb:

Educational drama is being transformed by the technology of our screen-mediated world. The everyday use of computers, mobile phones, videogames and television is changing young people’s perceptions of what drama is and how it works.

Real Players? brings together the performance world of educational drama and the real world digital environment inhabited by many young people. It illustrates the dramatic conventions drama teachers can bring to using interactive and online performance in their classrooms. Role-based performance spaces are developed to critique these technologies and develop electronic literacy through dramatic action.

Teachers and others working in drama will find this exploration of a new dimension of drama compelling and professionally enriching. It will also be of interest to teachers of ICT.

Order directly from Trentham Books or look for it at

Keywords: process drama, digital performance, serious games, videogames