GRAND Café @ Concordia
On August 13th, the GRAND community gathered once again for the 3rd event in GRAND Café series.
Posted by GRAND NCE, August 31, 2012

"The chance to cross disciplinary boundaries and meet with scholars, games  designers and people from outside those groups has been critical to my graduate work. I suspect I would not have encountered nearly so many innovative approaches if I had not been involved with GRAND"   - Adam van Sertima, PhD Student, Concordia University

On August 13th, almost one year to the day of the inaugural GRAND Cafe, the GRAND community came together once again for an evening of presentations, networking, and dialogue. GRAND Café @ Concordia welcomed close to 50 researchers, students, post docs, and local games professionals, and marked the third event in the Café Series. The Café featured a lineup of presentations by groups involved in various facets of the Montreal games industry, reflecting the needs and interests of the local GRAND community and in keeping with the flexible nature of the Café series. 

 The evening kicked off with a presentation of Skahiòn:hati | Rise of the  Kanien’kehá:ka Legends, a video game created by the participants of   Skins 3.0. Skins is an Aboriginal Storytelling and Video Game  Development Workshop led by Concordia researcher Jason Edward    Lewis and artist, writer and curator Skawennati Fragnito, co-directors  of AbTeC (Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace). The Skins project  engages Indigenous youth as designers of their own digital narrative,  mentored by game-industry professionals, Aboriginal artists, and  senior  Concordia students from the Computation Arts programme.  After introductions of the project and the team, Skins participant Tehoniehtathe Delisle, the game's Lead Designer, told the story of a young warrior who must use his wits to defeat creatures from Mohawk legends. Skins 3.0 was hosted by Concordia University for two intensive weeks, May 21-25 and July 23-27, 2012, plus bi-weekly afternoons sessions in the interim. 

Next up was Decode Global, a mobile app incubator who presented a game for social change currently in production for an international non-profit organization. Angelique Mannella’s team includes humanitarian technologists from Ukraine, Brazil, Finland and the United States, working together to explore the potential of game play to increase awareness, educate, drive action, and solve key issues affecting world communities. 

The presentations wrapped up with the GRAND-Funcom Games Initiative team, who shared the results of 10 weeks of hard work. The team, assembled from post-secondary students and recent graduates from across the country, lived and worked in Montreal as part of a unique partnership between GRAND and Funcom Games Canada. The hands-on, industry-focused project ran June 11th – 26th, and resulted in the production of a working prototype of a game concept and design. Stay tuned for the full report!

The evening concluded with snacks and refreshments on Concordia’s stunning 11th floor terrace, with guests enjoying the view while forging new connections.

See more photos on Flickr.

The Café series was created in response to students and postdocs identifying a need to strengthen connections between researchers at neighbouring universities.