Speaking – 2010

Nov 30

Keynote: Looking beyond the Digital

VITTA Conference, Melbourne Showgrounds

The most exciting thing about the emergence of video games isn’t the advances in technology or the establishment of a new art-form, it’s the simple fact that more people than at any other time in our history are thinking about the fundamentals of play and how to apply that to the world that we live in.

Starting from traditional literacy and numeracy, this session will take a meandering tour through how games and play are influencing city-planning, household chores, exploration, community, art, culture, social change, and of course learning and teaching – with the aim of hopefully showing that rather than destroying the world, games are helping to make it a better place.


Nov 29

Career Forum

VITTA Conference, Melbourne Showgrounds

Representatives from University, TAFE and industry will speak about new opportunities for people to access a range of cutting-edge careers. To better inform young people about the wide range of options available to them in ICT, course information for students will be explored as well as future pathways in the study of IT where jobs are growing rapidly in the ICT sector. ICT skills now are required by the full spectrum of private and public sectors, from banking, healthcare, law, telecommunications, education, transport, manufacturing, tourism, mining, environmental management, digital media to fashion design.


Nov 24

Keynote: ‘Of Myths and Metaphors’

Multiplatform Workshop

This talk explores the defining metaphors of Screen, Technology, Digital, and Storytelling, and how they apply to both game development and multiplatform projects, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of interactivity and how that compares to more traditional storytelling forms.


Oct 14

Chair: The Take Home

Game Connect Asia Pacific

After two days of talks, panels, workshops, and networking it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. This final session brings together some of the key speakers from GCAP and examines the threads and trends that have dominated the discussion before taking a look towards the future of our industry, our business, and our craft.


Oct 14

Government Round Table

Game Connect Asia Pacific

According to iGEA research, 68% of Australian’s play video games, but despite this number, there is still a disconnect in how they are viewed as part of the broader culture – a disconnect that in turn affects how they are viewed by governments both economically and culturally.

This presentation outlines the cultural place of video games, and attempts to reframe the thinking around their future support.


Oct 08

Ludo-narrative Dissonance

Games Program, RMIT

Games have always had their ludic & narrative elements in tension, but as technology has become more sophisticated and as the grammar of video games has extended beyond the constraints of the non-digital, new forms of bringing the two together have emerged.

This talk looks at the intersection of the ludic & the narrative, at where dissonance occurs, and at where the two are thematically & practically in balance.


Oct 07

Sep 21

What does a writer do anyway?

Games Program, UNSW

Telling stories is an essential part of our cultural fabric, but in the face of a new medium, one in which mechanics, rules, and play are at the heart of the audience experience, we’re still learning how to work the thousands of years of accumulated knowledge in writing and storytelling to our best advantage.

An often-neglected discipline in video games, this session will look at the skills and craft that writers use when approaching storytelling, dialogue, structure, and characterisation, and how to apply those to video games without losing the particular strengths of the medium.  By dissecting the craft of writing, it will demonstrate the thought processes behind story creation, what does and doesn’t work within the medium of games, and why some of those boundaries exist.  It will also show how some of those core concepts are applicable to games without stories, informing mechanic, level, and systems design.

Looking to the future, the session will lastly speculate on the marriage of traditional narrative and mechanics, and the sorts of stories that can only be told in the medium of games by exploiting the fundamental gameplay forces of agency, choice, rules, and goals.


Sep 07

Opening Presentation & MC

Social Entrepreneurship Forum, State Library of Victoria

The Making a small world smaller forum builds on a proposal jointly developed by the State Library and RMIT University. The proposal explored how a new centre at the State Library could use elements of social enterprise, community development and social media to increase Victoria’s intellectual and social capital.

The proposal would bring together RMIT students, industry partners and staff from the Library to develop programs that focus on the socialisation of international students, facilitate entrepreneurship among young leaders in regional Victoria and engage local secondary students in innovative activities.


Aug 10

Getting a job making games

Xperience Xpo

This short talk takes a look at how video games have evolved in the 20 years I’ve been playing them and the current games developed in Australia.


Aug 02

Moment to Moment gameplay

Games Program, RMIT

Designing a game is more about what the player does than what the player is. This session takes a look at some of the fundamentals in designing what the game’s verbs are, creating sequences of action and reaction, facilitating player choice, handling feedback, and providing audio-visual stimuli – all in the service of gameplay over story.


Jul 30

Deconstructing games

School Library Association of Victoria

Today’s students have never seen a world without video games.  They’re an integral part of life now, becoming a new cultural artifact, a new entertainment medium, and bringing with them a whole slew of new employment opportunities.

But how do they work?  And what are the parameters for having a meaningful dialog about them with our students?

In this session, Paul Callaghan, a veteran game developer, will explore the elements that contribute to games literacy and how that can be applied to traditional literacy and numeracy skills.


Jul 29

Getting a job making games

VITTA ICT Week, National Gallery of Victoria

In a very short amount of time, video games have become an incredible force both culturally and economically.  This session looks at the opportunities and skills required to work in games development and the games recently developed in Australia.


Jul 06

Deconstructing games

VITTA ICT Week, National Gallery of Victoria

Today’s students have never seen a world without video games.  They’re an integral part of life now, becoming a new cultural artifact, a new entertainment medium, and bringing with them a whole slew of new employment opportunities.

But how do they work?  And what are the parameters for having a meaningful dialog about them with our students?

In this session, Paul Callaghan, a veteran game developer, will explore the elements that contribute to games literacy and how that can be applied to traditional literacy and numeracy skills.


Jul 06

Writing & Designing

Computer Games Boot Camp, Monash University

While there is some overlap, the skills that a writer and a designer bring to games development are very different.  This session takes a look at a winding career and shines a light on what it takes to be a games designer and writer.


May 29

Panel: Never Surrender

Emerging Writers’ Festival, Melbourne Town Hall

Writing isn’t all about success stories! Join our writers as they speak candidly about rejection, creative risk-taking and projects that took ten years from creation to publication. Why do they stick with it, and is it all worth it in the end?

With — Paul Callaghan, Elizabeth Campbell, Sean Condon and Dee White. Hosted by Stu Hatton.


May 19

Reading in a time of Technology

Meanland, The Wheeler Centre

Multimedia books and academic wikis, music and sound publishing, and the world of computer games: technological change has extended reading and writing well beyond the book.

Chris Meade, the author of an Arts Council England report on the technological possibilities of literature, discusses his own experiments with musical, graphical and digital fiction; the ANU’s Adrienne Nicotra explains how educational wikis might replace text books; novelist and programmer Paul Callaghan demonstrates the role narrative plays in today’s computer games; and the poet/composer Klare Lanson explores the intersection of music and text.


Mar 13

Non-paper publishing

Academy of Words, Format Adelaide

Books are great, but what are other avenues for writers to be heard and distributed? What are the challenges of writing for digital, audio and live audiences? Is it all about the words or is it all in the delivery?


Mar 13

Mining the personal

Academy of Words, Format Adelaide

They say write what you know, but how easy is it to write about yourself or draw material from your life? Do you feel exposed when people read your words, and how do you deal with the fallout? And what happens when people mistake your characters for you?


Feb 03

Games Writing

Industry Overview, CAE Melbourne

As part of the PWE Industry Overview subject, an outline of what writing for games involves, how I found myself doing it, and the storytelling strengths of the medium.