The topics ‘challenged’ by this year’s EnhanceTV ATOM Awards Interactive Video Games Finalists include the slaughter of whales by the Japanese, the conflicting dangers and wonders of the internet, the rights, roles and responsibilities of people in the workplace, the importance of water management and the challenges faced by people afflicted with phobias.
“It’s wonderful to see that the interactive / video games platform is being used to educate, enlighten, challenge and entertain all at the same time,” commented Simon Wilmot, Executive Officer of the 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards.
“We are really pleased to now have the category of Interactive Video Games included in our awards program, particularly as the convergence of this style of media with other more traditional platforms is something that has added value, depth and breadth to the products being designed today for the screen,” he added.
‘Harpooned’, created by Conor O’Kane (Vic) is a Cetacean Research Simulator where users play the role of a Japanese scientist performing research on whales in the Antarctic region. Using tried-and-true arcade style shooter mechanics which players can grasp quickly, the game doesn’t waste time in making its point and shows very clearly how games can today be used to entertain and encourage activism and a heightened level of social conscience.
‘Budd:e Secondary – E-security Builder’ is designed to raise an awareness of e-security amongst Australian primary and secondary students in order to help them ‘stay smart’ when interacting online. Developed by Roar Film for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (Tas), the secondary module is deigned to be informative - without being patronising - and explores advanced e-security topics including creating content, file sharing, pop-ups, privacy, spam, spyware, viruses and more.
‘Master of the Mall’ is a fun and immersive online game that uses popular RPG mechanics to teach students their rights and responsibilities as workers and consumers. A narrative driven role playing game produced by Wasabi Digital as an online initiative of the Office of Fair Trading and Department of Education and Training (NSW), ‘Master of the Mall’ is interspersed with mini games and simulations and can be used in the classroom to teacher students from years 7 – 10 about a range of employment, consumer and financial topics aligned with the school syllabus.
‘Catchment Detox’ is an online game where players manage a virtual water catchment and try balancing three basic factors – the health of the environment, the economy and population growth. Designed to increase public understanding of the dilemmas involved in managing a typical Australian river system, this ‘Sim-City like’ game enables players to experiment with different approaches to the problem and provides instant player feedback mechanics to assist along the way.
Created by ABC Science / ABC Local Radio in conjunction with CSIRO and eWater CRC (Vic), ‘Catchment Detox’ also features a series of radio pieces and can be used as an ongoing resource for background information, podcasts, facts and figures. The fact that the game enables players to rank their capabilities encourages repeat play and hence the chance to reinforce the message.
‘Figaro Pho’ is an interactive adventure game that follows a young boy, Figaro Pho, as he challenges himself by exploring an ‘alphabet’ of phobias and fears. Developed by Katalyst Interactive and Vishus Productions (SA), ‘Figaro Pho’ ties in with the TV show of the same name featured on the ABC and uses ‘point and click’ functionality to add an element of mystery to this engrossing game. The game has a unique art style and is infused with character as well as entertaining content.
The annual ATOM Awards program - now in its 27th year - recognises excellence in over thirty categories of Film, Television, Animation and Multimedia (including video games) and celebrates the very best of Australian and New Zealand production.
The competition was open this year to anyone who had produced a short film, documentary, animation, electronic game, educational resource, television program or innovative new media work in the past twelve months.
The 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards will be presented at a Gala Presentation, held in the Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre, Melbourne on Friday 23 October, 2009.
The 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards program is presented by ATOM and EnhanceTV.
The 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards program is sponsored by Multimedia Victoria, Madman, Qantm College, Monash University, Deakin University, Encore Magazine, Celtx and Quest Collins Street Central and is supported by Open Channel, Qpix, MetroScreen, Wide Angle and Netagi, Screening Sponsor Big Mouth Marketing Communications and Screening Partners Federation Square, Melbourne and International Film School Sydney.
The 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards are funded by Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, the New South Wales Film and Television Office and Film Victoria.
For more information about the 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards please visit www.atomawards.org
2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Awards Gala Presentation
Date: Friday 23 October
Time: 7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Venue: Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre, Collins Street, Melbourne.
Seating is theatre style and is not allocated
Ticket prices: AU$75.00 + GST (adult) and AU$35.00 + GST (juniors, under 15 years)
The awards presentation, which will run for approximately two hours will be followed by an after party, with drinks and canapÃ©s for all attendees. The evening will conclude at 12 midnight.
For more information, please visit www.atomawards.org . To book tickets please visit www.ticketek.com.au or call 1300 795 012.