Creating Opportunities

Top Reasons Why SCOOT Collaborates

This is probably the most important aspect of directing a large scale collaboration. Before involving others in the project, a director should be clear as to why and who they need to collaborate with to best suit the project needs and to achieve the project objectives. These provide a motivation for others to participate and to become invested in the project values and outcomes. What follows, is a summary of the reasons why both I, as director and lead designer, and others would collaborate on the SCOOT project as articulated to them at the first meeting:

For me, the creator:

  • the scale of the project is only possible in collaboration. SCOOT is a large undertaking. Normally a 3 day event spanning across three to seven locations at a time with more than one thousand participants a day. This means that a number of game artifacts need to be designed, deployed and supervised.
  • diversify skills for the production: to create the necessary interfaces, media and systems for  a SCOOT event, multiple skills are required that I alone can not achieve given the time and resources available. This means that I and any other developer involved in the SCOOT project has an opportunity to work with many other artists, designers, programmers, musicians, curators, technicians, engineers, and carpenters.

For all Collaborators:

  • extend learning potential: the more diverse the collaboration team, the more each participant can learn about their own role and the role of others. SCOOT is specifically designed to allow for maximum experimentation for all involved. This is a key incentive for students, volunteers and organisations to become involved and invested in the work. Traditional methodologies can ‘treat participants as subjects’ whereas a Design-Based Research project ‘involves different participants in the design so as to bring their differing expertise into producing and analizing the design.’ (Barab and Squire p4)
  • build relationships: over time it became apparent that participants were using SCOOT as an opportunity to meet people with complementary skills and many of these relationships have continued to other SCOOT episodes, while other relationships are sustained on other projects. Again, this is a key incentive for participation. As the creator of SCOOT, I had multiple opportunities to work with both peers and experts I would not normally have the opportunity to meet, demonstrate strengths and plan future collaborations.
  • create opportunities for others: SCOOT offers opportunities for other artists, curators, event managers, marketeers, technicians to demonstrate skills, learn from each other, work with both amateurs and experts that may have a place in their future careers. SCOOT also provided many emerging local designers with the opportunity to work with technologies not normally available to them. As Stock (2007) points out, ‘for the artists, the outcomes most valued beyond the final performances were professional development, networking internationally and future opportunities.’
  • For fun and fame: SCOOT attracted a great deal of public attention. There were always radio, television and blog reviews and stories on SCOOT. Some of the key contributors were profiled in newspaper articles, television snippets and blog rants.