Does playing video games stress you out? Is watching them more fun than seeing Mario fall into a bottomless pit for the thousandth time? Maybe what you need is a zero-player nintendo!
Demo (5 minutes)
I wrote a program to play nintendo/famicom games for me. Specifically, you can load up any playthrough from an emulator onto an arduino, plug it into any unmodified nintendo, and it will press the exact same buttons at the exact same time. I'll explain in 5 minutes a bit of how the nintendo hardware works while having some interesting playthroughs in the background. I can also make the demo longer by asking for a volunteer to play a level of a videogame in an emulator, recording it, and then playing it back on real hardware.
I couldn't have attempted this without all the great reverse engineering documented on community sites like nesdev. I can spend a few minutes talking about the resources for programming, and compare and contrast Open Source from Open Knowledge. In addition, the fact that the emulator is open source meant people could extend it with lua scripting, which allowed me to convert the button presses to a format suitable for arduino output.
Future (5 minutes)
I am learning how to sniff memory to auto-identify cartridges using a beagleboneblack. The eventual goal will be to auto-identify cartridges by the first second of startup, search the web for appropriate/interesting playthroughs, download and load them on the arduino automagically. This won't be ready by the time OHS rolls around, but I will chat about what progress I've made so far. It would be really cool if it could work in reverse, where people play through and it uploads new playthroughs for other people to download, but thats a really long term goal.
Q&A/Discussion (5 minutes)
Questions and hopefully answers.
The talk is modular - Demo only, Demo+Community, Demo+Community+Q&A, mix and match. I can also extend the Demo section to talk more than 5 minutes, showcasing how to record and playback live on stage with the help of a volunteer from the audience :)
Collect as much data as possible, you never know when or why you might use it.
Use an analytics platform that is simple to export for processing later (like sending events on how long a user waits to answer a test question to look at hesitation etc).
Decide if you want to first nail the gamification, then use that to figure out what analytics to record, or first decide on the analytics
Make each core competiency a + 0 + scale, as opposed to 0 bad 5 good, make it a spectrum so someone is either a strong morning person or a strong afternoon person. As opposed to just a strong worker in general. People will game the system (intentionally and unintentionally).