RAMP it Up!

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In the summer of 2013 we were approached by the Institute of Texan Cultures to help them with one of their projects.  They had scheduled a Smithsonian art installation about Native Americans and skateboarding.  Working with local students they developed a program that engaged local and national patrons through student made videos.

We helped them develop out a way to have a virtual skate boarding environment. We talked about conceptual ideas, solutions they had researched (which were costly).  In the end the convergent media collective ordered a pair of XBOX Tony Hawk skateboards and began testing them.  We actually held a skateboarding game night where we had people stress test the skateboards for durability.  We tested the ease-of-use of the game on people of all ages and sizes. Luckily, the skateboards held up well and we managed to take photos while documenting the testing process.

We then took the boards down to the Institute of Texan Cultures they were well received by the staff and curators.  Here is a short video of them giving it a try for the very first time:

Ultimately, the Institute of Texan Cultures were able to contact Tony Hawk representatives and gain permission to use it as part of the installation.

This was a great stepping stone for everyone involved in the consulting experience.  Students, community members and professors alike, all learned about the process of developing solutions. One thing we have learned as we have progressed as a collective is our ability to adapt to our collaborators needs.  We tend to have general knowledge of technology solutions for cultural projects, but we also recognize that further in-depth research is important. The need to get projects done quickly and thoroughly has helped us all in our own endeavors. The staff members of the Institute of Texan Cultures received first-hand experience with the cutting edge rhizomatic think tank that is The Convergent Media Collective.

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