Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Thursday, 08 October 2009 06:09

ATOM Award video game finalists with social conscience

The 2009 Enhance TV ATOM Awards are almost upon us and in the Video Game category; this year’s finalists show a definitive shift towards highlighting real life issues and a heightened sense of social conscience.

There was a step up in the quality of entrants in the Interactive/Video Game category for this year’s Enhance TV ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) Awards.  There was also a shift in the theme for many of the entries, some being described as ‘serious games’ as they dealt with social or real life situation and topics.

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

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 canapés for all attendees. The evening will conclude at 12 midnight.

For more information, please visit . To book tickets please visit or call 1300 795 012.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here


The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News