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My digital career: Rhett Loban

Rhett Loban is a lecturer at Macquarie University and created a video game about the Torres Straits.

Rhett Loban is a lecturer at Macquarie University and created a video game about the Torres Straits.

[Image appears of a split circle and photographs of various CSIRO activities are shown in either side, and then the circle morphs into the CSIRO logo]

[Images move through to show a side view of Rhett Loban looking through goggles, and Rhett smiling at the camera, and text appears: My Digital Career, Rhett Loban]

Rhett Loban: My name is Rhett Loban and I’m a lecturer at Macquarie University.

[Images move through of Rhett smiling, Rhett giving a lecture, and then Rhett talking to the camera]

I teach in Indigenous Education, Information Technology, a little bit of History and Geography, and also Research as well.

[Images move through of Rhett talking to an older couple, a close view of a laptop, a close view of a camera, and Rhett talking with a female and looking at a VR pair of goggles]

My career is a digital career because I’m involved in a lot of production of different kinds of digital media.

[Images move through of Rhett talking to the camera, a hand picking up a game controller, and Rhett talking to the camera]

So, I’m creating and designing games, creating different digital media to use in my classes.

[Images move through of Rhett talking to his students and showing them a remote, students working on computers, and an elderly female wearing VR goggles next to Rhett]

It’s also a digital career because a lot of my classes engage in some form of digital media in their own learning.

[Images move through of Rhett talking to the camera, a photograph of Rhett as a child, Rhett talking to the camera, and Rhett as a child playing a computer game]

My childhood influenced my line of work because I was interested in a lot of games, and I played a lot of games when I was smaller.

[Images move through of Rhett talking to the camera, Rhett standing outside a building, and then Rhett talking to the camera again]

And when I was going to university I became interested in that and I decided to pursue a career down that path as well.

[Image changes to show a rear view of Rhett walking along a path, and then the image changes to show Rhett placing VR goggles on]

I like the interaction and I like being immersed in the different space.

[Images move through of different scenes from games, and then the image changes to show Rhett sitting in front of a laptop looking at the screen]

If it’s a narrative game, in different stories as well and it takes you to a very different place.

[Images move through to show Rhett talking to the camera, Rhett in conversation with three others at an outdoor table, Rhett talking with students, and a student working on a laptop]

The problem I guess I’m trying to solve or engage with is how we can be more responsive to communities and different cultural groups when we’re designing games,

[Images move through of a student wearing a VR headset while another student looks on, a view of a game on a laptop screen, and a group of students watching one wearing a VR headset]

so that when we’re designing games we’re engaging and we’re involving the groups that are being depicted in the game, and they’re a part of the process in order to produce a more authentic product,

[Images move through of Rhett talking to the camera, hands operating a game controller, an older female wearing a VR headset, Rhett talking to the camera, and a view of a game in the VR headset]

and overall a more culturally sound product, but also in a way that we can, we can use games as a way to advocate for authentic perspectives of those people as well.

[Images move through to show Rhett talking to the camera, hands operating a game controller, students looking at a game on a laptop, Rhett talking to the camera, and a ruined church building]

I chose games based learning because I felt that by playing games myself I had learnt about history and other topics, compared to say what I had learnt in my own class, or in my own say high school classes about history.

[Images move through of Rhett talking to the camera, a female watching a person running on a computer screen, two animated figures moving, Rhett talking, and a hand operating a controller]

A lot of games do have a very Euro-centric world view and that’s really based on the experiences and the lens of the developer themselves, so, unwittingly or not, whether they know that.

[Images move through of Rhett talking, an older female wearing a VR headset, a display on a computer screen, and Rhett talking with three others]

Digital skills helped advance my career because it opened a lot more doors and opportunities to communicate different things.

[Image changes to show the sunset over the sea, and then the image changes to show a view of tropical fish swimming over coral, and then the image changes to show Rhett talking]

So, for example like my game about the Torres Straits, there wasn’t really any games, or even that much digital media about the Torres Straits out there per se.

[Images move through to show an animation of a boat in the water, and then the image shows the boat moving through the water towards an island, and then a coral reef underwater]

So, this was another opportunity for me to communicate what I knew and my experience and my understanding of the Torres Straits in my culture.

[Images move through to show Rhett talking, a close view of a VR headset, Rhett talking, a side view of Rhett looking to the right, Rhett talking, and a teacher showing children something on a computer]

Digital skills are important in my field, not only as an education background because you have to train the students, and the teachers who are going to teach the students digital skills for when they go into the classroom.

[Image changes to show a girl working on a computer, and then the image changes to show Rhett talking to the camera, and then the image changes to show a male and female working on games]

There are a lot of exciting job opportunities within the game design and game development field.

[Images move through of people working on designing games, a drawing of an eye, a person operating an audio system, Rhett talking, and then different people doing game designing aspects]

Whether you’re designing games or you’re coding, or whether you’re making the art assets for the games, or the sound of the music, there’s a whole variety of different ways that you can enter the field and be involved in game development.

[Music plays and the image changes to show a black screen, and text flashes on and off: Game Over]

[Image changes to show the CSIRO logo on a white screen, and text appears: Digital Careers, digitalcareers.csiro.au]

Rhett Loban