The not-much-gets-done-due to-summer trend continued last week.
I spent some time preparing for my talk on PLAY Pilots in Helsinki. This included a trawl of the project’s blog archives. I was reminded of the wonderful work done by the studios that participated as well as the Hubbub team that worked on the website. The whole thing was a remarkable achievement. Two years later, it still compares favorably to the state of the art.
I don’t talk much about my work in education. Last week, as nearly every week over the past few months, I spoke with students who are pursuing an MA at the Utrecht School of the Arts’ game design & interaction design graduate school. I am coaching four young men who are doing very diverse and interesting work: A device aimed at mitigating the effects of forgetfulness in elderly, an adventure game that explores the issues faced by current-day Belgium, a portfolio system tailored to the needs of visual artists who work in the games industry and finally an exploration of potential uses for 3D printers connected to video games.
We are at the stage where most of the tough decisions have been made in each project. They are mostly wrapping up production, and writing their research papers. Final exams are scheduled for end of August.
On Friday, we ran another game of Ceremony of Surprise. This one was part of another wonderful “local multiplayer games picnic” that Jan-Willem of Vlambeer has been organizing recently. Tim and I made use of the opportunity to experiment with some slight adjustments to the voting mechanic, as well as a change that would make the game suitable for festivals: In stead of having to bring their own party ingredients, players could pick them from a basket we had filled to the brim with things ourselves.
The day after I got up early to fly to Helsinki. I arrived at the lovely Paviljonki in time to attend the sessions on transmedia storytelling. This included the amusing story of the Human Birdwings hoax. Afterwards there were drinks courtesy of the organizers and we had a pleasant pan-Scandinavian dinner at Salutorget. On Sunday I delivered my talk as part of the social cities session, which also included talks from Michiel and Alper. There was some good discussion afterwards. I rounded out my stay in Helsinki — which was gloriously laid back and welcoming — with a small pub crawl in Kallio on Sunday night, and a visit to Suomenlinna on Monday.
Actually, is that not much? I’d say it’s pretty good, actually.