Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 168

While Alper is still away in the Antipodes, and I am sent the occasional holiday snap (or #instabrag?) through Instagram, work continues to happen in the Utrecht studio. When I say work, it appears I mostly mean meetings, because looking back that’s what last week mainly consisted of. Let’s see:

I sat down with Irene and went over her TEDxBrussels talk about our work on Pig Chase. It includes new material we’ll unveil for the first time at the event. I’m looking forward to seeing how folks will respond to it.

I ran through my TEDxUtrecht talk a few more times and tweaked it a bit. It’s become an incredibly condensed summary of our perspective on applied games. I guess I’m ready as I’ll ever be.

Will Evans was in Utrecht to run a Design Studio workshop on Monday. I decided to skip the workshop and just head to the drinks after. Which was good, as I got to catch up with NL’s number one geek mom Marrije and the mighty Yohan. The next day I caught up with Will over coffee, where I had the pleasure of getting a sneak preview of the talk he would give at the UX Cocktail Hour that same night.

That evening, I visited my former employer, chatted with some erstwhile colleagues and subsequently headed out to catch up with Iskander over dinner.

On Wednesday I briefly visited Innovation Day to attend the Utrechtse Ster award ceremony. Pig Chase was nominated but lost to Cristal Delivery‘s “controlled drug release technology” which involves clever nanotech. A worthy opponent and deserved victor.

More award shenanigans took place that same evening when the Dutch Game Awards nominees were announced. Beestenbende didn’t make the cut, which to be perfectly honest is quite disappointing. We’ve really tried to show that a different, more open-ended approach within applied games is possible. But sadly we didn’t succeed in convincing the jury this is worthy of recognition. Oh well.

I got to meet Anne and Zineb of Studio Papaver and Chris Collaris, who have been selected for the third edition of the Studio for Unsolicited Architecture. They’re working on some interesting stuff dealing with population shrinkage, which requires a radical different perspective from planners, one not focused on growth measures, but qualitative measures and the intensification of local networks. As they are considering a game-like we might offer them some assistance. We’ll have to see.

At the end of the week I wrote some copy for the upcoming Hubbub website realign (stay tuned) and played another game of In a Wicked Age with a motley crew of friends and associates. The game’s going from strength to strength as we unlearn some of our old style tabletop RPG habits and really use its system to tell balls-to-the-wall Conanesque sword and sorcery stories.

And with that, we’re all set for week 169.

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