Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 134

Hav­ing returned from my trip to Gene­va — and a short stay with a friend in Frank­furt, where I stood on top of sky­scrap­ers and ate a lot of sausage — I plunged into a week that was for the most part tak­en up by events and pub­lic­i­ty.

Niels put me in touch with a radio reporter who was doing a piece on Zom­bies, Run! — an iPhone game that uses a sto­ry about a zom­bie apoc­a­lypse to moti­vate you to run. I took the app for a spin, run­ning through the cen­ter of Utrecht while being pur­sued by zom­bies, and imme­di­ate­ly after­wards talked to the reporter. The game’s cre­ators Six to Start are friends, so I’m a bit biased, but I think this is an inter­est­ing entry into the “gam­i­fi­ca­tion” of every­day activ­i­ties as it uses nar­ra­tive to add mean­ing to incen­tives that would oth­er­wise be mean­ing­less. The result­ing radio item, with me sound­ing a bit out of breath and hyper, is avail­able online.

More radio-mak­ing hap­pened on Tues­day, when I had the plea­sure of spend­ing an hour with Clemens and Irene in the Red Light Radio stu­dio for a Pig Chase spe­cial broad­cast of Rick’s ‘Kimchi’-show. This was a real joy as we could play a selec­tion of music we’d brought, and talk about the project at a leisure­ly pace in between. Mr. Dick van der Vegt, the farmer we worked with for the video, allowed us to call him live on the show for a few ques­tions (he was wit­ty and thought­ful as always). To round it all out the show end­ed with the end title music from Blade Run­ner, prob­a­bly my favorite film of all time, which is loose­ly the­mat­i­cal­ly linked to the project through its dis­cus­sions of real and arti­fi­cial ani­mals and empa­thy towards them. The whole show is avail­able on Sound­cloud.

We also had our very first Ams­ter­dam edi­tion of This hap­pened, host­ed by the love­ly Brakke Grond, with great talks from Unfold, Edo Paulus, LUST­lab and Tim Knapen. The event was sold out, we had a nice turnout, and it was encour­ag­ing to see both famil­iar faces from the Utrecht edi­tions and new ones in the audi­ence.

We also announced Utrecht #13, which will take place in lit­tle under four weeks. It’ll be my last edi­tion, as I am step­ping down from orga­niz­ing. Wether there will be sub­se­quent events either in Utrecht, Ams­ter­dam, or both depends on a vari­ety of fac­tors, which are under con­sid­er­a­tion at the moment. Once we’ve made up our minds, we’ll share our thoughts on this. Keep an eye on thishappened.org for that.

On the Saba front, we worked to ana­lyze all the find­ings from the playtest which took place the pre­vi­ous week, and pro­duced a report that syn­the­sized the major ones. On wednes­day I dis­cussed the report with the muse­um and we were more or less on the same page, with is good. We can basi­cal­ly move ahead to the devel­op­ment of a first dig­i­tal pro­to­type and just need to keep an eye on a few things, but noth­ing major. We also took stock of what we’ll need to get this dig­i­tal pro­to­type up and run­ning as soon as pos­si­ble.

Oth­er than this I spent some time teach­ing — I had my first meet­ings with the inter­ac­tion and game design mas­ter stu­dents I’ll be coach­ing the com­ing half year at the HKU. I also pro­vid­ed a guest lec­ture on my back­ground in inter­ac­tion design and how it influ­ences my work on games for the very first batch of a new per­for­mance design mas­ter at the HKU’s fac­ul­ty of the­atre.

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