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 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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