Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 150

Last week was a short week as I took a day off on Mon­day. I’m try­ing to see if I can do that every oth­er week, at least dur­ing the sum­mer months. The assump­tion is that a lit­tle less time spent in the stu­dio and in stead spent out­side improves both my work­ing and my play­ing life. Ear­ly results are promising.

Most of my time was spent work­ing with Alper to fin­ish the release client for Saba. After a few furi­ous final cycles of test­ing and fix­ing, test­ing and fix­ing, we man­aged to get it done late on Fri­day evening. There’s a few final assets we’re wait­ing on but once those are in it’s time to send it off for accep­tance by the client and sub­se­quent­ly Apple. The feel­ing of fin­ish­ing some­thing was a great way to start the weekend.

Oth­er than that I had a meet­ing with Dirk and Lies­beth to talk about the plan­ning for Sake. This is a project I was asked to par­tic­i­pate in by Dirk, whom I first met at an Ignite at Media­mat­ic, where I talked about PLAY Pilots. Dirk, among many things, is one of the edi­tors of De Gids, the old­est lit­er­ary mag­a­zine of the Nether­lands. Togeth­er, we’ll be explor­ing how the world of games and play over­laps with that of lit­er­a­ture. As things devel­op I’ll share more details.

Final­ly, on Sat­ur­day, I had the plea­sure of vis­it­ing De Beschav­ing, a music fes­ti­val set apart by its elab­o­rate side pro­gram of sci­ence-relat­ed talks and activ­i­ties. The venue was lit­er­al­ly on my doorstep in Utrecht Uni­ver­si­ty’s botan­i­cal gar­dens. (A music fes­ti­val in a botan­i­cal gar­den, I imag­ine that took some con­vinc­ing.) Any­way, Clemens was asked to talk about Pig Chase in a ses­sion on ani­mal wel­fare. His talk was pre­ced­ed by an intro­duc­tion to the top­ic by Frauke Ohl who empha­sized the fact that a lot of our ideas about ani­mal wel­fare are col­ored by what we as humans find plea­sur­able. This was fol­lowed up by Eimear Mur­phy, who has devel­oped a test to gauge the emo­tion­al state of pigs, using sound cues and M&M’s. Clemens talked about the philo­soph­i­cal under­pin­nings of our project and showed the video sketch. Some inter­est­ing ques­tions came up after­wards, includ­ing why we’re mak­ing a game in the first place. Clemens point­ed out that play can be thought of as a kind of lan­guage that tran­scends species. It might allow us to have a dia­log with these ani­mals that is oth­er­wise impos­si­ble. I find that an idea worth pur­su­ing. Which is exact­ly what we’ll be doing these com­ing months.

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