Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 153

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.

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