The people at the ITU in Copenhagen made a fantastic job putting together the Other Players conference (http://www.itu.dk/op/index.htm): gave a lot of good leads for further thinking and as an extra plus I had a really good time.
The speeches I appreciated the most were the ones by Chek Yang Foo and Elina Koivisto, by R. Bartle and by T. Mortensen. It was also really nice to meet Chek “live” after having played quite a bit of SWG together. I hope that we at some point in the MMRO WP can have practical use of the results of Foo’s and Koivisto's research. Bartle’s speech was, as so many have said on various mailing lists quite a pessimistic one. But I perked up when he started to talk about revolution :). If it’s needed, who knows? Much of the new stuff has a tendency to emerge along with subcultures, and things coming out of that are seldom predictable. Mortensen made a few well formulated distinctions, which had the good function of such: triggering analogies. For me it triggered thoughts on how mythos is a base for immersion, and how cosmology is a base for law. If you read her paper you will get my drift.
For my speech I felt a bit handicapped. The theme is highly unfashionable at the moment, and I am very aware of that the paper is somewhat dry. Also – I can hardly think of anyone who at some point hasn’t written on the same theme. Nevertheless it has been necessary for us to develop a framework that builds on narrativity theory that is consistent with virtual game world architecture – it’s a great help when building the stuff in practice. As an outset before speaking I told myself “well if they had wanted entertainment they would probably had gone to a stand up comedy show…” and I patted my furry pelerine, pretending it was a transition object.
A few memories out of context:
- Elina Koivisto doing a Kung Fu show, later on named “Teletubbies meet Matrix” by Jonas Heide Smith
- Richard Bartle talking about the magic circle and myself picking peas from his plate trying illustrate separate magic circle blobs outside his plate.
- Elina K, Chek Y. F, Jonas H. S. and myself smiling while pretending that the camera was Ren Reynolds
- Eric Zimmerman sitting on a big treasure of pink stickers
- Jesper Juul singing “Angel” by a piano. Oh my!