Friday, August 12, 2005

Summer in Stockholm

The summer has passed quickly in an intense feeling of now. I have spent it in Stockholm, in my tiny apartment in the south part. Geska made sure I could have a desk at the head office of the Interactive Institute, which has been perfect, especially when it was so hot in July; air-condition! After coming home from the Digra conference in Vancouver I got a terrible flue/ammonia, and I haven’t gotten back my sense of smell since then. Quite practical when having cats in a small apartment, but only if being there alone…

Geska me Peter Kullgard in Daydreams new office Rikard
Geska Me Peter Rikard

Most of the time I have spent working with the course “Introduction to Game Analysis and Design”, this year we had a hundred students. Luckily the help-teachers have made an excellent job, so it has been manageable.
I also managed to make my yearly report of my research to Teesside and finalize my paper “The Player’s Journey” which will appear in this book: “GAMING CULTURE AND SOCIAL LIFE A gaming research volume edited by Patrick Williams and Jonas Heide Smith”. (http://jonassmith.dk/gamingculture/)

It was good making that yearly report. I went back to last years report and compared. The main direction that I was not aware of a year ago was how much energy I would put into the IPERG project. It was strange to get this feeling of “OMG - I’m on track!?!?” and “what what what!? Haven’t I been unproductive and lazy!?!?!”.

Another nice thing was that an article I presented ("Historiekonstruktion i virtuella spelvärldar) at a conference in Stockholm about a year ago, and that was published in a Swedish literary studies journal (Tidskrift för litteraturvetenskap) was reviewed by Jonas Thente in Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish daily newspaper, the 12th of July. I was really happy to realize that Thente had read the paper and had appreciated the point of it.

Review 2005-07-12

EA had a party thing at Café Opera in Stockholm a week ago or so, they have this Europe-tour promoting and recruiting. Of course I had to go, curiosity hasn’t killed me this far. Met Peter K and Rikard E there, and we got this feeling of being back in the nineties before the bubble burst. I have a selected kind of hearing focussed on my own subjects, and I heard “The character of a gun” when their new FPS was presented, and “facial emotional expressions” when the new boxing game was showed. The character of a gun; the feel of it. Tactile. Hm. The boxing game, the facial expression were truly impressive. When I studied I had a side-job to do subtitling for Canal+ (FilmNet) and I did a lot of boxing matches, subtitling voice-overs so I saw a lot of it, and I have to say that wow, EA has done very it realistic.

EA reception at Cafe Opera in Stockholm EA reception at Cafe Opera in Stockholm

On Sunday I go back to Visby, and soon after to Bonn, for an IPERG Plenary, and then to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. I need to start organizing that, I’m staying the fall as visiting scholar at Michael Mateas’ Experimental Game Lab, and a place to stay would be good.

I realized I never wrote anything about the Digra Conference since I got so sick, I will post a retrospective thing here soon. And links to some pictures! What about Eric Zimmerman bouncing in a bed with a shower-cap on!

Eric Zimmerman

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