Category Archives: travels

out there, to work, sometimes to relax, to see the world

Three invited talks

I will be giving three invited talks on games and culture this week:

There is also a public video stream available online for the last seminar, accessible from the above linked seminar pages. See you at the seminar(s)!

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Imatra

Imatran kylpylä

Imatran kylpylä (Suomen Ilmakuva Oy/ eKarjalan kuvapankki)

I will be talking today about “Playfulness and the Transformation of Learning” (“Pelillisyys, leikillisyys ja oppimisen muodonmuutos”) in teacher education event in Imatra, Eastern Finland. There will be also an opportunity to provide some demonstrations on the most popular digital game genres, where I also will make use and recommend our (Finnish) introductory online course in games genres and literacy at http://pelitieto.net.

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Filed under events, game studies, travels

European Summer School in Games and Play Studies

Next two weeks will be intensive time in Utrecht, the Netherlands, as “Identity and Interdisciplinarity in Games and Play Research”, the joint European Summer School of games and play studies takes place at the Utrecht University. My keynote takes place first in Monday, August 18th, and it is titled “From Interdisciplinarity to Identity and Back: The Dual Character of Academic Game Studies”. More information and full program is available at: http://www.gapsummerschool2014.nl.

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Multi.Player 2 conference

Next week there will the Multi.Player 2: Compete, Cooperate, Communicate conference in Münster, Germany. There will be keynotes presented by Richard Bartle, Chris Ferguson, John L. Sherry and myself. The title of my talk is “Mixed Pleasures: Interdisciplinary Perspectives into ‘Social Games’”; you can find more information here: http://www.uni-muenster.de/DigitalGaming/en/Keynote.html#anchor_en_1_7

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Keynote on game studies, Lappeenranta, 3 June 2014

I will be presenting a keynote in YTP2014 (Yhdistetyt tietojenkäsittelyn päivät / The Federated Computer Science Event of Finland) in Tuesday, 3 June 2014. My talk is titled “The Multidisciplinary Study of Games: An Academic Discipline, or A Research Field without an Identity?” and I will be discussing some of the findings from my earlier, sociology of knowledge style work, as well as touching upon some of the interesting themes discussed in the Critical Evaluation of Game Studies seminar in April. Program link: http://www2.it.lut.fi/ytp2014/ohjelma.

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Peter Gabriel in Helsinki

20140521-150836-54516389.jpgPeter Gabriel had his Back to Front tour concert in Helsinki yesterday, which I had the rare pleasure to take part in. I have followed the career and music of Peter for decades, but this was the first live performance I have been in. Even while you count in the music videos and concert DVDs, the real, live concert still remains a different kind of thing.

Since the days of Genesis, Peter Gabriel has been one of the real innovators of rock music, and his solo career has included both chart-leading pop music hits, as well as sombre, politically motivated material, and more experimental music. (My personal favorites include e.g. “Passion”, the album including music produced for The Last Temptation of Christ, the film by Martin Scorsese.) This concert was focused on revisiting his most popular album, “So” (1987), but was in reality much more.

The concert is built into three parts: the first, acoustic session was styled to be more like a band in rehersal (with the harsh, full arena lights shining on the band and the audience). This session included the semi-improvisational opening song, as well as classics such as “Shock the Monkey” (1982). The second part (the more “savoury course”, as Peter introduced in his metaphor of a three-course meal), provided full-blown electronica — distorted guitar and percussion effects, accompanied by black-and-white, often stroboscopic video projections and stage lightning. The colours were introduced only at the final, third part, where all the songs from “So” were played, in their original, recorded order. This was the “dessert”, as introduced by Peter.

It would be easy to be critical about the lack of innovation in the later part of Peter Gabriel, and see the reworking of the hit album in rather trite, commercial terms. For my part, I could only wish to have similar levels of creativity and experimental spirit left at the age of 64. The adaptations of Gabriel’s classic materials were often surprising, and challenged the listener to reconsider his or her previous understanding of the song. Some, reflective parts of the concert were truly touching and moving, some were just staggering, powerful rock experiences. Great concert, overall!

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Keynote: Tulevaisuus haastaa oppimisen

[Keynote on the future of learning in Jyväskylä] Olen kutsuttuna puhujana Peda.net-tapahtumassa Jyväskylässä ensi viikolla. “Tulevaisuus haastaa oppimisen ja verkko-opettajan” -seminaarissa 28.3. puhun otsikolla “Pelillisyys ja oppiminen – murrosten aika”. Linkki ohjelmaan: http://peda.net/veraja/tulevaisuushaastaaoppimisen/ohjelma

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