This is a rather curious development; it appears that a law was recently passed in the Congress which would ban American schools to allow access to any sites who ‘enable communication among users’ or permits ‘personalised information.’ Wow, they really hate the development of Internet over there? Read: ‘US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites’ in Techcrunch
One of my recent uploaded pictures in Flickr of summer travelling with TomTom GO 710; and related to my considering whether to install WordPress, or to continue using Blogger.com — the other has more features, but can you achieve similar integration with Flickr and other services? Don’t know, have to study.
Vising the 2006 Housing Fair in Espoo during the week-end, I almost got an overdose of expensive, modern design. It seems that a modern house is build around kitchen and home theatre with a flat-screen television or video projector. It also appears necessary to have a working room in the home so that work life can continue also when not officially in work. Tells something about the direction our lifestyles are taking?
I am spending most of this summer immersed in a book project, so there are few notes into this forum. I hope though that during the fall I am able to post more information about its progress; now just the title: “Introduction to Game Studies.”
As a continuation to the listing of forthcoming conferences, here are some memories from game conferences of previous years. Listed are travel pictures from:
- GDC Europe 2002: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2002-08-GDC-Europe/
- GDC 2003: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2003-03-GDC/
- DiGRA 2003 Level Up: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2003-11-Utrecht/
- Korea Games Conference (& Tokyo trip) 2004: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2004-10-japan-korea/
- Other Players Conference 2004: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2004-12-12-oplay-copenhagen/
- Creative Gamers Seminar 2005: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2005-01-Creative-Gamers/
- DiGRA Futures & Playful Subjects seminars, 2005: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2005-05-Bristol/
- DiGRA 2005 in Vancouver: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2005-06-22-Vancouver/
- DAC 2005 in Copenhagen: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2005-12-04_DAC/
- GDC 2006: http://www.unet.fi/pics/2006-03-24-GDC/
— Whew, some years of travelling! I try to keep more to home from now on.
It appears that ubiquitous or pervasive computing is just making more effect in our everyday life, year after year. Small smart applications or services are combining the information of virtual world with that of our physical living contexts.
Experimenting with some of the consequences personally, I yesterday got my first GPS navigation system, the TomTom GO 710. After the first try it seems a well-designed and smartly functional gadget; I particularly esteem the speed it can recalculate new route if you missed a turn. The only downside so far is that my Nokia 6630 is not fully supported in the bluetooth handsfree function: it cannot access the contact list, making it very hard to make phonecalls using it. Well, at least you can aswer calls.
And the real value is in the community, as this can be considered ‘social software’, too. There are many individuals and groups preparing and publishing GPS coordinates in TomTom’s POI/.ov2 file format, or in others. And GPS navigators relate to the future of pervasive games, too.
As a memory help, here is a brief list of some games conferences I am currently aware/associated with:
- 20-22 September 2006, 5th International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC 2006), Cambridge, UK: http://www.icec2006.org/
- 26-30 September 2006, Games2006 Conference, Portalegre. Portugal: http://games2006.aproje.org/
- 6-8 October 2006, Gaming Realities: A Challenge for Digital Culture Conference, in Medi@terra Festival, Athens, Greece: http://www.mediaterra.org/
- 10-12 October 2006, Future Play 2006 Conference, London, Ontario, Canada: http://www.futureplay.org/
- 24-28 September 2007, DiGRA 2007 Situated Play, Tokyo, Japan: http://www.gamesconference.org/digra2007/
There are sure others, but these are just some of the important ones that I want to highlight at the moment. Please feel free to contribute to the list here, or in the DiGRA site: http://www.digra.org/news_blog/
Social software, or Web 2.0 has been one of the hot keywords for some time now. There are numerous fascinating developments on the way, and I really like the overall trend towards ease of use, alternative funding models (many of these services are free, or advertisement funded), and the potential for user-created combinations or mash-ups among this new generation of applications/services. Google is of course one of the companies currently at the forefront of this development, forcing even major corporations like Microsoft take notice (they are developing some of their Office Live portfolio to include also free versions).
Visiting today Google Labs, I decided to install ‘Blogger Web Comments’ extension for Firefox browser, and was positively surprised at the (fun/absurd/informative) comments from the blogosphere it opened to the ‘official’ Internet. I have seen somewhat similar kind of experiments before, but the problem back then was that there was not this current ‘critical mass’ of people who are Internet Literate — meaning that blogs and other social software have genuinely started to open Internet into a two-way, many-to-many media, from its previous stagnation into a ‘digerati’ ghetto. Oh yes, and Google Notebook also looks promising!
And it is nice to see one’s own blog back online, too. Kilpailuvirasto (Finnish Competition Authority) required after the Elisa merger deal that us former Saunalahti clients from Tampere region were transferred to another company, Tampereen Puhelin Oy (part of www.dnainternet.fi), and of course there were numerous technical difficulties before my server and domain were alive and online again. Browsing my picture archives from somewhere else, I also think that the connection feels a bit slower, even if the service level was quaranteed to keep the same. And I pay more for this than I used. Oh dear. Thanks for this show of “fair competition”.