Transit

Transit
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Location: Stockholm airport. I have written earlier about airports as particular kind of transitional spaces, comparing them to Limbo from Dante’s Inferno, among other things. This has been a busy day, starting with short talk about games and virtual worlds as “mafufactured realities” in a professional seminar in technical documentation (wonder how much the audience really got out of my talk, though?) Then I was commenting on Olli Sotamaa’s PhD thesis chapter in a graduate seminar in Media Culture. After that, busily to the airport, and happy to find that the SAS strike had not affected my connections, I am now on the road to Malmö in Sweden. We are having the kick-off meeting with some Nordic partners about a new games research project, titled Mobile Learning Environments (MLE). The use of games in learning is an interesting field, of course, even if I wonder how long it will take to really have the constructivistic spirit and emphasis on creative problem-solving that games excel in to take over a typical institution of formal learning — not to speak about things like using games to learn about games cultures, games literacy and games design, that they would be most immediatelly suitable for. My main concern currently is that structurally MLE is a typical contemporary response to the demands that this much-touted increased competition and international collaboration is bringing us: a large international and interdisciplinary consortium with a very moderate research grant and ambitious goals that quickly turn into the reality of tiny fragmented resources that are not enough to hire a full-time person (or not even a half-time one, in this case!) — and then there is the real threat that organising inter-partner communication and the administration will end up eating all resources the funding body (NICe) has granted us. Sad. Lets hope we can find ways to join this kind of interesting research extensions of our pervasive gaming work with some other initiatives to pool resources

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.

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