DiGRA 2007 over

Yesterday evening the third international Digital Games Research Conference closed in Tokyo. Professor Baba, the conference chair, presented some interesting figures; if I got them right from the translation, there had been 178 presentations in the conference, and 355 conference participants. Impressive figures for a conference of an emerging field, organised in (what to a Western-dominated researcher community is) a far-away Japan. There were much discussion about how to improve the conference and about various issues that could have gone a bit better, but the overall impression was that the conference was an obvious success. Continue reading “DiGRA 2007 over”

DiGRA 2007 underway

DiGRA 2007 underway
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

In her opening speech Tanya Krzywinska, DiGRA President (speaking in Tokyo University Yasuda Auditorium, pictured) described this year’s games research conference as “Godzilla” — which it in a sense is; even the proceedings book is almost 900 pages! The week is well underway, and today, in one of Thursday’s last sessions I have also my own paper presentation. Continue reading “DiGRA 2007 underway”

Tokyo Game Show blast

They start it small
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

This year’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS) was bigger than ever; with its expected 180 000 visitors, 1 550 booths and 54 000 square meters of show-floor space, this is certainly as loud as games cultures get today. No moment of rest for a gamer, even if personally I’d prefer to sit down in somewhere more quiet and focus in only a game or two, rather than drifting inside a torrent of visitors past hundreds screens, demos, show sessions, all shouting over each other. But, hey — quickly taken, it was fun!

More pictures among my Flickr travel photos, see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fransmayra/1426977592/

Edit: I did read later (from The Asahi Shimbun, 29-30 Sept. weekend edition) that the total number of exhibitors was 217 and number of visitors 193 040 — wow!

Tokyo morning 1: into TGS

Tokyo morning 1: into TGS
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

After having slept for c. 11 hours, it feels good to wake up in Tokyo. My hotel is Sheraton Miyako, a slightly older establishment that is located quite far away from the DiGRA conference location in the Shirogane district. There are a few embassies in the area and with its temples and parks, the area looks rather nice; the photo is taken from my hotel window. Today I was planning on visiting the Tokyo Game Show, if I can handle the complexities of Japanese transportation system. There are several private and state metro and railway lines in Tokyo, so getting from place to place can be some sort of challenge. But I have no other obligations today, so: off we go!

To Tokyo and Stars

To Tokyo and Stars
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

On the road again — via Arlanda (Sweden) and Copenhagen in two jumps to the long haul, arriving (jet-lagged) in Tokyo, and new, bright day. Even if it was hard to leave Laura and our sweet little baby, I cannot really skip a DiGRA conference. Making best of it, I will take a quick course in Japanese travellers’ lore (from Lonely Planet) and spend the night/day on plane reading science fiction (The Algebraist by Ian M. banks). Here we go — jump!

TLS on contemporary culture(s)

TLS (Times Literary Supplement) has hold a central place in the literary lives of educated Englishmen from the year 1902 when Times first started featuring it. An interesting sign of times, even this ivory tower of analogue culture is taking into account some current discussions around the digital domains. See e.g. a review of Andrew Keen’s book The Cult of the Amateur) on the differing concepts of ‘culture’ that surround the ongoing debates on blogs, for example. To us who are also drawn into the realms Tolkien created, irrespective of the medium, TLS also offers something in its recent installment, including a piece discussing Diana Pavlac Glyer’s work The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community and the glimpses to the lives of the Inklings it offers.

Game server tech challenges

The MIT Technology Review (the self-appointed “authority on the future of technology”) pays attention to the challenges game companies are facing, as some — most notably EVE Online — attempt to maintain a seamless, persistent virtual world to all of players simultaneously. See: Technology Review: The One-World Video-Game Challenge.

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