On the road again, this time the snow covered landscape of Pohjanmaa behind the train window. I will be giving a plenary in the Finnish Communication Studies’ annual seminar (Viestintätutkimuksen päivät) in Vaasa about player-centred game studies. The northern parts of Pohjanmaa and Lapland are where I spent my childhood — memories coming back, data connection breaking down. Into the north.
John Kirriemuir visited us today and presented interesting lecture on how libraries and information studies are starting to tangle up together with games and game studies — really interesting stuff for us in University of Tampere who are currently looking into more collaboration between these two fields. The full presentation should be available in here: http://www.slideshare.net/silversprite/digital-games-in-libraries-and-information-science
Some of these are actually already here and in use, but most of these emerging ways of interacting are still some way from becoming mainstream experiences, in digital gaming or elsewhere. See: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/26/monday-inspiration-user-experience-of-the-future/.
Today I am participating in an expert forum organised by the Ministry of Education in Helsinki. Director Jukka Liedes (pictured) gave an overview on children and media initiatives in Finland. The entire field is currently very fragmented and lives from one temporary project to another. The positive thing is that there are many people working in the field who are eager to explore the positive, constructive potentials in media. Nevertheless, the violence and media effects issues still continue to dominate the floor space in events like this, I am sad to say.
There are several good features in Vista, but you might want to stay away from it until the first Service Pack arrives next year (stability and driver issues being the main concern). Luckily, it is possible to stay within Windows XP and still derive benefits from most of the advanced features bundled with Vista. One of them is the improved search functionality, which is a crucial utility in these days of overflowing inboxes and hundreds of files in tens of different project timelines. For some time I have been a happy user of Google Desktop Search (GDS), which brings the power of Google search into your laptop or PC. But the problem has been that GDS stopped indexing my files, producing severely truncated results. Deleting and reindexing did not change the situation; I am not sure if there is some max file size which GDS index file can reach — I have tens of thousands of files in my daily use, so I need a desktop search capable of indexing them all. Luckily, Microsoft has now released their Windows Desktop Search also for Win XP systems as a free upgrade, and it seems to work fine. There are also many other add-ons you might consider to make your trusty old WinXP system to go still that extra mile. One of the best guides to this is: http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_xp_apps.asp.
Just wanted to let you know: we have just gone public with our latest research report, based on a survey of digital game play in Finland. See more here: http://tampub.uta.fi/index.php?tiedot=202.
This is something that I might actually use quite a lot — but it looks like that the wireless Whispernet is based on the US Sprint network, and thus this reader will not be available for Europe, not at least for now. See: Amazon.com: Kindle: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device: Kindle Store.
This is my last day in Canada, and it looks like I need to get out of this country. This morning, as I walked into the hotel lobby, everyone looked somehow strange. Everywhere I looked, yellow hair, red noses… This must be it: too much coffee, too much FuturePlay conference — I need to get out of here! (More of my pics in Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fransmayra/ ).
If you are a Tolkien fan, it is most likely that you have already taken a look at the ancient epic, Beowulf. And if you are also a fan of Neil Gaiman, you might be interested in the spectacular new movie adaptation he has been involved with. Still here in Canada, this movie is making just now headlines here, being heralded as the first in a new wave of movie making, marrying real actors with the fantasy of digital animation. See the trailer:
I will be later this week in Toronto, Canada in the Future Play conference: http://www.futureplay.org/
There is also a conference blog, where abstract of my keynote is now available: http://futureplayconference.blogspot.com/2007/10/frans-myr-keynote.html
See you all there!