New article: Museums for the Game Literate Generations

Just a quick note: my short article has been published online. See: ‘Preserving the Virtual Cultural Heritage: Museums for the Game Literate Generations’, in: Making Cultural Heritage Truly Common conference publication (Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery, 2008, p. 9-12). Online: and



Digiscoping is the art of taking photographs using a ‘scope’ — typically a birdwatchers’ field telescope. This is something that I have also been interested, admittedly less because of birds, than for the affordable option for super-tele-objectives that are required if one aims to capture far-away or small details in landscapes. Yesterday I got my “fat pipe”, model Yukon 6-100×100 Variable Power Spotting Scope (pictured; a budget deal from the local Kodin Ykkönen warehouse). It came with a camera attachment that fits with most models, so I fitted the scope with my EOS 350D (external battery back removed, to spare in weight). The first photo trip experiences were somewhat mixed: Continue reading “Digiscoping”

Pixar exhibition

Today I had a meeting day in Helsinki, and after some episodes ended with an extra hour in my hands. Luckily the Tennispalatsi Art Museum had an open doors day, and they were having a visiting exhibition from Pixar, the makers of digital animated films. I have always wondered and admired the amount of manual labour animations require, and digital cinema is no exception. Available in Finland through an arrangement with the Barbigan centre, London, the Pixar exhibition includes hundreds of drawings, paintings and model sculptures, along with some special exhibits. The Pixar Zoetrope and the Living Landscape made the strongest impression to me. In the former you can follow the wonderful process of still life waking up, as the rotating installation is lighted with the flicker of strobos. In the latter, the long wall in a huge darkened room becomes a window through which we are provided with a trip through digital, animated paintings. An impressive experience!

New publication: An Introduction to Game Studies

An Introduction to Game Studies[Just posted this to Gamesnetwork] Hi all (and apologies for cross-posting),

I noticed that several online bookstores already have this available, so I thought it would be good to drop a line, even if the official publication date is still ahead at the end of March. Sage Publications has kindly put out an introductory textbook of game studies that I have authored, and I hope it will be of use to some of you while designing your courses, or in your own studies. The book is designed to address the character of game studies as an emerging discipline in the academic context, and it will walk students both through the history of digital games as well as the conceptual developments that are useful while addressing the increasing complexity within game cultures. The final part of the book deals with various methodological traditions (humanities, social sciences, design research, play as a method) that are useful while engaging in further studies.

Continue reading “New publication: An Introduction to Game Studies”

Aki's PhD defence

Aki’s PhD defence
Originally uploaded by FransBadger

Aki is here pictured presenting his Lectio, at the start of his PhD defence today. As the official kustos, appointed by the Faculty of Humanities, prof. Mikko Lehtonen, and as the opponent, Jesper Juul. Fascinating path of a researcher, highlighted for a moment in the form of doctoral thesis, yet Aki is already heading towards new horizons, beyond game design and game system analysis, toward design of player experiences, rooted in empathy, nurturing and hope. Nice work — good travel!

Edit: here is also link to a video clip, recorded during Jesper Juul’s final statement (sorry for quiet audio and low quality, this was taken with my mobile phone, some rows back from the audience):

Fantasy in Super Mario Galaxy and Terabithia

I usually enjoy fantasy in pretty much any form — I think that the real base and mode of human existence is fantasy, but more about that another time — and this weekend I have been also trying to get my fix in that area. In the ludic frontier, we finally started playing Super Mario Galaxy in co-op mode. This is the latest major release from the Nintendo’s major Mario franchise to their Wii console, and even as a fan of more adult or dark fantasy, I must say I have enjoyed this game. There is particular, surrealist pleasure in flying among stars, conversing with mushroom, and navigating through puzzle-style platform planets where the laws of physics and forms of space are used in endlessly imaginative, original ways. A real treat, great trip!

A Super Mario Galaxy planet (Peliplaneetta screenshot)

In this evening, we will also watch a modern fantasy movie, called Bridge to Terabithia. It is coming from Walden Media/Disney consortium, so I am not sure what to expect, but at least playing a fantasy game and seeing a fantasy movie, one after the other, will again highlight how the different mode of engagement affects the experience of fantasy. Links:

Bridge to Terabithia, movie poster

Vista sleep and power save states

Vista Home PremiumI had long wondered about the Vista power save schemes, and about sleep state — particularly that it did not exist; even when you tried to force the computer into sleep or hibernate, it would just wake up immediately, after a couple of seconds of flicker in screen. This weekend I finally got a half an hour and looked into this, and the problem was in BIOS settings. The default BIOS power save setting in most motherboards/BIOSes is S1 (POS, Power-On-Suspend), and that does not work with Vista. Vista expects the setting S3, which you need to set by pressing Del or F8 key during the power-up sequence, then use keyboard-only to navigate to the “Power” BIOS settings, and change S1 into S3; then press F10 or similar to save settings and exit/reboot. This was the way for me at least to get this damned Vista machine finally to get some sleep. For more, see e.g. these pages:

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