Contextual Gaming in IR9.0

I think I have managed to successfully submit the full paper into the Internet Research 9.0 conference system (no confirmation messages, so I cannot be really sure). Here is the revised short abstract — see you all in Copenhagen!

Play in the Mobile Internet: Towards Contextual Gaming
Frans Mäyrä


As use of Internet from broadband-enabled mobile devices is becoming more common, studying the particular characteristics of mobile usage gains new importance. This paper discusses the role of services like Flickr and Facebook from the perspective of “contextual gaming” – the appropriation of mobile and networked media for playful purposes in a social context. Applying Roger Caillois’ distinction between paidia and ludus, the paper will introduce both free-form and improvised, as well as more rule-bound and competitive developments into playful, social media. The paper will conclude with both some criticism of the increasingly pervasive and continuous entanglement in socially charged technologies, while also welcoming the empowering and liberating potentials in this process.

More disk

There has been some pretty complicated issues with this server, once again. My current hypothesis is that the combination of badly configured backup processes and the buggy CUPS server together filled up the root disk, leading to a situation where MySQL database was not able to start any more. And that led e.g. me being unable to log into Ubuntu regularly via Gnome desktop. Also, it appears that either caused by this mess, or regardless of it, my main data disk (external USB Lacie) had got its “superblock” corrupted — and I did not find a way to fix it so far.

Well, luckily it was possible to log in via console, and (with some help) I have now deleted enough stuff from the root so that this system runs again. I also took the opportunity and finally did some memory upgrades: firstly, the default memory chip (512 MB in this Proliant ML110 G3) was replaced by two 1 MB chips (regular Kingston DDR2 value chips). Secondly, I got a bigger disk (not USB this time) and plugged it into the second SATA slot inside the Proliant. Seems to run ok: it is Samsung Spinpoint F1 750 GB model (more info here; a promo pic below). Now, if I only can find a way to access that corrupted Lacie USB disk somehow — it was formatted in FAT so using Windows software is an option here, too. And understanding what crashed the disk in the first place would peace my mind as well.

Samsung Spinpoint F1 750 GB
Samsung Spinpoint F1 750 GB

Advisory for MLL

Today I had again a visit to Helsinki, through kind invitation by the executives of MLL (Mannerheimin Lastensuojeluliitto, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare – the biggest organisation of its kind in Finland). I am bringing the perspectives of digital culture and game studies to the media education work that the association is carrying out, hopefully playing some small part in increasing “games literacy” in our country. Links: &

Games research spearheads the University Alliance

There are some details still to be sorted out, but this is now official: games research has been selected as one of the spearhead areas that will be supported in the new Finnish University Alliance. The University Alliance is formed by three universities: University of Tampere, University of Jyväskylä and Tampere University of Technology. Games research has been granted the spearhead project status together with the research into the future of learning, so there will be particular interest in the connections of games and learning in the Alliance. The overall aim is to strengthen the Finnish academic work on games research by uniting the forces and having finally a large games research centre in this area. More (in Finnish):

Luka one year

This weekend, Luka celebrated his first birthday party. Here he’s pictured in the morning, wondering at the first (but not the last) gift package of the day. He continues to amaze us, this energetic, curious, crazy, wonderful little boy. All the best to the second year, hope it goes as well as the first one!

TV for Mac

Probably the most useful feature in a digital television is the capability to define search terms to run automatic scheduling of recordings. That way, you can e.g. record every piece of “news” or “Buffy Vampire Slayer”, regardless of from which channel and at what time they appear. It is a small and intermediate step towards true VoD (“Video on Demand”), but a necessary one in a broadcast dominated media reality. Continue reading “TV for Mac”

Acer Aspire One unpacking

I have used a subnotebook (a Compaq) way back, but this is our first try into the new “UMPC” category: got Laura Acer Asprire One as a present yesterday. First impressions are rather positive, but I personally think the Linpus Linux Lite OS/desktop is in need of some serious hacking (it is sooo “easy”/limiting), or worth chancing into Ubuntu, but Laura seems happy at the moment so — lets not break it. 🙂 Price:, 298,90 €. Continue reading “Acer Aspire One unpacking”

Art & Science Goes Kapakka

Just a quick note: I will be speaking in Helsinki, in 16th August (Saturday) in Art Goes Kapakka, science talks session, about our relationship to technology and discussing social media. For more, go to and click “Tiede on Taidetta – Science Is Art”.

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