One of the obvious benefits from using these tiny new netbook PCs is taking them to the road. While travelling, there are two key variables that often go against to each other: the battery life and the weight. I have been experimenting with several different batteries in the Acer Aspire One, and at this time I’d recommend going for the most powerful battery available — the weight gain is not (at least for me) significant enough to outweight the increased lifespan. Particularly on travels with long working days, often with rare access to a power plug, a battery that can go on for the entire day is a true gift.
I have been spending this week with my family, after a few months of busy working and traveling schedule. It has been mostly raining (slowing down some of the gardening work), but this has allowed me to spend more time with my son (pictured). Luka is growing very fast, running around and learning new words and tricks every day. Glad we got these few days together to learn to know each other a bit better (last autumn, when he just had born, I was all the time traveling around the world, and promised to change the situation this year).
Ok, Internet Reseach conference 9.0 in Copenhagen is now over, and I am back home, recovering (I am having one week holiday wiht my family, so no email for a while, yippee). The conference itself was informative and fun, and it was nice to experience this kind of mixture of game researchers with researchers of other aspects of the Internet. My own paper dealt with that very question: what does it mean for game studies that games mingle and mix more and more with other online media, and ‘playfulness’ becomes a mode that is allowed in multiple contexts, including work and education related ones. “Towards contextual gaming” was my tagline. Anyways, thanks to Lisbeth and all the other organisers, and all the speakers and participants for interesting three days! You can explore IR9 photos in Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=ir9&m=tags
This looks very promising: the next generation system cameras/SLRs are going to provide amazing video recording features, on top of the amazing photo capabilities. At least you are left stunned at the level of detail and low-light dynamics of Canon’s forthcoming 5D MK II that Vincent Laforet used for shooting a short film ‘Reverie’ over a weekend. You can see the behind of the scenes documentary here:
As my most probably final note, I think that this years’ MindTrek conference was actually pretty successful and managed to provide a nice balance of research/scholarship and practical/industry related presentations so that most did find at least something of interest. Here is my final photo, taken from the note I scribbled during the panel talk in session Social Gaming, chaired by Olli Sotamaa. It was fun and inspiring discussion — thanks all!
Continuing my blog stream from MindTrek: I went to listen to the “Business of Playing Together” session with Ville Mujunen, Joakim Achrén and Jussi Laakkonen (chaired by Peter Vesterbacka). I made some notes during Jussi’s talk:
Blizzard/Vivendi made 517 million in profit in 2007 from WoW. On the other hand, it will cost 50 million dollars to make a MMO. Facebook games are already making million dollars per year in revenue (e.g. Friends for Sale, MobWars). Introducing concept ‘FunWare’; providing games-like interaction for non-game applications.
Today is the second day of MindTrek conference, and I am happy just to lean back, listen, and participate as an audience. This camera-photo is taken during the opening session, showing the chief scientist (Yahoo’s Connected Life) Marc Davis speaking about social media from a system oriented and ecosystem perspective.
I am today, tomorrow and until Thursday participating in the MindTrek conference, first as the chair of the Games Track in Tuesday, then giving a short presentation on SoPlay project in Thursday. See the program (note two versions!) here:
Jim Gee is offering an interesting lecture today in Helsinki University. I wanted to hear him comment on the state of literacy and the current dilemmas the US is facing, and he did not disappoint. Games provide valuable tools for learning to understand and to handle complex systems with multiple interrelated variables. (Something that people responsible for the US economy were not apparently capable to manage.) Interesting opportunities are also opened up for future collaboration, considering that our University Alliance games & learning spearhead group will be focusing exactly on similar themes.