Mycetozoa, a slime mold?

This is something that I spotted on the university lawn this morning, on the way to work. My guess is that this brain-looking beast is something from the family of Mycetozoa, also known as slime molds. Did you know that they are actually closer to amoebas than to mushrooms? Weird and wonderful nature!

Lecturing in Oulu

There will be some game studies program in ‘Taiteiden yö’ event in Oulu this year. My own talk in Thursday Aug 26th will deal with games, ethics and effects (dealing with both the claimed positive as well as negative effects of games). The program is here:

Continuum double call: new series in Game Studies

This might have been missed by some, so here is the call (I sit in the review board):

Double CFP: Continuum Approaches to Digital Game Studies Book Series (Edited Collection on Digital Role-playing Games and Edited Collection on First Person Shooters)

These two collections will be the first two titles in a larger series of edited volumes, Approaches to Digital Game Studies, published by Continuum. Continue reading “Continuum double call: new series in Game Studies”

Human IT 10.3.

Since I am at the editorial board, spreading here information about the latest issue of the open ‘Human IT’ journal:

A fresh issue (10.3) of Human IT is now available at, marking the finalization of the tenth volume of Human IT. More on this occasion in the editorial at

Although a non-thematic issue, 10.3 does pick up the thread on communicative media that was spun in 10.2, and features two peer reviewed articles on academic blogs and instant messaging. Three articles in Swedish discuss web portals for regional culture, integrity issues, and the history and philosophy of copyright. Continue reading “Human IT 10.3.”

Starting the new academic year, with Games Literacy

The academic year 2010-2011 starts officially only in September when the teaching starts. However, there is much going on already in August. I made an early start last week by lecturing in ‘Äidinkielen ja kirjallisuuden opetuksen foorumi 2010’ event (the literature and Finnish language teachers conference), where I argued (among other things) that we are moving in media technological terms more complex and ‘messy reality’, but that does not mean that traditional literacy skills and contents would suddenly become worthless. There does not really exist a separate and isolated thing called ‘multimedia literacy’, but rather an intermeshed complex of different skills, some of them related to images, some to text, but the skills of actively making media (and other materials our world offers us) our own, as well as interpersonal & communicational skills, become increasingly central for the future. – Link to the conference page:

Goodbye Hypermedia, Welcome Interactive Media

This piece of news someone might have missed during the summer vacation period: the official name of new media studies will no longer be ‘hypermedia’ (despite the honorable tradition of the term, leading back to 1960s), but ‘interactive media’. There is a new discipline called Information Studies and Interactive Media in our university, where it is possible to specialize e.g. in game studies, social media or other fields of digital media research, starting from BA level, leading through research-oriented master’s degree, up to postgraduate studies and PhD. A Finnish language news page on this is here:

iPeng. iPhone. Spotify. And Squeezebox.

This has been one of the most fun recent everything-is-now-connected experiences: after upgrading into a Spotify Premium account, I first did find out that Spotify has a very nice mobile client for iPhone, then that there is also a plugin (still at beta though) to make Spotify work as an online radio component in my Squeezeserver/Squeezebox setup at home (making possible somewhat more hifi experiences in our library room). The only issue was the UI, and seaching for music with our trusty old Squeezebox Classic and its rubbery remote control was not so much fun. Here stepped in iPeng, an application that turns iPhone into a Wifi remote that makes browsing and playing Squeezebox’s music collections really fun — and it suits perfectly for remote controlling Spotify, too.

The only real irritation so far has been “no player connected” message that comes when the connection between iPhone and Squeezebox is lost. I have tried to set iPhone into a fixed IP address in our router, and also limit its connection into Wifi g standard only (which should make it supposedly more resilient to disturbance), but I am not sure I have managed to crack that problem completely yet. But otherwise: it is great to notice it is possible to get things — music, services, hard- and software — to interoperate, finally, at least to a certain degree.

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