Deeper existential concerns aside for a moment, one of the main wishes of many people is that they would enjoy their life. “Having fun” seems to one way to express this goal, but enjoyment comes in so many guises. Amoeba, kaleidoscope and chameleon are among my favorite metaphors these days, trying to get a grasp at this mutable and polyphonic nature of ours.
My capacity of having fun has been hampered somewhat by the summer flu that got hold of me last week. These things just seem to last, at least a week or more. Damn thing! I had hopes for the Midsummer Day. Now I just got an unannounced early installation of the new network connection, and an ADSL box which of course declined to serve these pages to the web any more. Some expensive calls and three feverish days of debugging later, I finally got the new flash bios update for the ADSL box, which managed not only to fix the NAT routing error, but also installed a new firewall service. Nice.
Am I enjoying all this tech, or not?
Hard question to answer, really. When you are walking the road, do you enjoy the sand and stone under your feet?
E3 came and went, with its various games tech news. New devices, like info on the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and an updated Nokia N-Gage were announced. All very interesting and nice, I however find myself also looking for some breaking news on the actual game design areas. Games that received most attention seemed to be safe-and-secure sequels to old success concepts: Doom 3, Halo 2, Half-Life 2. It is hard to build future just on imitation. Nor just on new tech, even if all areas of innovation are important.
Tried out the D&D Heroes tonight — and in game technology terms, it appears superior to BGDA2, but — again! — something is missing. This time, the immense repositories of creative content built for D&D during the years have translated into a shallow and impersonal game setting that does not help you to get immersed in the fantasy. There is a careful line between entertaining stereotypes and near-mythic structures acting as mirrors for imaginative production, and plain old banality.
Continuing the previous note on the firewall configuration slavery; I have been thinking about the increasing complexity of our surroundings. Working with our Morphome project in the Lab have made me pay more attention to the amount of work we do just in order to maintain the machinery that surrounds us. Current information technology is obviously complex and still sometimes unrealiable to the point of being ridiculous, but think also the other technological components of your living environment: how much of your time do you spend taking care of your house, car, bicycle, or clothing? How much of that work you actually want to, or enjoy doing? To put this other way around, what would be the “heart of our humanity” without our constant service to technology, supposedly at our service?
I finally took it over to make my system even slightly better in terms of security, and installed a router with firewall capabilities. Nothing goes as planned, not with IT, at least. Practically whole weekend was ruined, as I was installing, rebooting, reconfiguring in an endless loop. This time the error conditions had a sort of surreal beauty with them: system seemed to work or not work with random sites and services, simply at whim. Phoned my ISP service number, and just after half an hour of queuing (oh, perhaps 45 mins), and with no help, I return home and reboot, just to find everything miraculously working again. Reading the router system logs, the lullaby of electronic times?
Wow. — More than 3000 emails later, I realize just how dependent we have become on the ICT infrastructure. Not in the prophesised positive symbiotic sense, but rather on the more ambiguous sense of cyborg existence in a world filled with spam. Few days without the net connection means two weeks of race against the new waves of binary rubbish heaping on top of the old ones. Nevertheless: great holiday, great to be back.
Hello world! This blog is not meant as a very serious or active undertaking. Rather I see this as my semi-professional diary; and since I am notoriously bad keeper of diaries, we’ll see… 🙂 Anyways, it is good to be able to make and share notes with such a flexible and easy tool. And you are served by the links on the sidebar: DiGRA, Hypermedia Laboratory, Neogames and MindTrek are all communities that I am currently involved with.
[Edit; this was my first post into the original Blogger blog; sidebars and links have changed many times after that — like the associated circles of life, too.]