5 things I’m thinking about

You have Alper to blame for this. Alice started it, many followed (some well worth reading) and now the meme has crossed the pond it seems. I know, we’re a bit slow in NL. So, what am I thinking about?

My upcoming holiday, which will be the first break in over a year. I am planning to completely unplug, which I am both dreading and looking forward to. It seems the longer I am self-employed, the harder it gets to just leave work behind for an extended period of time. It seems crazy to be worried about the continuity of my business when I’m only away for a week on a freaking Wadden island.

Today marks the last day of final exams at the HKU and I am lead to wonder about the future of design education as it happens there and at other similar institutes around the world. It often seems too closed off from the outside world, too insular. I am looking forward to tangling with this subject matter more in an upcoming project with River Institute.

Choosing has never come easy to me. In the past I have found it painful to choose between disciplines, skills to develop, projects to work on. And at some point I sort of decided to stop forcing choices and find ways to have them all mesh. I think that finally I am getting to a spot where I am comfortable in not choosing. So now I wonder why that is, what the value of refusing to choose is and what that means for creative disciplines.

I am essentially pessimistic about the future of this world. I have a very hard time conceiving of any future, in fact. Recently I found myself in a workshop aimed at making plans for an event in 2015 and I was totally lost. Having learnt this about myself the next question is how to act – I don’t wan’t to “play dead” as Bruce Sterling would say – so what’s the alternative?

Since it is at the core of my business I am thinking a lot about domains where games could go next. I am thinking a lot about citizen engagement, particularly when it comes to public policy, but I am mostly stumped about making inroads into that area locally.

There you have it.

Published by

Kars Alfrink

Kars is an independent interaction and game designer who makes things with technology for play, learning and creativity.

  • Have a great holiday, Kars. You might enjoy this article/chapter about Scannners & Divers (http://www.getmotivation.com/articlelib/articles/barbarasherscanner.html), connected to your third point.

    I’m also going to hunt for some positive, credible thoughts about The Possible Future for you. Surprised that you’re having such a hard time with this, it’s not how you strike me at all. Puzzled! Maybe it will be better after some time away from those dang internets! :-)

  • I think the “refusing to choose” part is highly related to people with a design attitude.

    I’ve described it once as: “A design attitude does not focus solely on making choices, but on the development of opportunities which can lead to choices.”

    Our education system is about teaching us on how to make choices, they make it look like a hard and laborious task. While you can also apply the strategy in which you strive to create many options in which the right one “naturally” appears to you.

  • Marrije, thanks for the link to the article. Looks like just what the doctor ordered. And I am open to positive view on the future but I guess I wouldn’t describe myself as an optimist.

    Marc, that’s an interesting view, never looked at it that way.