links for 2010-01-11

links for 2010-01-08

Books I’ve read in 2009

This is the last list I’ll be post­ing on stuff from 2009, I promise. After this it’s all about look­ing for­ward. I’ve been track­ing my read­ing on aNobii for some time. Here’s a list of the books I’ve found par­tic­u­lar­ly worth­while, ordered chrono­log­i­cal­ly. My three absolute favorites are marked in bold.

  • Faith in Fakes, Umber­to Eco
  • Cat’s Cra­dle, Kurt Von­negut
  • Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Hein­lein
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Run­ning, Haru­ki Muraka­mi
  • Black Dogs, Ian McE­wan
  • Out of Con­trol, Kevin Kel­ly
  • Invis­i­ble Cities, Ita­lo Calvi­no
  • Game Design Work­shop (2nd edi­tion), Tra­cy Fuller­ton
  • The New York Tril­o­gy, Paul Auster
  • Fight Club, Chuck Paluh­niuk
  • A Clock­work Orange, Antho­ny Burgess
  • The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch
  • Trainspot­ting, Irvine Welsh
  • Under­world, Don DeLil­lo
  • Rum Punch, Elmore Leonard
  • Dig­i­tal Ground, Mal­colm McCul­lough
  • The Big Sleep, Ray­mond Chan­dler

Com­mon themes: cities, com­plex­i­ty, soci­ety & the indi­vid­ual, inner & out­er space, design.

I’ve been quite picky with what I read last year and will prob­a­bly con­tin­ue to do so this year. Many of these have heaps of dog ears and mar­gin notes and its a won­der­ful feel­ing to have them sit­ting in my stu­dio book­shelf, ready to be picked up and used when required.

links for 2010-01-07

My year in cities 2009

Last year was thank­ful­ly much low­er on trav­el than pre­vi­ous ones. We’re almost a week into 2010, I know, but I still thought it would be worth post­ing these.1

  • Van­cou­ver
  • Saint Augus­tine
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Lon­don

One or more nights were spent in each place. All of these were love­ly in their own way, but KL’s my favorite of the bunch. Best city for food any­where on the plan­et. In case you’re inter­est­ed, I keep track of these on Dopplr.

  1. As per Kot­tke and many oth­ers. []

Week 132

I’m tak­ing up the chal­lenge Matt Webb post­ed in his last wee­knote of the year 2009 and will be post­ing wee­knotes of my own here for the fore­see­able future. You can expect stuff about design work I do at Hub­bub, teach­ing at the Utrecht School of the Arts and per­haps bits about This hap­pened and oth­er side endeav­ors.

So this is week 132 of my free­lance career. I start­ed on July 1st 2007, which coin­cid­ed with a move to Copen­hagen (I’ve moved back to Utrecht since).

Most of this week is tak­en up by a work­shop — titled Move It — I’m run­ning togeth­er with Evert Hoogen­doorn and Marin­ka Copi­er at the Utrecht School of the Arts. All first year stu­dents of the games and inter­ac­tion cours­es are par­tic­i­pat­ing, around 130 in all. That’s a crazy num­ber, it’s real­ly tax­ing, but also a lot of fun. Lots of good vibes when we’re all in the same room. The assign­ment we’ve giv­en them is to design a new sports expe­ri­ence. It should take place in the cen­tre of Utrecht, and they should not only design the play of the sport, but also the expe­ri­ence of the audi­ence, the ref­er­ee, book­mak­er, etc. We kicked off on mon­day,1 today was open Q&A, tomor­row will be a mid-way review and on fri­day they’ll present the final game in the form of a three-minute video. There’ll be 24 videos in total, all post­ed to this Vimeo group. I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to the end results.

Oth­er than that I’m hop­ing to get start­ed prop­er­ly with a con­sult­ing project I’ve code­named Tako.2 It’s about explor­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for play­ful addi­tions to the pro­grams of some of Utrecht’s major cul­tur­al events. The project’s com­mis­sioned by the city of Utrecht. I’ll talk more about it once the work is under­way.

What else… This being the new year, there’s plen­ty of recep­tions. Today I attend­ed one at the Utrecht School of the Arts. Tomor­row I’ll be at the month­ly lunch organ­ised by the Dutch Game Gar­den3 which’ll prob­a­bly involve some new year shenani­gans.

I was also doing the oblig­a­tory finan­cial admin that comes with the start of a new month, a new quar­ter and a new year (thank god there’s noth­ing spe­cial relat­ed to this being a new decade). Invoic­ing, that sort of thing.

Also, I sent out a mes­sage to some of my old friends in Copen­hagen, since I’m plan­ning a six-week stay there in spring. I’m hop­ing to do some work there. Have heard back from a few already, so that’s encour­ag­ing.

There’s also more than the usu­al amount of meet­ings to talk about poten­tial new projects. All quite inter­est­ing and excit­ing, who knows what’ll come of those.

So that’s the first wee­knote out of the way. It’s inter­est­ing how doing this increas­es my aware­ness of all the stuff that’s going on. It’s hard not to feel a lit­tle over­whelmed. I hope it’s of some inter­est to you though.

Onwards!

  1. I ran a brief ideation ses­sion using a design game devel­oped by Jus­si Holopainen et al. at the Nokia Research Cen­ter. []
  2. I’ve got­ten into the habit of nam­ing new projects after Japan­ese seafood. []
  3. Which is where I have my stu­dio. []

A game as a museum as a game

Over at Non-fic­tion, Juha writes about a hypo­thet­i­cal game that sim­u­lates muse­um man­age­ment. He asks:

Could this be an inter­est­ing approach to open up muse­ums and learn from our cur­rent and future audi­ences? Could a game be a muse­um? Could a muse­um be a game?”

I think the sim­ple answer to all these ques­tions is yes. But I’ve always been more inter­est­ed in the how of things. So I’m lead to won­der…

Con­tin­ue read­ing A game as a muse­um as a game