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.

I’ve been blog tagged

First of all: hap­py new year to those I haven’t yet met in per­son! I’ll kick off the year with a post (thanks Peter). Nev­er one to pass up a meme1, I’ll tell you five things you might not know about me (this could get embarrassing).

  1. I enjoy play­ing role­play­ing games (the old school pen & paper vari­ety) and have been doing it on and off since puber­ty. Like many I start­ed out with D&D, CoC and Vam­pire. The past few year’s I’ve been play­ing a lot of indie RPGs. Play­ing these games (and some SNES clas­sics) might have got­ten me inter­est­ed in inter­ac­tion and game design… The best indie game I’ve played so far? Dogs in the Vine­yard.
  2. In my grad­u­a­tion year at the Utrecht School of Arts I spent three months doing research, writ­ing a the­sis and teach­ing at a media lab in Cos­ta Rica. Not only did that fire my appetite for trav­el­ling to trop­i­cal locales, but it also made me deter­mined to start work­ing in the inter­net indus­try. One of the research pro­to­types I came up with was a Flickr-like pro­to­type. I might throw that back up on-line some­time this year.
  3. I like to cook (although my old-style elec­tri­cal stove is giv­ing me headaches, got­ta get that kitchen refit­ted). My favourite foods are Ital­ian (my par­en­t’s fault), Japan­ese (got start­ed on that because of the mar­tial art I prac­tice) and Indone­sian (although my girl­friend is best at cook­ing that).
  4. I’m a hor­ror afi­ciona­do, watch­ing scary hor­ror films is a guilty plea­sure of mine. The best hor­ror flick I saw last year? That must have been The Descent.
  5. Recent­ly I’ve start­ed hav­ing an inter­est in wine, this must be the def­i­nite turn­ing point for me becom­ing a snob. I have yet to devel­op any real taste and have a hard time describ­ing what my mouth tells me (does that sound obscene?) I do seem to pre­fer heavy Ital­ian wines (such as Nero d’Avola). Matt Skin­ner has been a good help.

Now to tag five oth­ers… I guess I’ll both­er Edgar, Tom, Iskan­der, Alper and Almar with this sil­ly meme. Sor­ry guys!

1 Even though it’s been rag­ing since Jan­u­ary last year and reached two peaks: first around July and sec­ond in Decem­ber (thanks Tech­no­rati)!

Four Things Meme

It’s all Peter’s fault, who in turn was ‘tagged’ by Thomas. At least I’m in good com­pa­ny. :-) Here’s a few sil­ly top four lists (not nec­es­sar­i­ly definite):

Four Jobs I’ve Had 

  1. Sec­ond rate paper boy (deliv­er­ing fold­ers and such) in De Bilt, the Netherlands 
  2. Sum­mer job prepar­ing orders of com­put­er hard­ware in Hil­ver­sum, the Netherlands 
  3. Free­lance inter­ac­tion design­er for Leapfrog, my own company 
  4. Inter­ac­tion design­er at Bright Alley Inter­ac­tive Communication 
Four Movies I Can Watch Over And Over
  1. Blade Run­ner
  2. Reser­voir Dogs
  3. Sev­en Samurai
  4. Lost in Translation
Four Places I’ve Lived
  1. Blokz­i­jl, the Netherlands 
  2. Paris, France
  3. Scha­gen, the Netherlands
  4. De Bilt, the Netherlands 
Four TV Shows I Love
  1. The X‑Files
  2. ER
  3. The Simp­sons
  4. Ren & Stimpy 
Four Places I’ve Vaca­tioned
  1. Cos­ta Rica 
  2. Indone­sia
  3. Sin­ga­pore
  4. New Orleans
Four Of My Favorite Dish­es
  1. Lamb chops
  2. Spaghet­ti Putanesca 
  3. Dutch pan­cakes
  4. Sushi
Four Sites I Vis­it Dai­ly
  1. Blog­lines
  2. Flickr
  3. Last.fm
  4. plazes
Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
  1. Pulau Bunaken, Sulawe­si, Indonesia
  2. Tokio, Japan
  3. Some­where along the Caribbean coast of Cos­ta Rica
  4. The tata­mi of a Take­da Ryu dojo 
Four Blog­gers I’m Tag­ging
  1. Edgar
  2. Tom
  3. Iskan­der
  4. Hes­sel (so he can do some­thing with his ‘new’ domain) 
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