I was just checking out a secret development version of the Bandjesland page on PLAY Pilots. It is shaping up nicely, all the basic tech is in place, now it’s just a matter of kneading it to look nice and connecting it to the installation Monobanda are building for Le Guess Who? When all goes according to plan we’ll have a lovely online record of what went down in that very special place in Tivoli Oudegracht. Getting the scaffolding up for this took up a large chunk of the week, with Alper and Simon back in the studio for engineering and design.
Next wednesday I’ll be speaking at an event for teachers in middle education at Pakhuis de Zwijger organized by Noordhoff Publishers. I’ve been asked to share my most remarkable idea for engaging students in a novel way. I have a rough outline of the thing on paper (it popped up almost fully formed when I woke up this morning, love it when that happens). Now it’s just a matter of building the slides. Shouldn’t take too long.
Another major thing this week was coaching the development of a paper prototype of the game we’re designing for the Learning Lab. Wieger and Sylvan, my two awesome interns at Hubbub, have come up with a lovely concept for something that runs on top of the course’s internal blog system and supports students with reflecting on their self-development. We played through it this morning with the client, filled a big whiteboard with comments and are now in good shape to work towards a version that we can playtest with students. Lovely.
It’s final days for me. In Copenhagen, that is. July 1 I will exchange this lovely city for my home town of Utrecht, the Netherlands. The plan is to continue work as a freelance interaction designer. So if you’re interested, but physical distance has been putting you off so far, get in touch.
Between now and then, most of my time will be spent at conferences. Here’s the rundown:
- First up is From Business to Buttons, June 12–13 in Malmö, Sweden. My talk is titled More Than Useful. I will attempt to show that for a certain class of products, playfulness is a vital characteristic. The idea is to introduce the IxD crowd to some game design concepts.
- The week after that I will be at the Festival of Games, June 18–20 in Utrecht, Netherlands. My presentation is titled Playing With Complexity. I will introduce the game design audience to some interaction design thinking and suggest data visualization might be an interesting area to team up on.
- Last but not least is good old Reboot, 26–27 June in Copenhagen. I have submitted a proposal titled Playful Activism in the Real-Time City, which I hope will be selected to be on the program.
If you will be at any of these conferences, do drop me a line or say hello at the event itself.
First, the bad news: I won’t be able to make it to Interaction 08. Which sucks, because it looks like it’s going to be a wonderful conference with a smart crowd attending. I would have loved to meet up with friends there. And of course I was looking forward to sharing my ideas on playful products.
There’s plenty of other events in the pipeline for me though, both big and small. Here’s a rundown:
Next week on Tuesday 16 January I’ll be flying to Oslo on invitation of Are Halland at Netlife Research. I’ll do a short presentation at the UXnet meetup, focused on the application of game design to UX for the web.
Shortly after that, I’ll be participating in BarCampCopenhagen. I’ll probably do a session about my thoughts in mobile social gaming. Other than that I’m looking forward to just hanging out with the Danish geek crowd.
In February it’s time to cross the Atlantic to San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference. I’m speaking at GDC Mobile about designing casual gaming experiences for Generation C. I’m going to make good use of my complimentary all access pass. You’ll most likely find me playing weird stuff at the Independent Games Festival.
One final engagement taking place in June that I can already announce is From Business To Buttons, organised by my friends at InUse. Here I’ll get a chance to talk about the stuff that I had planned for Interaction 08: play, storytelling and complex systems. Looking forward to it.
If you’re reading this, and happen to be attending any of these events. Do drop by and say hi. I’d love to meet and chat!
Now that I’m over three months into my stay in Copenhagen I thought it would be good to post a short update. Here are the facts, bullet-wise (with apologies to Mr. Tufte):
- I have been in Copenhagen, Denmark since July 1st 2007
- Until now I have mostly been working on Playyoo, doing interaction and game design
- I also presented on Playful IAs at the Euro IA Summit in Barcelona
- No later than July 1st 2008, I will return to Utrecht, the Netherlands
- Yes, I intend to continue freelancing when I get back (I officially left Info.nl on October 1st 2007)
- I am available for freelance interaction design gigs that involve social media, mobile technology and/or gaming
- You can also invite me to speak at your event or company, particularly on the topic of applying game design principles to the user experience of products and services
Oh and of course, if you happen to be in Copenhagen, don’t hesitate to drop me a line when you feel like going out for some drinks!