Category Archives: conference & seminar

context, knowledge and gamification at vs-games

Week 44
Genova, Italy

Honestly,  I am lucky because in the conferences I had been in, I always learn and discover something new and interesting. I enjoy them.

However, it takes me a time to digest my learning experience. No-one has asked me to summarize my learning experience on writing in this events, but I start to believe this would be a benefit. The idea emerges few weeks ago while organizing my papers and some of them are related to conferences. It has been refreshing to go through the material. Now I want to start a “habit” to summarize at least some key points. So, here some memoirs of my learning experience at vs-games.

  1. The keynote from the representative of the European Commission (Marco Marsella)  mention about the importance of design games for different context. I am sure he did not refer exactly of what I have on mind about context. In any case, it is the first time that I listen explicitly about the term, specially when innovation is part of the key words nowadays.  What a good time to finalize my dissertation: Hypercontextualized Games. The new funding process of the European Union, in my opinion, is interesting and also challenging….. ideas spinning and time to move forward! 🙂
  2. To re-counter with persons I met at the beginning of my journey is priceless! Hope to keep in touch with them properly now. One example is Rafael. Great to see you again and nice talks. Looking forward to follow your very interesting projects!!!
  3. Knowledge!  It is other topic I am very interested. See my dissertation again. Well, the research done with Prof. Lim is extremely interesting…. I learn much from him and Aparajithan while talking with them. Really inspiring talks!
  4. A common interest from GALA and DiGRA at this moment relates to methodologies. Challenge I do not see any time soon to be solved. However, the talk of Igor Mayer was very inspiring in reference to this topic.
  5. At the time to see and play games, I detect the game of Latin America from global-conflicts. Unquestionably I needed to talk with the person at charge of the stand.  People who know me are aware I have specific and strong arguments about this type of games. So, here I have the opportunity to exchange to try to understand more of the minds behind the games. I am glad I have the conversation with the person presenting the games, which his business card I cannot locate 🙁  . A post about this topic will show up at some point in time, as it requires a discussion as a sensitive topic as it is.
  6. Gamification was also present. I am not subscribed to the ideology of gamification. Actually I am against, specially in the way it is used and described. One day I will write about this because it also requires a post of its own.  However, when I hear the talk of Donald Brinkman from Microsoft clarifying that for them gamification is to pay attention to the process and evolution of it, I got positively surprised. Microsoft saying this, when other companies are actually trying to promote gamification without much analysis or understanding of the topic. Donald  even showed an interesting slide pointing the arguments related to gamification in academia (photo below, the slide was good and my camera dead, but my phone did an attempt to take a photo). I wonder why he did not mention Jesse Schell in his talk.…. Hmmm…. Schell has a critical talk about gamification at google (link). More about this topic will come, but this is a brief summary.
Gamification Rethoric - Talk by Microsoft

Gamification Rethoric – Talk by Microsoft

Gamification Joke - Talk by Microsoft

Gamification Joke – Talk by Microsoft

Several talks, games and papers were interesting, which I encourage to read in the proceedings published at Elsevier. This summary focuses on my learning experience…. Hmmm… I guess I need to elaborate in the “term”: learning experience.  

Here some memoir photos, of the event in general. Somehow the location remind me home….

Faculty of Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

Towards the Faculty of Engineering after the previous sign

Walk towards the Faculty of Engineering after the previous sign

The actual building of the  Faculty of Engineering, end of the road

The actual building of the Faculty of Engineering, end of the previous road

In conference

In conference

walk towards my hotel

walk towards my hotel, view of the city


walk towards my hotel (2)

walk towards my hotel, view of the city and the see  (2)

Ah! Do you know that the blue jeans are actually originally from Genoa .  All things one learn!

exposition of the origins of the  blue jeans

exposition of the origins of the blue jeans

Interesting people I met during these days, and the atmosphere was very nice. 😉  Hope to see this group soon. Thank you to the organizers!


Gala dinner

location of the gala dinner

next post:  my pleasant discovery at the gala dinner…..


Week 44
Genova, Italy

Reporting from the VS-Games conference. Yesterday I ran a workshop entitled: designing games for specific contexts. Honestly, I was nervous and excited about it.

The process to get the workshop ready was especially interesting. Once the proposal / paper was accepted, an email came informing me if it was possible to involve Ivan in the workshop. He is an energetic entrepreneur in serious games in Italy. His company is called TiconBlu. As you might know me, collaboration is important and to promote a win-win situation. It seems we managed 🙂  The process took some new thinking on how to combine things. Life is a learning process right?

Here I share you part of the presentation:

More soon ….

nordic game summit

Week 41
Joensuu, Finland

In Sept 27 and 28 I was in Kajaani for the Nordic Games Summit.

Perhaps Kajaani is a small city. Remember everything is relative 🙂 .  Maybe the submit was “small” but unquestionably in Kajaani they are doing big things.

The event had three tracks on the 28th. Somehow, I dislike to do not be able to clone myself so that I can be in all the talks I want to be. Fortunately, I was with Mikko and we split efforts. From the sessions I was present, I like most of them 😉

Also I must confess I particularly like some rooms from the school. It reminded me a modern version of the type of lecture room I had in Offenburg, Germany.

entrance to lecture room

entrance to lecture room

I like the arrangement that there was doors downstairs and upstairs, and the chairs were really at different levels as a theatre. But what I like the most of this room was the mix of new and old technologies, e.g. beamer and blackboard, white board and paper. Nice!

lecture room

lecture room

It was surprising to notice that some other people is using HYPER in the game arena besides Hypercontextualized Games 😉

Hyper competition

Hyper competition

During this submit, I had the opportunity to re-connect with some people whom I met when I started my PhD. It is until now when we see again. That is a small world! 🙂  and ages of time between events! 😉

Also I was lucky to meet interesting people for first time. For example: from industry I met representatives from Wooga, a firm that I have the impression will be interesting to follow.  From academia I met Kajaani game development lab’s  team who are utilizing and investigating with eye tracking on drive simulations. Very interesting and inspiring is their work! 😉  It also reminds me a lot to research that is being conducted at the Graduate School of Education in Bristol.

Before this opportunity, my knowledge about eye-tracking was limited to stand alone computers (tobii) which the research group of interactive technologies have been using. Now was the first time, for me, to see a  portable and practical eye tracking device. Powerful gadgets I would say 🙂

eye tracking cameras

eye tracking cameras


Summarizing,  I like this type of events that help us to connect ideas and knowledge,  and when they are small, somehow, they are cozier.


Week 30, 2012
Wels, Austria

On July13 th and 14 th I was at the event called ILLUSIO. As far as I understand this was the second year the event was organized. ILLUSIO’s objective is to bring together people of the digital entertainment and game industry in Joensuu.

The team who organized ILLUSIO this years did a good job transforming the network Oasis facilities and creating a nice atmosphere for the event. I know network Oasis, and by default is an attractive location, but there is always space for improvement. Unfortunately, I did not take photos of the entire place, but here is one screenshot to give an idea of the transformation for those who know the location. This is on the orange room:

Orange room at Illusio event

Orange room at Illusio event

  (photo from the illusio’s facebook page)

In addition to the atmosphere, the organizers really took care of us. Networking, food and drinks were not in shortage. Actually the number of participants was good. In huge events it is harder to meet people than when the group is a bit smaller.

This might sound strange, but without any question the game industry and also game researchers have its hallmark, i.e. its personality. It is hard to describe in here, but in brief I can say they are passionate and fast minds, but there is something that intrigues me too, as it had happened in DiGRA, IGDA and Salmokohta or any other game event I had been. One day I will find out and write a post about it 🙂

The topic of the event: audio. It was refreshing for me. I know about the power of sounds and audio, but without a question I learned something, for example, now I have a clearer understanding of what a sound designer do.  Also I got inspire and revive some ideas for games 🙂 .

The talks were not academic. The speakers share some of their experience and facts of the game industry in Finland, which in itself is interesting. I prefer the presentations that shared ideas about budgets, assets list, and visions. Nevertheless, as it happens always in these events, the most important part was: the experience and the networking.

Thank you to the organizers!

Presentation at Illusio

Presentation at Illusio


digra 2012

Week 23, 2012
Tampere, Finland

Last time I was in Tampere was for the role-playing seminar. Right after the seminar, I went to the Salmokohta. I want and need to post about those events, and I will but somehow I am still digesting them.

Now, I am back in Tampere for the Nordic DiGRA conference. The community is special, and I learning to know them. Well, I start to join the community since late 2005, so little by little I have gotten to know them. This community approaches research from a different perspective than how we do in my research group at EdTech. In here the stress is more on culture. So, for someone like me who studied a “technical” degree and somehow is practical, it takes me a time to tune in. I assume this is because I was taught to  see and analyze our world differently. However, that offers me an opportunity to learn a lot too. It takes personal energy, but to be able to understand the discourse of others interested in the same artifact of study is a rich experience. At the end our world is made from different persons who have different views.

From this morning, I realized I need to reflect more in:

  • Utopias
  • Perceptions
  • Believes
  • Habitus
  • Authentic
  • Aspirations
  • As we notice concepts related to identity, the key issue!
Opening of Nordic DiGRA 2012

Opening of Nordic DiGRA 2012