workshop on basics of game design @ jtel ss

Week 23, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

On May 21 I gave my first workshop at an international event.  I am thankful with JTEL for the opportunity.

When I wrote the workshop proposal, my naïve mind was thinking that I might have an afternoon for it. Once the program showed up, I realized I only had 1.5 hr, which it is not much time in order to run a practical workshop.

The program also let me know that other sessions would talk about games.  I am aware that gaming is relatively new in for the JTEL community. So I decided to focus directly on the basics, and still put hands on 😉  So, instead to design a game as a puzzle, as originally was designed, I pushed to have a game using dices. For that, I needed to seek for dices in Joensuu.  Oh my! That was an adventure. But at the end of the day I got all the material for my workshop:

Material for the workshop basics on game design @ JTEL 12

Material for the workshop basics on game design @ JTEL 12

It was funny to bring all that non-digital technology tools to an event that focuses on digital technology, but well, one knows it is what one must do 😉

How was the workshop? Well one should ask that question to the participants actually.

Participants of the workshop basics on game design @ JTEL 12

Participants of the workshop basics on game design @ JTEL 12

On my side, I did my best and I learned a lot.  Now, I am aware that I still I should cut my presentation a bit so that the participants have more time to put hands on. Also, I MUST learn how to close the exercise session or give feedback there is something there I am missing, and for that, of course I need to pay more attention to the experts….

I felt delighted for those who gave positive feedback, thank you! 😉 But overall, I hope the participants got valuable 1.5 hrs of their time while we were together, while gathering information and an experience of the facinating world of games.

Something very interesting happened thanks to the workshop. Dr. Igor Mayer joined the workshop, and I was unaware about who he was. However, at the end of the session he suggested some improvements for the slides, e.g. correct the year of the Huizinga publication, which I had typed wrongly. UPS!!! Now it is correct in the slides, no panic!

As it happens often to me, what I enjoyed more is to listen to others and make questions. Dr. Mayer has been around in the game research world for a time already, however as my attention has been mainly on DiGRA community, I had been a bit careless with the S&G community, so I could not connect right away. After talked to Dr. Mayer, I got eager to re-read several S&G journal articles, which in theory I had read but it seems I did not process them as I should. I really indentify with the vision of Dr. Mayer and I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with him, undoubtedly, he illumined me with his experience, constructive feedback and valuable information.

The fun thing was that at Dr. Mayer’s keynote, he pointed out one of the slides I presented at the workshop (Garner Hype Cycle in slide 26) with a different perspective. That was a rich episode. I felt it as a conversation, so cool!

At the end of the JTEL SS, I understood the purpose of a workshop, which I had no idea earlier. If I understood well, at least one of its functions is to explore ideas. Hmmm… I usually like workshops, but now I know that I will be a workshop  fan!


  • From my workshop I learn A LOT and I had fun. Thank you JTEL for the opportunity and overall thank you to all the participants of my workshop.
  •  The whole JTELLSS was a great event. We share knowledge and undoubtedly it was built a sense of community. I should be able to do a proper post of the event, but later in time, I am lacking behind in other writing duties. However this post is the first of the series


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