Tag Archives: games


Korea adventure – day # 24 – Mud festival

Week 34
Joensuu, Finland

On Wednesday July 24th we went to the mud festival in Boryeong city. So we needed to drive from Suwon – point A in the photo below – to Boryeong – point B. This driving offered us the possibility to see some of the Korean landscape.

Suwon to Boryeong

Location of Suwon (pont A ) and  Boryeong (point B)

Landscape from the highway,  view from the bus window

Landscape from the highway, view from the bus window

Honestly I was unsure of what to wear and what to expect. I read a couple of things on the internet related to the mud festival clarifying what it is, but still I was unsure about it. So let’s discover.

We arrived to the festival. The mud area, where are some games as well, is  behind the tends of the photo below.

Arrival to the festival

Arrival to the festival

Somehow everything looked “calmed” when we arrived. It was a still early, I assume, because when we left was more activity.

The festival area is large and  I heard that on the weekend is busy. However, with this amount of people was possible to enjoy the MUD.

Germany present!

Different view of the festival area – Germany present!

We had some time before we were able to get into the mud.  So, first we put our bags in the lockers.

Mud is the main event.

Entrance to the lockers room. As you see MUD is THE event.


Temporal Lockers

Message in the lockers

Message – no idea what it says.

Afterwards we went to eat lunch. One post will be dedicated to Korean meals, it deserves a post on its own.  However here an intro.

lunch time

lunch time

It is fascinating that the grill is in the middle of the table!

After a good meal, we got ready to get into the mud as time was approaching and that meant start to put mud on ourselves. No photos as available from my camera, as mud is not good for cameras.

For the dress up, I decide use some OLD cut pants which were ready to send to the trash.  Those were advices from some websites I read.  However when I saw photos taken from us, I got surprised how I was brave enough to use them. OMG!

TIP: Use something that you will not be sad that will be destroyed, but still nice and comfortable. 

This photo was taken after I was in the mud,  while I was waiting for the busses for our return to Suwon.

This photo was taken after I was in the mud, while I was waiting for the busses for our return to Suwon.

The first thing I did was to slide on that blue slide (photo above, the slide of the left), and it was FUN. However, my grip with the surface was VERY poor, and that made me slower than normal. Before my next step I wanted to be sure I was stepping correctly. All was so slippery!  So, even that must games were competitive, my aim was to experience the event and I was with a great group of ladies to do that. 🙂

My second game was on a red pool, which was located on the right of the slides. The photo does not capture it, but I confess I had a BLAST! It was so good!!!! I had much fun, the idea was to make different activities in the pool, e.g. make pairs, make teams of five, etc. Those who were unsuccessful sat in the middle and at the end we wash them with mud, shortly afterwads revenge emerge and we were shower with the mud. It was much FUN and after this moment I was really IN the event.

Unfortunately no much photos are available, except of my shoes from the picture below. This is a type of event that I could try to explain it 10000….. times and the experience cannot be transmitted. One has to live it. Great fun!  

one of those are my shoes

one of those are my shoes

another view of the festival

another view of the festival

Note: however one has to be careful too, as it is easy to slip. We had one of our students hurt 🙁 

After play and get REALLY dirty! we took a shower and got ready to get back. Below some rice fields on our way back. A very nice trip.

Landscape on the way back to Suwon

Landscape on the way back to Suwon

Next, temple stay…

playing entrepreneurship

Week 46
Joensuu, Finland

This post was mainly written after I met Peter Harrington at the vs-games conference. I admit that time pass by FASTER than my ability to accomplish the things I want to finalise during my 24hrs of life that I have each day. Nevertheless, I keep on crossing out items on my constant growing TO DO list. Slowly but surely. 🙂

I met Peter because he sat on a strategic spot, according to my opinion, at the social event of vs-games.  Later, I was fortunate to share the dinner table with him and have a quality conversation!   Peter is the director of SimVenture. He is an entrepreneur himself, with decades of experience. So, I was eagerly hearing all what he was sharing to me, and being honest. I was also asking and talking (part of my nature 🙂 ) . It was an enlightening evening!

The advices I listen often from people with life experience, as Peter or Christian, are full of common sense: focus, build trust, establish discipline.  These three characteristics that entrepreneurs should acquire, and imho, could apply equally  to individuals in research and academia.

Now I can play SimVenture and publish this post. The simulation is a bit challenging I must say, but so the real life stuff.

To published this post took me  longer than expected  because I wanted to play the game before posting.  At the moment SimVenture is for windows machines. Hence, before to make the necessary arrangements to run the game on a MacBook I decide to update my machine. Ohhhhh! that was a WRONG decision.  Apple Inc. is not making my life easier……

playing SimVenture

playing SimVenture

next I will write about my frustrations generated by Apple Inc.


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…..

pay attention to context: from gamification to pleasurize

Week 6, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

The first time I heard about gamification was with the work of Jane McGonigal and later in a video of Jesse Schell, I even have read about this new system of evaluation relating grades to experience points.

McGonical and Schell are leaders on the arena of game design. Schell’s book, The Art of Game design, in my humble opinion is a gem. However, in regard to the topic of gamification, I have my doubts. I do not find the gamification arguments convincing. My impression is that the proponents of gamification are losing the point of games, play-space and real life. Myself, I subscribe to those individuals who think that gamification sounds like a  disguise of a behaviorist conditioning of everyday activities for competitive societies.

The reason I am writing about this topic is because a friend of mine, Javi, wrote about gamification, and an interesting exchange of ideas emerged. He put me to think when he wrote that: gamifiation is a trend, supported with the idea that marketing agencies want to utilize game design techniques but they do not really know how, specially with a critical mass of players and a new generation coming.

Of course Javi gave me food for the thought, specially when I think on a new generation which is used to reality shows and having all pervasive….

In order to reply to Javi’s comment I watch the video he suggested me:  The Pleasure Revolution: Why Games Will Lead the Way by Schell (embedded below).  The actual reflection of Schell makes more sense to me than the earlier explanation of gamification. Schell bases his analysis on the positive psychology and context.  He changes his focus from gamification to pleasurize or improved motivational design.  To me, as you can imagine from the title of my dissertation hypercontextualize games, I found more common ground with the actual reflection of  Schell than in earlier talks. Perhaps more posts about the topic will emerged.

My conclusion, at this moment, from my talk with Javi is: yes marketing strategies will change. They must change in order to survive. I still think that gamification might not be the way. However, I think we will be finding more ARG and transmedia activities than earlier. Nevertheless, whatever is the new marketing path,  CONTEXT will be its key concept and resource.

To the time!

intensive workshop: ” Working for my Dreams” (1/2) – background & trip

The reason for me to be in a, Tanzania, Africa is to run this workshop. Within my research this is the way to validate my model, but this will be material for other post. Right now let’s focus on “Working for your Dreams”.

Until now I am able to write about this. Before my trip, in Finland, was VERY . I was working hard until Nov 5. In that day we had an intensive and very productive meeting in Helsinki, which we will update later too, but that night I depart to South. Since I reached Iringa, my night sleep had been reduce dramatically (average 4 hrs), as days are HECTIC.

And  today I have time to update this blog and I want to share my African journey in few sentences. This post will focus in the idea, trip and background.

  • Idea

In July 2009, in Joensuu, Finland. I was talking with a Marcus Duveskog about why are we always “lecturing” about the subject of HIV/AIDS instead to make something more active and engaging for the students? more meaningful. Instead we could focus in constructive things as their dreams, and how we can support/help individuals to go forward instead to focus in the problems. We agree on this and together, and we like the idea and we start to conceptualize a workshop with this purpose.

First sketch of our workshop idea

First sketch of our workshop idea

  • Trip

It took me several days to reach Iringa. The route trip was:

Thursday Nov. 5th: Joensuu – Helsinki – München. Friday Nov.6th München –Dubai, Saturday Nov. 7th Dubai – Dar es Salaam, Sunday Nov 8th. Dar es Salam – Iringa.

Outstanding comments:

  1. Emirate Airlines – my favorite airline (confirmed after used it in 2003): good service, environmental aware (recycle plates, silverware, etc.), state of the art entertainment system (for me the game section is just GREAT!!! Individual and multiplayer with other flight members).
  2. Dubai Airport – where west meat east. Dubai airport is the most multicultural place I have met in my life. People gather together in one place being themselves. Hindu, African, Middle East outfits are present as much as western ones. You can see all colors, religions, backgrounds, shapes, is the planet in one airport. —— Tip if you are stock in this airport, as I was, forget about sleeping, they charge 60 US per hour in the hotels there. BUT you can get access to the SPA with a private shower for 17 US, worth it!
  3. Tanzania, my first reaction is EXTREMELY friendly people, I had a GREAT host in Dar es Sala.
  4. The trip to Iringa is long but I was lucky enough to see one elephant, some giraffes, zebras, antelopes,  monkeys, AMAZING!!! (no photos, we were driving fast). In addition to some country side, villages, outfits, colors…. I was tired, but I couldn’t close my eyes a bit.
Tetris game in my sit, with multiplayer options :)

Tetris game in my sit, with multiplayer options 🙂

  • Background

On Sunday I had on my hands for first time an OLPC. If you had tried to download the simulator and succeed, it will be good to hear about it. I didn’t succeed myself then to have this little thing in my hands was IMPORTANT.

A paper about our experiences with this XO (name of the computer of OLPC)  will come out, because in brief: there is much to say about it.

From the workshop perspective,  Marcus had set up everything perfectly. He had done all the in-site pre-arrangements, and even find me a place to live 😉 . He seems as  a fish in the tank.

Once we were together we start to get the information that we needed from Tutors and kids. Having a focus interview with the tutors on Monday and an individual interviews with the 17 children on Tuesday.

Wednesday the workshop started, but we had a no-show. The children were sent home. (something to do with the national examinations). Nevertheless was a good opportunity to talk with the teacher and explain how important the workshop is.

Instead we  join our supervisor and all the team from North-South project (they were running an even in here, which was making Marcu’s life a bit busier I must say). For me, it was a GREAT opportunity to talk with Seugnet Blignaut. She helped me and gave me valuable feedback about my research design and methodology. Quality of time I must say, and I start to see that my intensive period of thinking and writing this year, it seems will pay off.

This is the brief story of the idea, trip and background. Next post is a brief story of our workshop.

First contanct with OLPC

First contanct with OLPC

My first meeting with the tutors of our workshop. Outstanding Tumaini University students

My first meeting with the tutors of our workshop. Outstanding Tumaini University students

First contact with our workshop participatns :)

First contact with our workshop participatns 🙂