Tag Archives: thinking

life’s project

Week 48
Joensuu, Finland

Life passes by SO fast.
The classical saying is: time passes by so fast.

However, as matter of fact it is the life that passes by so fast because time will continue existing after our dead. At least what we consider as time. So, time does not disappear with us, it will continue its function.

Most of this year I have been eagerly seeking to re-connect with myself. It has been a long and bumpy journey to reach 2012. This year for me is a transition, due to the achievement of my dream…. (need to post about this! )

is next?…..

and I am aware:

1) that the clock is ticking…
2) each life is unique…..
3) the real answers come from within….
4) things are moving, slowly, but moving……

Then, today I got this quote on a special card:

“I just play all the time and am fortunate enough to get paid for it” – Martin Gardner, 1998.  Honestly, since I found Gardner’s books, he got my admiration. However I did not know this quote, which it is like sugar for me!

The card was accompanied with this book: Select Papers on Fun and Games from Donal E. Knuth.  I didn’t know Knuth, so research starts. It is when I read about his most important life’s project when things start to come together: what is the most important project of my life?

I am EXTREMELY lucky because as far as I can recall, my most important dream has been achieved. Now, it is time to work for the most important project 🙂  (Thank you Mikko for this present! )

Somehow I know it. It is matter to figure it out how to verbalize it, prioritise steps and gather the courage to jump for it. It is going to be an interesting decade!

light in my special day. Each day is magical and full of surprises!

light in my special day. Each day is magical and full of surprises!


can vampires exist in research?

It is not a secret that vampires attract my attention. There is something about these folkloric beings that have called me since I was in junior high. If I recall properly, only Ninjas have been in my interest radar much longer than vampires.  Yes, I admit, I am/was not into princesses much.

Vampires, across the literature and different believes, have an interesting connection with darkness and light, with a deep desire of life and their relationship with dead, and they show a special strength and vulnerability. Vampires are mysteriously captivating beings we have created, and maybe they are a reflection of us 😉 I have enough material to talk about vampires for a long time. Actually, I could write a little storybook about the topic. In any case, as time pass by I can sense how my personal attraction to vampires evolves.  One gets older.

Suddenly after talking with several freshmen students from our IMPIT program, as part of my actual job, I start to wonder: can vampires exist in research? I think, yes they can and they are of different types.

Why do I state that vampires can exist? Well, let’s be honest, new energy, ideas and dreams can be considered as part of the vital fluid that allows us to keep on moving.

It is clear, at least to me, that in order to have our knowledge system functioning, we need the wisdom of more experienced members of our group, as well as the energy of the young ones.  It is just fascinating how all these works!!!

I am genuinely trying to help the new students. They have been giving me their fresh energy without they attempting to do it. It just happens. Simultaneously, they take my energy.  At moments I see myself reflected through them, it is like a mirror. I can see I was passing EXACTLY through the same process some years back, or to be more precise SEVERAL years’ back.

Now, I am aware that the exchange of energy has to be done carefully. At the moment I am exhausted of the first round. Being exposed to life and energy,  demands that the receiver also offers life and energy.  The ratio is different, though!.  New learning process I am experiencing, undoubtably, and everything is switching.  Interesting times come ahead!

creation of new energy

creation of new energy

Image source in here

times change: mobile phone and my personal data

Week 24, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

When I was at the serious game workshop at Nordic DiGRA I realized I lost my mobile phone. I wanted to record something from the workshop and I could not to do it because I did not find my phone. Then, I started to think when and where I used my phone the last time and I realized:  I left my phone on the train. Auch!

My brain then started to spin in reference of what I have lost. Firstly came to my mind a couple of interviews I haven’t backed up, some new photos. The rest of the information I could recover (notes, phone numbers and most of the photos) because I had backed up, but still I feel uncomfortable thinking that an unknown person will have access to my personal data. Finally came the idea of the money, an expense not planned to have.

In the first workshop’s break I ran to the VR office and asked for help.  They offered me a phone number for lost items  (löytötavaratoimisto) but remember in Finland there are not public phones…..  Another approach was that a friend call to my mobile phone and if someone answers maybe I could recover it. However, since I have my friends’ phone numbers recorded in my mobile phone, I have no idea of their phone numbers by heart and I do not have a phone book with me neither. Of course digital backup of my phone is not traveling with me.

My solution: email. I still have my laptop with me. So, next was to get Internet access and I emailed Mikko and he helped me. Later I got an email from Eeva, because the personnel from the VR called her about my phone. Apparently, I will recover my phone!!! I am impressed about it!!! 🙂 and I am looking forward to have it back 😉

However the event let me thinking about my personal data. I have hear – read – discuss about security issues of personal data in reference to social networks. But now my thoughts go to a more simple device, just my mobile phone.  I do not connect to internet and social networks on my phone then that part is “safe” but still there is certain data exposure on my phone just because I use a  smartphone  beyond calling and sending SMS.

Things are changing fast. In the late 90’s I wouldn’t have imagine myself looking for my mobile phone via email. Still public phone boxes were surround me. I could call friends easily, with or without mobile phones because I had a physical agenda and some numbers I knew them by heart. My mobile phone did not have much extra information about myself.

Now the situation has changed and I haven’t though thoughtfully on this. I start to wonder if actually I am letting myself to be vulnerable by depending blindly on my mobile phone. Perhaps as times change it might be wise to think a bit about this and also change. The main question is how  and what do I want to change about this topic?




Photo source here



Week 18, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

Last Friday, April 28th, I was completely desperate. It was my third week sick and I was feeling trapped, tired, in need of exercise, frustrated, aghrrr…. In few words, everything was in dissonance and out of control.

From the blue, I got the impulse to go bowling.  That is it.  I told to Mikko, if he would join me and he accepted 😉

Luckily, the bowling place had a table for us available. The fact to get the 8 or 12 kg ball in my hands, focus on the ten-pin and throw the ball made me good.

We played for one hour. Actually that was a surprise for me because I thought we paid one line and at the end we played 3. We were lucky! The bowling place was full, despite the photo showing the opposite. I guess we were all playing and finalizing at the same time. I guess there was an event or a training hour because you could see several good players. Maybe it is normal to find good players in Joensuu, one reason to go back to check this out 😉

The reason for me to post this is what I share with Mikko after the game, which I found a rich and relevant experience. Let me explain. At the end of the session I asked to him about the game session. I was particular curious on his answer, not only because I care, but I knew he had played bowling on digital games and he likes it, and this one was the first time he was playing bowling in the physical world.

Now, this should not be surprising. From my perspective, the probabilty to find individuals who experience an activity first in the virtuality and second in the physical world is and will be increasing.  Hence, I wonder, if the reference point of our world somehow differs from those individuals who experience first the physical world and second the virtuality. Anyway, I might write later about this more seriously, but this time was my first time experiencing this too.

The answer was really precise, and full of truth: It feels real and the background noise is changing 😉

At the end, a crazy day finalized being a very nice one!

Thank you!

Bowling in Joensuu

Bowling in Joensuu

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!