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Week 45
Joensuu, Finland

2015 has been a year blessed with traveling. I am VERY LUCKY!  
Also, I accept that flying, conquering new worlds is part of my nature 🙂
Thus, I am looking forward share my 2015, because I want to re-live it 🙂

Meanwhile today, I decide to act in my blog instead to save a wonderful video in delicious. I want to share it the video here because: TIME is LIFE

More info about this video in this link

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!

it matters what you discover

Week 6, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

Preparing a lecture is actually challenging.  For me, the defiance is also personal because I enjoy to learn and I often dislike to be sitting in a lecture room.

On Monday night, a friend of mine,  Alia,  post a link to Noam Chomsky interview:  The purpose of Education.  Often I discover something when I listening to Chomsky, and this talk is not an exception. One of the multiple things that call my attention in this talk is: the idea of education that promotes enlightenment. My own path as a learner has been a bumping process of searching, exploring, trying and reflecting.  I am also in congruence that the technology is neutral.  Oh well, better listen to the talk.

From the last comments Chomsky mention an anecdote that help me to harmonize myself on how to prepare the courses: “what it matters is what YOU discover”

questioning the publishing system of research information

Week 5, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

Access to information is vital for research. Universities pay considerable amounts of money for accessing the digital repositories. I am grateful to be in a University that is able to have access to a wide diversity of relevant repositories.

My impression is that scholars are aware of the high costs of spreading research information, which forbid several Universities to have access to the repositories for lack of economical means.  However for one reason or another the systems has been working in this way.

When I requested the permission to the publishers who hold the copyrights of my articles – which I wrote- for my dissertation, and one of them indicated me that I needed to pay a fee, my comfort zone regarding this topic disappear. Sad but true, I needed to be shaking to react.

There are many systems in our modern societies, which we must question more about them in order to modernize them.  And things are happening, I invite you to read the article of Wired Magazine by D. Dobbs: “Testify: the Open-Science Movement Catches Fires”, because things are happening.