• "Use PiP to show video from any webcam on your screen, nicely integrated as "Picture in Picture" which makes it ideal for live presentations, screencast recordings and in the educational sector." Or filming your hands…
  • "In this post, I want to pay tribute to my favorite “games” of 2012 – specific performances, instances, and events that really meant something to me. The list is admittedly idiosyncratic, subjective, and a little self-indulgent. And that’s the way it should be, I feel (um, unless you’re a journalist or something), because games, at their best, are deeply personal affairs. Games generate memories, and I want to share some of mine with you." Doug is smart.
  • "I think it’s valuable to have an understanding of assembly language. Assembly language is the lowest level of abstraction in computers – the point at which the code is still readable. Assembly language translates directly to the bytes that are executed by your computer’s processor. If you understand how it works, you’ve basically become a computer magician." I don't, and this looks like a lovely way to learn. Also: I think I finally get this. Nine-year-old me sure didn't.

I’m talking at three events in the next few weeks, and now they’re all announced, it’s worth sharing them here.

First, on Thursday 23rd August (tomorrow), I’ll be talking at the Turing Festival in Edinburgh, during their Games slot. I’ll be talking about Systemic Media for a Systemic Age.

In an age of systems, systemic media is not just increasingly common but increasingly vital and games happen to be the most immediate, most populist manifestation of that. My belief is that “systems literacy” is the great literacy of the 21st century – and that games are the most powerful place to explore that literacy.

Then, on Friday 7th September, I’ll be talking at dConstruct in Brighton. The talk is called Making Friends: Toys, Toying and Toymaking. It’s about the value of making toys and what you can learn from that practice.

Toymaking is not an idle habit. Toys are a fertile ground for creators to work in. They offer a playful space to experiment and explore. They are a safe ground to experiment with new techniques, skills, or ideas. Though they emerge from no particular purpose, they expose purpose and meaning through their making. Toymaking ranges from making realistic simulations of life to producing highly abstract playthings. And everyone who makes things – out of paper, wood, metal, plastic, or code – has something to gain from making them.

And finally, on Saturday 8th September, I’ll be one of the speakers at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire talks. I’ll be talking about what I seem to spend a lot of my time doing: making things you don’t know how to make.

It turns out, of most of the things I’ve made, I didn’t know how to make when I started them, and I never thought I should be able to make them. When I finished them, neither of those statements were true.

It’s been interesting to think on these topics, and I’m looking forward to all three events. Say hello if you see me there!

Story Warp

26 July 2011

I’m going to be talking at Story Warp on Thursday evening (the 28th) – an event about storytelling hosted by Made by Many. It’s a great panel, and I think – given my own perspectives and beliefs on the S-word – there’s going to be some healthy and vigorous debate.

Slightly late notice – and the event’s full now, I believe. But: if you’re there, do say hello. It should be a good evening.


03 August 2010

I was fortunate enough to have been invited to take part in Hide & Seek’s Wonderlab a few weeks ago: ten invited participants, three days, and a remit to explore and experiment in the world of games and play. It was fascinating, exhausting, and a great deal of fun.

Of course, it deserves a bit more explanation than that. I’ve written a much fuller exploration of what the event really was, and what I got out of it, over at the BERG website.