I have been curious about the latest development of ludological studies in Italy. This is why I stopped in Milan to meet Matteo Bittanti on my way to Switzerland. Too bad I arrived only hours after the official launch of the Ludologica book series. Bad timing. This is too bad because I didn't get a chance to meet the other researchers that are responsible for fastly turning Italy into the one of the hottest places for game research in the planet.
And you thought the benefits of being in Europe just included visiting old cathedrals. Well, reading Edge magazine is another one. And they are announcing Barry Atkins' More than a Game, a book dealing with games and fiction. Atkins is a lecturer in English and Senior Learning at Manchester Metropolitan University.
There is something worse than a 13 hour flight to Europe: a 13 hour flight with no gaming. I was sitting on my window seat, flying through the friendly skies on my Alitalia flight to Milano, when I decided to kick off a Winning Eleven match on my GBA. The Brazilian team was begging for mercy when a beautiful Italian air attendant asked me what was the thing I was holding on my hands. I am getting used to people rubbernecking over my little GBA SP (it looks like a miniature Powerbook Titanium), so I proudly told her that it was Nintendo's new baby. "Turn that off immediately!" she shouted. "Don't you know that thing is extremely dangerous?".
I am about to fly to Europe, where my wife is doing a one month stage in biochemistry (she's the brains of the family). I will make a short stop in Milano to meet Matteo Bittanti, the man behind the Ludologica book series and the Simiotic@ journal. Things are really looking interesting in Italy for ludology; I'll post more info about this as soon as I get more first-hand info.r rBtw, for those you contact me by snail mail, we will be moving to a new address in about a month, so please email me for the new address and phone number. We are moving just a few blocks away from our current apartment. Everything has been fitting in cardboard boxes like Tetris shapes...r rGotta catch a flight. As usual when I am abroad, posts will not be as frequent. You may understand that it is hard to blog when your fingers are all sticky with good Italian/French/Spanish food. rDamn! I need to charge my GBA SP!!!
Slate has an article on using games for "reconstructing" Iraq ("reconstruction" is certainly an interesting word to choose. Anyway, don't let me start. Cherchez la femme, I mean, le petrole). rMy favorite phrase: "It's obviously frivolous to mention computer games in the same sentence as Iraq".
If you were wondering why you didn't receive notification from the Digra conference, well, there's an update on their website. It seems that they were overwhelmed by the amount of submissions (more than 200!), but they hope to be able to get back on track this week. Building a conference is always a ton of work, so we should give the organizers our support.rBy the way, they have a new logo and the conference is now called: LEVEL UP.
Lots of people get bored of blogging. I just realized that I have posted more than 500 posts in these last two years (almost one post every two days) and I guess I haven't run out of gas yet. While browsing at my past posts, I have realized that yes, things have changed. I think I post more links and less commentary than before, which is not necessarily bad, I hope. This blog started more personal and ended up more academic, even if I try it not to be unbiased (bias is a great thing when everybody is aware of it). Looking at the stats, the number of readers has steadily increased over the time, just like the field of study. Well, I just wanted to say that I am still not bored of blogging. I'd like to ask the people out there, who have been with ludology.org for all these years, in which ways you think this blog has changed over the time (for better or for worse, of course). Thanks.
Trust me, it's not a good thing to be freezing for feet down here in South America (yes, it's not just sun and bananas south of the Equator ;) I desperately need to burn my United mileage before the company goes out of business, so that's a good excuse for visiting my sis in Barcelona in a couple of weeks. On my way, I'll stop by Milan, Berne and Lyon. I know, I know, I'm a lucky bastard. I don't complain, but I really need a vacation. I haven't slept much since I started my game studio which, by the way, hasn't yet been officially anounced. I guess we'll do it when, well, when it's the right moment. I can't think right now of a better place than Barcelona: good food, sun and, did I mention good food?