The IGJA "rovides resource, community and education to an international group of journalists covering video games". There is a lot to be done in game journalism and the existence of this association is certainly a great piece of news.
I will post more in detail about GDC in general, and specially about the Independent Games Festival. I just gave my roundtable on building bridges between academia and industry. It was called "Academics fragging Developers" and I think it worked great, even though some people did not get that the title was meant to be a joke. Tomorrow I'll run the same roundtable again, so I guess I have an extra life :) Btw, Gamasutra interviewed me yesterday about games getting serious and about more people getting serious about games.
Greetings from GDC'04. Lots of things going on, but I just thought that some images would be a better way to communicate what is happening at the San Jose Convention Center. UPDATE: More pics available at GrandTextAuto (I am posting from Berkeley, back in Europe tomorrow)
Just got back from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where there is the Bang the Machine exhibit. A TV crew from the Netherlands interviewed me for a feature on political videogames (September 12th is part of the exhibit, among other games). I'll post more on the exhibit later. It felt pretty weird to actually see strangers playing with Sept12, I guess is one of the things that webgame developers do not see very often. Anyway, the FutureFarmers people (who did for the Antiwargame) where having a LARP Pacman version on the Yerba Buena park. Here's William Huber and Me, inside our ludological costumes. So, here I am, second day in San Francisco, and I already managed to chase little kids in the park dressed as a videogame character...
It turned out that Giant Robot, while still being probably one of the coolest stores in the West Coast, is facing serious competition from Kid Robot, at least when it comes to my credit card (of course, none of them can match Powerful Robot Games, the coolest game studio on Earth. Do you see a robotic pattern here? I do). Anyway, it was a Kid Robot where I got my wonderful Gloomy teddy bear (which will join my other Gloomy stuff from my last trip to Japan). In case you don't know Gloomy, well, he's a very particular bear.
French speaking Quebec days are a thing of the past, welcome to California and let's get read to speak Spanish. Man, I am under the powerful control of the Governator, this is so neat. I am totally jetlagged (again) but Zang.org and ludonaut extraordinaire William Huber is taking really good care of me (Mexican food dinner yesterday was really good).
I left Quebec city today, but I am still in Quebec (quite a puzzling situation, I must admit). I am writing from a computer at the UQAM (University of Quebec in Montreal). A few blocks from here I ran into a homeless guy who posted a sign next to his improvised homeless home: Centre de Recherche du Pot (Pot Research Center). rThe meeting in Quebec was fantastic. I met really great people (passionate high school teachers, can you believe that! What a concept! My high school teachers were passionate for, say, a week, before they gave up. There is hope in the universe! Yeah). I met producers from Ubi Soft (go Splinter Cell!). I saw Seymour Papert walking into a huge room and with his best smile invited hundreds of teachers to disobey the school structure. He said that the school system as we know is about to crumble down, just like the Soviet Union. There is no way out, the educational doomsday is coming (and I feel fine). I guess that`s the driving idea of his new book. I talked to him for a few minutes, I guess I overwhelmed him a bit since I was so excited. Seymour Papert! The closest thing to a rock star that educational computing will ever have. Go Seymour! rAnd now for something completely different...Quebec rocks! (so far, at least)
Greetings from Quebec City (a wonderful place, even though I haven't seen much late). I am having a blast in this conference, which is about educational multimedia, but everybody is talking about blogs and videogames, so I am feeling right at home here. The attendance is quite ecclectic and that is always a great thing for a conference. There was also people from the game industry, which is very strong in the Quebec region (Ubi Soft developped Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia, among other games, here). Still, there are many teachers and administrators, and it is wonderful to discuss how technologies and methodologies can help learning. We had James Paul Gee giving a great keynote yesterday and I am so looking forward to listening to an old hero of mine, Seymour Papert, who will be keynoting at today's lunch. It feels great to be around people who care about education. I am learning a lot. rI have to take a quick look at my notes before my talk this morning. Tomorrow, it'll be time to go back to Montreal.