If you have following this blog, you know that I have been (am) travelling quite a bit lately. My faithful Game Boy Advance SP is now the property of my brother in law and it is my Nintendo DS the one that sits on my window seat pocket. It is heavier and larger than the SP. While the media is smaller, I still carry around GBA games, so the whole thing is quite a big brick. That being said, I really really like my DS. Of course, you never love hardware (except during launch week), you love the games.
Argentinian researcher Alejandro Piscitelli -author of Ciberculturas, one of the very first and very good books on new media to have been published in Spanish in the nineties- has posted an article in Spanish that reviews different aspects of my research. Needless to say, I am flattered and this reminds me that I should write more in my mother tongue. Talking about being flattered, I forgot to mention that after my talk in Melbourne, a young man approached to me and said: "I always wanted to tell you... that you just look like Half-Life's Gordon Freeman". I am afraid that Mr. Freeman may be a bit tougher than yours truly, but at least I was not told that I looked just like a tetramino. Anyway, I am sort of tempted to travel around giving lectures while carrying a crowbar with me :)
I am not even recovered from this jetlag and I am getting ready to fly to Madrid in a few days. I'll be at a seminar organized by the European University of Madrid on Friday and Saturday. It's been ages since I have talked publicly in Spanish; it should be fun.
I am back from Melbourne, after a really really long flight back to Denmark. It could have been a trip marred by jetlag –which haunted me for 5 whole nights in spite of my best efforts- but it turned out to be just plain fantastic.
It's been ages since I had such a nice trip. Australia was simply fantastic. I'll post a longer post once home (and once the jetlag is a thing of the past). Now in Singapore, still a long haul to Copenhagen. Stay tuned.
I know I shouldn't be blogging with all the work I still need to do, but it's 4am and I am still jetlagged (even though I feel much, much better than a couple of days ago). My weekend in Singapore was tons of fun. I always loved botanical gardens and until now, the botanical garden in Rio was probably the one I liked the most. The one in Singapore blew my mind. They have a special section for orchids that it's just unbelievable (think millions of orchids. Millions). I read somewhere that Singapore is considered a cleaned-down, McDonalds version of Asia and I see their point: there is something surreal, everything looks too clean and perfect. On the other hand, the cultural diversity is delicious (both on the metaphorical and culinary sense). rI was able to buy a couple more Nintendo DS games. They also sold Japanese PSPs, but only with local warranty. Since there are so many defects reported on these machines, I decided not to take my chances and wait one or two more years until there is more stock available and the bugs are ironed out. I am really happy with my DS, so Sony can wait a bit. rI am now in Melbourne. I haven't seen much of the city yet, but the fact that there is a "Batman Avenue" just made it climb up to the top of my list of favorite places in the world. I would so love to be able to write "Batman" on my postal address... The people at ACMI are taking such good care of me that I wish I could stay a bit longer. Tonight it'll be the launch of their Games Lab, a special section of their building devoted to video games. I must say that this is really a hardcore place. The architecture of the building is simply magnificent. In addition to this, you have to love the fact that they are one of the very few places in the world with a permanent space dedicated to art videogames (is there anybody keeping track of museums/centers doing this? Can you guys email me more examples? Thanks). Australian newspaper The Age has published today a bit more about the event, along with some quotes from event organizer Helen Stuckey and yours truly. rOk, I hope I can post more later. I'll see if I can now get some sleep.
The NYTimes publishes an article on games and drugs, based on the upcoming Narc. Funny that people make a fuss about drugs on videogames but nobody complains that most videogames allow players to use machine guns and even atomic weapons! (I personally have no a priori problem in games featuring guns, drugs or Kermit the Frog). There is a loooooong tradition of use of drugs in children literature (those power-up mushrooms were not invented by Miyamoto, think of Alice in Wonderland just for one example). So, Narc is a game about two narc cops? Well, that sounds interesting and I am looking forward to check it out.
The Video Game Museum is a great place to find screenshots of your favorite oldies. But one of the best sections actually deals with game endings. They have a massive list of them, featuring those screens that you fought so hard to reach, for multiple platforms. Enjoy! (thanks to Juan Martín aka the guy who was waiting for a bus but took a plane instead)