HUMlab @ MIT

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting both Education Arcade and the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. I got to play Labyrinth at the Education Arcade and found it really captivating. Partly story, partly math puzzles with a clear progression, and nice visuals. All the game play yesterday made me realize that it was a long time since I really engaged in playing games, but now I want to do more. And not every game requires you to play 40 or 60 hours. The GAMBIT lab gave me some ideas about how to develop our “game corner”. Also, I got to play Portal – a really cool game. I have problems with getting spatially comfortable in games like that, but this one is really conceptually interesting and well executed.


Eitan Glinert, very enthusiastic player and GAMBIT researcher, blogged about Portal here. Eitan and Ravi took time to show me around and to describe some of the current projects. I also got to see some Nintendo Wii-based language education stuff. I am very tempted to add a sentence or two on this to my book on language education and technology (even though I do not think I am supposed to at this stage).

Informatics seminar

HUMlab friend Daniel Skog will give a seminar at his department on November 7 at 1.15 pm in MA136. 

Daniel Skog, Department of informatics: Give us back our diaries! – A story on how an online community responded to a software redesign

I recently attended the conference “Internet Research 8.0” that was held in Vancouver, October 17-20. In this seminar I will begin with giving a brief conference report. Then I will present my conference paper: “Give us back our diaries! – A story on how an online community responded to a software redesign”

By telling the story of how an online community responded to a software redesign, this paper shows how a seemingly small alteration in the software environment of an online community had a great social impact on the community.

The empirical case highlights the often-unpredictable social outcomes of design decisions and it is argued that the relationship between technological features and social interaction must not be overlooked when caring for the development of an online community.

An extended abstract can be found here:

Oil of the 21st Century at the Academy of Fine Arts

Florian Zeyfang and others at the Academy of Fine Arts at Umeå University are organizing a very interesting event next week. The first part of the workshop is open while the second part requires registration.

Beyond Intellectual Property
From File-Sharing to Distributed Archiving
A 5-day workshop with presentation.

Konsthögskolan, Umeå, Nov 5-9 2007
with Rasmus Fleischer, Jan Gerber, Sebastian Lütgert and Florian Zeyfang
Day 1+2 open to all students
Day 3,4,5 limited – pls sign up / mail to

“Beyond Intellectual Property: From File-Sharing to Distributed Archiving” is a
workshop and a symposion with Sebastian Lütgert, artist, writer, theorist, and Jan
Gerber, programmer and video artist, both from Berlin. Special Guest on Friday,
Nov.9: Rasmus Fleischer, Historian, writer, musician and conceputalist; cofounded
the collective Piratbyrån in 2003.

Situated at the core of this workshop is an ongoing research project on images
and information on the internet: who owns this information – allegedly the most
valuable good in this century – and who has the right to produce and distribute it?
These question arise from working with images, texts, music and film, and may
demand for a set of entirely new artistic strategies. Archive and context – both
key words in the arts during the last 15 years – are of particular interest and
subject to new definitions.

Questions (in no particular order):
– What is the masterplan behind “Rights Management”?
– What does file-sharing mean for the relation between production, distribution and consumption?
– What do we do now that all files have been downloaded?
– What is “Pirate Cinema”?
– What can we expect from the “Creative Commons”?
– What modes of subjectivation exist beyond the “Small Author”?
– What is the answer of the artist / the filmmaker / the fotographer to these emerging questions?

Continue reading “Oil of the 21st Century at the Academy of Fine Arts”

MIT visit

I just arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will spend the next couple of days talking to people here. HUMlab has a large network and it will be great to meet HUMlab friends such as Ravi Purushotma and Henry Jenkins. I will also be meeting with Education Arcade people, and I am looking forward to hearing more about their work. There is also some kind of workshop tomorrow on language learning and games/new media (Pedagogy and Technology Forum). Two other points of interest here – among many – are the Comparative Media Program and the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning program. I also hope to learn more about the MIT Design Lab.