February 22, 2008

Tetris or Cubist art

Photo_2You may remember that last September I was lucky enough to meet Toru Iwatani, the creator of a little game known as Pac-Man. He was very kind and he even draw me the game's main characters. Well, I guess I started a new collection, because today at GDC I met Alexey Pajitnov, creator of Tetris. He was part of the 2008 Game Design Challenge, which was about creating an inter-species game. Pajitnov suggested the creation of a game involving dolphins and paintball. Yes, it was as crazy as it sounds. However, it ended up in third place, even though that was not a problem at all, since the whole session was hilarious. Anyway, once the session was over he draw me this Tetris block that I am so glad to share with all of you.

February 21, 2008

Wii Fit

PhotoHi from GDC! I haven't been at the conference in over 4 years, but I guess it feels as crazy and crowded as usual. So far, my best experience has been to try Nintendo's Wii Fit (which now has a US release date of May 19th according to the guy at the booth). I tried the skiing game and the soccer one. My first reaction: the board is incredibly sensitive, so it gets a while to get used to it. But once you do it, it works pretty well. I'm pretty sure the experience is close to using the wiimote the first time: it takes a few minutes to get used to it. I also was able to lift the mat itself and I'm happy to report that it's not heavy at all (I would say the same or less weight than your average scale). As you can see in the pic, players where required to take their shoes off, in the best Japanese tradition. Does it look like a killer app? It certainly does but, you never know. Nintendo has been on a roll lately and certainly can achieve another mass success with the Wii Fit, but of course we will need to wait and see what 3rd party developer come up with. Meanwhile, I'll definitively grab one as soon as they become available.

February 17, 2008

Digital Islam & Videogames

LogoDigital Islam is a research project at the University of Prague which focuses on Middle East, Islam and Digital Media. It's run by Vit Sisler, who, luckily for us, is an expert both on Islam and videogames. If you are looking for information about videogames and the Islamic world, there is no better resource that I know on the net. The site includes many of Vit Sisler's own writings, which I have previously recommended before (1, 2), including a 2005 interview with Afkar Media's Radwan Kasmiya, the great pioneer of videogame documentary.

February 16, 2008

The Nordics get Serious

The Nordic Conference of Serious Games will take place on February 28-29, 2008 at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Here's the conference program.

The Game industry in South America

Header_logoThere's very little good info about the game industry in South America (probably because it's still quite small). I was happy to read this morning this article at Next Generation, which gives a very good panorama over the struggles of playing and making games in this part of the world. The article wonders if there are opportunites for larger companies to do development in South America and offers some points to give an affirmative answer to this question. The article is very thorough, mentioning not only examples for the two local giants (Brazil and Argentina) but also Chile, Perú and Uruguay (my studio gets a mention, too). Again, a very good article so go ahead and click the link.

February 13, 2008

iEnter, Barcelona

If you're not going to GDC, make the jump to Barcelona this February 28th and 29th for iEnter, an event about interactive entertainment (which I guess it's just an academic euphemism for videogames). Espen Aarseth, Miguel Sicart, Gordon Calleja & Aki Jarvinen will be there (in spite of what the program says, I won't be there. I'll be in GDC instead). But if you're around, it certainly looks like it'll be a great event.

February 12, 2008

Game-based Learning for History, Heritage and Politics

There's a minitrack on this subject at the 2nd European Conference on Games Based Learning, taking place in Barcelona on October 16-17, 2008. It's chaired by Tobias Bevc and Erik Champion.

February 05, 2008

See you at GDC

After 3 years without GDCing, I'm back to the event (even thought my real secret agenda is spending my savings at Kid Robot :) See you there!

January 03, 2008

Good Old Ludology is back online

Well, finally I was able to get my old posts into the new blogging software (thanks Matías!). That means that all the Ludology posts, starting on May 2001, are back online! Images are still missing and there may be some broken links, but at least all the old posts can now be browsed again.

December 24, 2007

Have a Powerful 2008!

TarjetaenAfter living for so many years up North (read, the Northern hemisphere) I realized that people take for granted that Christmas is all about snow and cold. Nonsense! Xmas has always been about sunny days, Santa in shorts and fireworks. Anyway, in order to give you guys a glimpse of a Southern hemisphere gamer Xmas, we put together this little postcard (click to enlarge). Enjoy! May Santa bring you tons of Sea Monkeys and Nintendo Virtual Boys! And have a terrific, mega powerful 2008!