• "Far Cry 2 is about you and death. Of course every single person you meet wants to kill you. Of course you spend about as much time fighting the environment as other persons. Of course you are clinging to the barest scrap of health and well-being; Even the malaria is trying to kill you."
  • "I spent 10 weeks last Summer as an intern on the strategy team of Transport for London's (TfL) London Rail division…. My general task was to help London Rail start to make use of the oceans of data spewing out of the Oyster smartcard ticketing system, but I spent the bulk of my time working on a project that came to be titled Oyster-Based Performance Metrics for the London Overground. I've posted my final report and slides and outline for the presentation I gave to TfL executive management." Some interesting data and information here.
  • BioWare now have a blog. It looks like it's going to be full of good stuff about games and, especially, writing for them. Can't wait.
  • "The international conference “Thinking After Dark: Welcome to the World of Horror Video Games” unites scholars who all study a corpus that has been left out up to now: horror video games. Considering the relatively slow progress of generic studies among the recent surge of academic interest towards video games, this event represents a major first step."
  • Science doctoral candidates attempt to communicate their thesis subjects through the medium of dance. The winners get time with a professional choreographer to make the whole thing better, and to see it performed by professional dancers at the end. Crazy, wonderful.

Dopplr: Huge Success

11 December 2007

Just a brief post here to unashamedly promote the work of some friends. As the title hints, Dopplr – the little startup that could – is now out of beta and releasing on time. It’s a great site – a product that exists not to make you travel more, or travel less, but to make that travel more pleasurable, by fostering coincidensity.

Now, I don’t travel a great amount, so I put “smaller” trips than most people in. Somebody once laughed that I put trips to visit my parents in. But that’s where other useful functionality of Dopplr comes in handy: it lets my trusted friends know when I’m not around. Sometimes, I’m telling you I’m away, not that I’ll be there.

And it’s super-handy if you don’t travel much, but you have foreign friends – it’s already engineered several “oh, you’re passing through London?” meet-ups for me, that otherwise I’d never have had.

So, Dopplr: if you’ve not been playing with it in the beta, take a look. It’s wonderfully put together, with lots of tiny touches that make all the difference. And if you’re not sure that it’s quite for you… think again; it might come in handy. The only thing you need to get your head around: it’s not about your friendsters. It’s about your friends. Proper, real-life friends. You need the people you know on it – but once they are, it makes the business of global friendship so much easier…

Time to leave

12 March 2006

Well, that was America. Thanks to the very generous Dan Heaf, I’m sitting in the Virgin Atlantic Lounge at LAX, sipping free drinks and catching up the world online. The presentation went down well, it seems; I’ve had some interesting emails as a result and some kind words. The PDF isn’t up online yet, but the most indepthwrite-up – featuring pictures of yours truly + slides – is over at Near Near Future. Given Regine was in the front row, hammering away at her notes, there are obviously some gaps but the basic premise is there. I’d argue it’s less a “consumer” perspective and more just a perspective on the gaming industry (rather than academic/research perspectives), but it’s still great to see it out there, and to a huge audience. Thanks very much for the write-up, Regine!

And so I’m about to board a plane and hop back to the UK. I’ve had a great time at Etech – it all began sinking in late on Thursday (and especially very late on Thursday, when I had a fantastic night, thanks to danah, Matt, Alex, and many others).

Many thanks must also go to the organisers of the conference, O’Reilly and especially to all those (friends and new acquaintances) in the British contingent who put up with me, nerves and all, and steered me through safely. It’s slowly sinking in just how wonderful an experience it was. My further thoughts from the conference – and there are, as ever, several, will follow in due course.

San Diego so far…

06 March 2006

So, I made it. Been in the states a few days now and I’m pretty much over the jetlag. I think.

ETech kicks off today – I’m sitting watching Cal set up for an eight-hour marathon on How We Built Flickr – well, I missed it in the UK, so I may as well take all the opportunities I can get. My talk is in rude health – pretty much there, just requires a degree of fine tuning.

Have been having a great time in the US so far. The train ride down from LA to SD was just awesome; I’ve got a big stack of gorgeous photos that’ll be gracing Flickr soon, I hope. Then I hung around with Simon and Tom for a while – watching them eat a $200 lunch, hitting up the Apple Store for goodies, and then finally (and much documented), watching the Oscars.

Last night a huge stack of UK geeks went to the Kansas City barbeque joint – as the sign outside said, where the “Top Gun Sleazy Bar Scene” got filmed. Good barbeque, I tell you.

And now the talk’s about to begin. More later…

Off we go

02 March 2006

That’s that, then: one bag packed, everything checked off my list, all my details safely stowed, and I’m checked in onto the plane. All that remains is to get some sleep, and get to Heathrow.

Fingers crossed.