In moments this last (busy) week I caught up on some podcasts and video stuff. The first ones below are from, or arise from, Aula: Movement, a series of conversations on social technology held in Helsinki in June 2006. (More information about Aula here.)
Via Loïc Le Meur, Joi Ito and Cory:
I was at Aula in Helsinki for two days (thanks Marko, it was great!) and took a series of video recordings, here is a video podcast with my friend Joi Ito, a 50 minutes conversation on online games (WOW and Second Life), video, online music and copyright. You can view it below or download the video file (itunes/ipod .m4v about 300 Mo) or the audio file.
Cory Doctorow's closing speech: 'The big picture is about the world of self-determination'.
Via Jyri, on Blip.tv:
Matt Jones and Matt Webb on Digital Parkour (comics, Parkour, psychogeography, maps, senses, pataphysics, robot readable planet … digital fingertips and foot candy)
I would have watched danah on MySpace, but the link on Blip.tv isn't working for me.
Play is about exploring boundaries and the organisation of constraints in behaviour — it helps us understand the constraints between ourselves and others. Then we formalise, creating formal rule spaces. A third element of what brings meaning into play and makes it important is collaborative improvisation. A fourth is the creation of metaphoric frameworks in play; these are also windows into the culture that is the originating context of the game. Next, interpretation (Tarot), composition (in computational gaming) and performance — and the tide of movement in and out between active play and compositional re-arrangement. Finally, presence and state machines (from camphone to posting-on-Flickr takes about 5 minutes —an almost real-time awareness of where and what your friends are doing): SMS has a lightness to it that is playful — contrast e-mail; simulations are metaphors or skins on top of an abstract computational space and, once you're familiar with the game, you don't need the metaphors in order to continue playing — players internalise the model of the game in a very abstract way, and this process parallels the way we build internal models for understanding how other people behave (it's the same type of state machine); we can express our own states through simulation behaviour.
The dynamic systems of play and the modeling involved in MMORPG and simulation games are portable and artists who understand them can use them in creating their work. New languages will evolve within, and from, the media we are now beginning to use to communicate with each other.
'In play we're going, I think, to be given more and more opportunities to use our own content.'
Finally (and not to do with Aula):
Bruce Sterling speaking at the 2006 LIFT Conference (Six Trends for Objects: RFIDs; geo-location; Googling and auto-Googling objects; 3-D modeling, computer-aided manufacturing; rapid-prototyping fabjects, blogjects; cradle to cradle recycling. Objects as hard copies of a data support system)
ZeFrank at TED (I liked the 'Atheist' game)
MoBuzz on privacy issues (Facebook, etc) … 'customers would like some shades of grey. And, of course, by 'shades of grey' we just mean control.'
Podcasts and videos can, of course, be very time-consuming. If I were a commuter and had significant periods in the day to fill, I might watch more but, as it is, the short YouTube video works much better for me (and, I guess, is why in part YouTube is so successful: it fits many a lifestyle). So I don't use either podcasts or lengthy online videos very much. If you, too, are short of time, I still recommend watching all the Aula pieces above. MoBuzz on privacy is also excellent — and short.