Some reflection one week into the humanities gaming institute.
- Our hosts have been welcoming and gracious, and the participants are fun and interesting. Just in general I've had some good conversations.
- Something I knew but was reinforced. There's not really any reason for me to learn programming. I know that some of my computers and writing colleagues feel that learning programming is important for their work. And I am glad there are people in my field with those skills. Once upon a time, I knew something of Flash.I could devote myself to that again, but even if I did, any game project would be a team project. There's absolutely no way I could devote the time to developing a game on my own, even if I magically had the skills to do it. I couldn't afford to pay myself to do it, for one thing. It would be a waste of money.
- I have appreciated the time to really focus on questions of gaming in a more intensive way than I have in the past. The posts here over this week are part of the evidence of that. I'm trying to think through strategies for bringing theory into a productive, compositional relationship with game design. In the broadest sense, I think that's where I have a contribution to make.
- So this brings me back to my immediate project. There's no point to me doing anything like programming or graphic design. Nor am I developing the content of the game, which is the gallery collection. What falls to me, as I see it, is the structural design of the gameplay and its link to the educational objectives. Of course it isn't solely my job; it's a matter of negotiation, as always. But that is really what I have to do here. Here's what I have so far on the HGI wiki. Ultimately if I can put together a game description that is compellingly fundable as a project to be prototyped then I will have done my job.
Given all that, I admit that I am somewhat at sea in thinking how I am going to spend the next two weeks. Certainly what I've linked to above could be refined. And there are things I could do, like seek out some grant possibilities and starting thinking them through. But I can't go too far down that road without my project colleagues. And the institute isn't designed for that kind of work anyway. So I am really pondering what can I do here in particular.
Another possibility is playing around with the development of a different collaborative game with some of the other participants. That won't get me practically further with my project, but it might be a good way to work through conceptual issues.
Regardless the weekend is open time for us. It's an opportunity to reflect and see what happens.