humanities gaming

#hgi the humanities gaming institute week in review

Some reflection one week into the humanities gaming institute.

  1. Our hosts have been welcoming and gracious, and the participants are fun and interesting. Just in general I've had some good conversations.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.