Last week I got an email with an invite from J2O for an exclusive lunch that would “send you sky high”. I didn’t think much of it, you know, just believing it was over-the-top marketing speak. But when I got there I discovered this:

Dinner In The Sky

Dinner In The Sky

Yep, they literally meant sky high. The lunch was for the launch of J2O’s two newest blends: Red Grape and Blackcurrent and White Grape and Kiwi. They had invited celebrity Simon Rimmer to create two dishes that would complement the two new blends. So up we went…

Dinner In The Sky

Dinner In The Sky

It was pretty amazing. We got strapped into out chairs, similar to a roller coaster ride, and got lifted into the air. The view was awesome! I’m not exactly scared of heights (more like ‘scared of being an idiot and stumbling off a cliff’ or something like that), but I did get a little queasy spinning my chair and looking down.

Dinner In The Sky

The food was brilliant too. First we got panzanella, an Italian salad with bread, tomatoes, peppers and a basil/vinegar sauce. This was matched with the white grape and kiwi drink, which was nice and light. After that we got the chef’s take on bangers and mash, with venison sausages, mustard mash and an onion ring. I really liked this one, and again it fit spot on with the accompanying drink of red grape and blackcurrant.

Dinner In The Sky

Weirdly enough I was trying to find something different to drink when at events and meetups, and I think these new blends are great for that. I’m not really much of a wine drinker (and you can’t really order cocktails when networking), plus I’m not allowed to have that many fizzy drinks anymore, cause of the braces. But these J2O blends are perfect! If you like your wine, there’s no way in hell this will replace that, but if you’re looking for a simple alternative, try it out.

Tags: Events

I knew it was going to be busy at the MCM Expo last Saturday, but I never imagined it to be sooo massively packed! About 41000 people visited during the entire weekend… And tons of people were dressed up; some outfits were amazing to see (and some admittingly not so amazing). I’ve never cosplayed before in my life, but if I’d go next year, I think I might join in… I could pull off Catwoman, couldn’t I?

Here are photos that me and Cristiano took that day:

MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo

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MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo MCM Expo - Green Lantern

MCM Expo

MCM Expo MCM Expo

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MCM Expo MCM Expo

MCM Expo MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo

MCM Expo MCM Expo

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MCM Expo - Cute

MCM Expo MCM Expo

MCM Expo MCM Expo

Tags: Events

Event: London MCM Expo

May 12th, 2010

I’m so looking forward to this event and we’re only 2.5 weeks away! The London MCM Expo will take place this year in the weekend of 29th and 30th of May at Excel London, for two days of geeky fun.


Tons of stuff will be happening there that weekend: a Comic and Anime section with stands featuring artists and writers; a Games section showcasing some of the latest games; a Steampunk exhibition with art, contraptions, sculptures and clothing; a Cosplay masquerade; and of course lots of guests from our favourite TV shows and movies.

From the guests announced so far the ones I’m most looking forward to seeing are John Noble and Jasika Nicole from Fringe (Walter Bishop and Astrid), Warwick Davis and Ron D Moore (BSG). Here’s a video from last year’s Expo:

Tickets are available on the London MCM Expo site. Only Early Entry opening tickets are available in advance and with these you can access the Expo from 9am on (2 hours before the General entry).

I almost forgot about this event! This weekend is the first Fan Fest, a two day Spy and Sci-Fi convention at the London Film Museum. There will be guest appearances (and signings) by a ton of stars from the Bond movies, plus an exhibition of props and costumes and even speed boat rides on the Thames!


Tickets (and more info) are available on the Fan Fest website. I might try to make it down there this weekend, but with the London Marathon happening on Sunday, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to leave the house! Maybe Saturday…

Tags: Events

Regular MissGeeky readers will know how addicted I am to the Final Fantasy games. I haven’t played that many games the past two years, but FF is something that will always get me hooked. The latest edition to this epic series will be coming out on March 9th, after a 4 year gap of no FF games. Like I said in previous posts this game is what will finally convince me to get a PS3 or an Xbox360.


So I was excited to see that there’s a special UK launch event happening on the 9th at the HMV on Oxford Street! Both Yoshinori Kitase, the producer of the game, and Isamu Kamikokuryo, the game’s art director, will be there to sign games and answer any questions. Also the first 50 people to show up dressed in Final Fantasy costumes will be treated to the soundtrack cd of FFXIII. Plus anyone who attends will have the chance to win special goodies.

Date: 9th March 2010
Time: 5.30pm – 7:30pm
Address: HMV, 150 Oxford Street, London, W1D1DJ

Awesome! I wish I could make it, but I’m flying in that day from the Netherlands, so regrettably won’t be able to join.

Tags: Events, Games

Events: Geeks of London

February 9th, 2010

If you’ve been following my Twitter account, you will have noticed I’m working on a new series of events: the Geeks of London.

Most of you here know that I’ve been doing the Geek Dinners for two years now, so why the sudden new event? While I loved organizing the Geek Dinners, I noticed a couple of things: For starters, it’s always been confusing to people what ‘Dinners’ meant. In a lot of people’s eyes that meant a sit-down dinner, and some were then scared off by such a formal setting. We never ever did an actual proper sit down dinner, most of the time it was just a buffet, but it’s always been a bit unclear to people what the dinner part entailed.

Besides that I’ve always felt the term Geek doesn’t necessarily only mean techy geek. I think geeks come in all types of varieties, like movie geeks and comic book geeks. One final reason to change the event was because of the Girl Geek Dinners. I appreciate what the Girl Geek Dinners are doing, but they’ve grown so much by now that a lot of people didn’t realized there was also a “normal” Geek Dinner (I hate using the term “normal”, because that would imply the GGDs are abnormal, but I hope you get my drift).

Geeks of London

So the idea of this new series of events was to step away from the former Geek Dinner name, but to also organize meetups for all different types of geeks, be they movie geeks, comic book geeks or tech geeks. The first meetup will a Movie Geeks of London meetup, which will take place next week on Tuesday the 16th (for more details check out the website).

I’m hoping more people will get involved and will take on the role of organizing some of the meetups. I really want this to be as varied as possible with all sorts of themed events. The first event will just be a hang-around-a-pub-and-meet-lots-of-new-cool-people type meetup, but I’d love to do some meetups with special speakers or sponsors (or in the case of the movie meetups maybe a certain movie that everyone agrees on seeing before meeting up). I know we might have a pub quiz being planned and once the weathers a bit warmer I want to do some photography and geocaching walks. If you’ve got an idea for an event, let me know and I’ll help get you setup.

Tags: Events, Geeky

Playful ’09

November 24th, 2009

Again I’m way behind in blogging about the events I’ve been going to. A couple of weeks ago I got to attend this year’s Playful, a one day conference with a great collection of speakers from different fields, all talking about game design. There were 16 talks in total, each 20-30 minutes long. I don’t have time (or the memory, to be honest) to tell you about all of them, but I’ll try to remember the highlights for me:

Playful 09 - 038

Roo Reynolds

Because of transport fail, I sadly missed the beginning of this talk, but Roo talked about the relationship between movies and video games. He gave examples of games of movies and movies of games (like Max Payne and Super Mario Bros), and that they rarely work that well. He also showed how games themselves are difficult to illustrate properly in movies. For example, there’s a part in the Trainspotting book about how the main character thinks he’s in a video game and is a great piece when you’re reading it. But the scene in the movie? Not that much. Another example (although not a video game) is the poker playing in Casino Royale. While for the rest it’s a great movie, that poker playing is ridiculous. Roo ended the talk with giving the one example of a movie/game which is the exception to the rule, where the movie and game go both ways and work perfectly on both levels: Tron.

Daniel Soltis

I should have been paying more attention to this talk, but I was busy replying to an important email (I know, lame excuse, but this was the type of email I couldn’t leave until later). Anyway, I missed most of what he said (anybody have a complete description somewhere?), but he ended with talking about a GPS puzzle box. The idea was basically geocaching in reverse: a box with a small lcd screen on it, that showed you how far you are from the goal location and you can only open the box on that specific goal location. The person who made it gave it as a wedding gift; the newlywed couple had to find the secret special location where they finally could open the box.

GPS Puzzle Box

James Bridle

This talk was the highlight of the day for me, which is also why the description is a bit longer than the others. James talked about the idea of the miraculous, which pretty much leads to the idea of awesomeness. For him, when he thinks about things that are awesome (and miraculous) it all kept going back to scale and complexity. Quotes from Douglas Adams and Thomas Pynchon are great in showing how metaphors are used to illustrate the ideas of scale and complexity. He also showed how you have complexity in complexity, scale within scale: Zak Smith created a book of illustrations based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow. For every page in the 760 page book, he made an illustration, creating a complete new work based on the former. Another example was Tom Phillip’s books The Humument, where he painted over the pages of an old Victorian novel, creating a new narrative with new characters.

The same can be done with technology: with scale and complexity you can make strange mechanical objects and machines. For example, Heath Robinson’s contraptions of weird complex machines aimed in doing simple things. Another example was the predecessor of the Collusus (the machine that broke the Enigma code) which initially didn’t work, but they ‘changed the frequency’ and it did. Or Babbage’s difference engine machine, which surprisingly works even though it only was finished decades after the design was initially made on paper.

The best part of the talk though was a machine called MENACE: the Matchbox Educable Noughts And Crosses Engine. It’s a ‘machine’ that plays noughts and crosses, built from 304 matchboxes. Each matchbox represents one of the 304 board layouts the opening player might face (excluding rotations etc) and contains glass beads representing the possible moves. During a turn, you pick the matchbox representing the state you’re in and randomly select a glass bead which shows you which move to make. The cool thing is though that MENACE can learn: every time you win a game you a glass bead to each of the matchboxes you used, corresponding to the moves you made (and vice versa when you lose). The more often you played the better MENACE became in knowing which moves to make. James found many simulation programmes for MENACE, but no reports of an actual machine: so he built one himself.


But how about scaling it up? Like for Go? So James started thinking about MAGE: the MAtchbox Go Engine. He did some calculations… and MAGE would need 3.4 x 10^15 matchboxes, each needing to hold 3610 beads. If each bead is 5mm, a match box would have to be 18m^3, which results in a final volume of 6.1 x 10^16. That’s larger than the Crab Nebula. Awesome.

James’s talk is completely online on his website Short Term Memory Loss.

Russell Davies

Russell first talked about the concept of bubble-building vs world-building. In world-building you’re trying to recreate reality, trying to build an actual replica of a world. It’s hard to do, cause there’s always something that can shatter the illusion. In bubble-building, you’re trying to build a bubble of illusion alongside our own world, drawing heavily on the power of pretending.

It’s these type of games, the ones that rely a lot on pretending, that Russell is most interested in. “These aren’t games, like the industry thinks of games, these are something a little less, these are Barely Games.” He gave all sorts of examples on how pretending is an everyday thing. His entire presentation is online, so if you’re interested in hearing more, just head on over there.

Chris O’Shea

Chris O’Shea’s talk was basically a showcase of all the cool projects he has worked on. Out of Bounds: an interactive museum installation that lets you “see” through walls as if you had x-ray vision (using an infrared torch and laser tracker). Air Guitar Championship: an interactive installation at Glastonbury, where festival go-ers could play air guitar. Flap To Freedom: a race between two people, each ‘controlling’ their own robot chicken by flapping your arms as fast as you can. Audience: an installation consisting of around 64 head-size mirror objects, with each object interacting with the visitors moving its head in a particular way to give it different characteristics of human behaviour. Some chat amongst themselves, some shy away and others confidently move to grab your attention. Beacon: similar to the Audience project, but with light beacons. The lights ‘interact’ with visitors, tracking their movements and reacting on them. Hand From Above: outdoor screens from the BBC, in which they added a giant hand of god into the real time video from people near the screens. People could see themselves on the screen being tickled, squashed, picked up and taken away by the giant hand.

There were loads more interesting talks, but these were the ones that really stood out to me (and that I still vividly remember after a couple of weeks). I’m guessing they’ll be doing it again next year, and if they do, I can highly recommend it!

Tags: Events, Games

BarCamp London 7

October 30th, 2009

I’ve kind of sort of recovered a bit from BarCamp London 7 last weekend. My legs, arms and back are still aching, my thighs are still completely bruised (I got squashed between the security gates… again. The same thing happened to me at the previous BarCamp at The Guardian offices. Ouch!) and I’ve still quite some stuff to sort out and finish off, even after all the planning from the previous weeks. But in the end: so completely worth it!

As regular readers of my blog might know, I’ve been going to BarCamps (and spin-off Camps) for more than 2 years now and have participated in a fair share of them (12 actual BarCamps in total, plus 7 spinoffs). At the past London one, I helped out on the weekend itself as a volunteer, but thought it was about time to actually contribute a bit more and give back to the BarCamp community. So this time around, I joined the group of organizers to help out with the planning and preparations in the weeks leading up to the event.

Although BarCamp is an “unconference”, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the event itself. The non-conferencey bit of it lies mainly in what happens on the day itself: there is no preordained schedule, everyone holds a session or participates in one form or another, and everything (and everyone) is quite informal and relaxed. To get to that point though, everything else needs to be arranged; BarCamp is a free event for all attendees, so this means taking care of food, drinks, venue, and sponsors to cover it all.


Now with BarCamps in other cities this might be a bit more simpler, but in London it’s trickier than most might think. For starters, finding a venue. Yes, London is way bigger and will have more potential places to use, but there is a negative side to that which some people don’t even consider. Because it’s ‘London’ a lot of the potential venues know they can be used for conferences, conventions, etc, and will ask a ridiculous amount of money. Besides that, most venues have delicate insurance policies, that don’t allow overnights to be held in their buildings. Believe me, we’ve had quite a bit of companies contact us interested in hosting a BarCamp, only to hear later on that they don’t own their building and can’t get permission for the overnight. And without an overnight, a BarCamp just wouldn’t be a BarCamp.

We were really lucky in getting IBM as a venue. Basically on the day of our deadline of finding a venue for the date we had planned (six weeks before the actual event), we heard that IBM was willing to host our BarCamp. Yay! And their venue was gorgeous; lots of sessions rooms, lots of space for lounging and just general hanging around, it was exactly the type of venue we were hoping for.

Then, food and drinks. Again not as straightforward as it might seem. First of all, there’s the matter of what the venue will allow: can we bring in our own food and drinks, can we use the internal catering, can we have alcohol? Whatever the answers to those questions are, they all lead to the next issue: how many people are we expecting and how much should we order from everything? I’m sure it’s not a London-only thing, but it’s always difficult estimating how many people will show up to your event. I know from experiences with the Geek Dinners it can be really tricky; one time you’ll have a 50% drop out rate, other times only 10%. How can you get a good estimate of the numbers you’ll get?


So, that leads us to the third issue: ticketing. There are so many people interested in attending BarCamp London, that we can’t give a ticket to everyone who wants one. And yet… there have been London BarCamps in the past where the showup rate wasn’t that good. Such a pity, cause a) tons of other people who wanted to show up and could have showed up, didn’t get the chance to attend, because someone didn’t cancel their ticket, and b) the added problem of too much food being ordered and wasted.

This time around there went quite some time into thinking of ways to prevent a low showup rate, like asking for confirmation, blogging about tips and tricks for newbies, and considering the different ways tickets can be released. And it worked. Although we still have to do a final check of the numbers, I think we had a 95% showup rate! This also meant we were pretty spot on with the meal numbers. We got to use IBM’s inhouse catering, so all we had to do was give through the amounts and the menu, and they arranged everything for us. Plus, the food was good (I loved the chili for Saturday lunch and the curry for dinner, although I suspect there was mango in the curry and I got an allergic reaction).

And finally: sponsors. Not much to explain here, right? You find a company, ask them for money, they give you money, done. Well, no. Not exactly. I was the main person responsible this time around for arranging everything with each sponsor, and there goes much more time and effort into it than I initially believed. Especially with the number of sponsors we had this time (17 in total). First off, it’s finding companies who are willing to sponsor, explaining to them what a BarCamp is, and what’s in it for them (negotiating the terms, basically). Then it’s setting up invoices, contracts, and with the bigger companies going through the process of getting a PO etc. And finally it’s organizing all the extra things for the sponsors: so allocating sponsor tickets, getting info and logos from them for blog posts and banners, arranging schwag to be delivered for the goody bags, etc. It’s not that much when you consider 1 sponsor, but multiply it by 15 and you’ll get an idea of what we had to deal with.

Barcamp London 7

We couldn’t really believe it when Friday finally came to setup stuff at the IBM venue; after weeks of preparation the BarCamp was actually going to happen! I was amazed at the number of crew and volunteers we had that Friday (and Saturday/ Sunday; to name them all: Kevin, Cristiano, Zoe from IBM, Alice, Caz, Leeky, Tom, Dan, Tobes, Mary, Paul, Sharon, Reinier, Joost, Improbulus, Sam, Chris, Dom, Tim, Carolyn, Alistair, Judith… am I forgetting anyone?) and with so many people we got through most of the setup pretty quickly. A couple of people were put on laminating the badges (ah, the smell of burnt plastic), a couple more were put on filling the goody bags with schwag, some were put on re-arranging the furniture and some went to get fizzy drinks, juice, snacks and sweets to stock up the cafe area. Simple menial stuff, most of it, but it had to be done.

Saturday morning started early for Cristiano and me; we met with Kevin at 8:00 at the venue to handle the final arrangements. This included going over security regulations from IBM, and fine-tuning the registration process. We tried to make the registration as smooth as possible, seeing as there was a sort of double registration: we needed attendees to go past IBM security, get their IDs checked and get a visitors badge, but also through our own registration and badge collection. We managed to come up with something that was hopefully tolerable for most of the attendees, and it turned out to work out pretty well. There were practically no queues at all, and registration was quick and painless. The main thing we did right was have attendees print out their confirmation emails which had unique barcodes on them. For a quick registration, all you had to do was hand in that print-out. Later on, when it was quieter, we scanned in all the barcodes to create the final overview of who attended.

Most of my first half of Saturday was spent on registration and keeping track of the number of attendees who turned up. Up until lunch I was a little bit stressed, wondering whether we had enough/too much food. In the end there was no real need to worry: we had ordered food for 200, and we had 195 people (so we invited the nice guys from security to eat along too).

Barcamp London 7

Afternoon was spent on sorting out sponsor stuff. Vodafone had sent a box of schwag tshirts that had gone “missing”, which I had to hunt down (turned out they had ended up in the IBM internal post room) and labs had arranged some special afternoon snacks (cream puffs and weird Japanese sweets) which required some setup. There were tons of other thing I was doing too (can’t remember what though), cause I was busy with stuff until about 17:00. Then it finally all calmed down a bit, and I got to do some normal BarCamp stuff.

So, it was about at that time that I finally got my first chance to even look at the grid. Damn. I should have looked earlier. Tons of interesting sessions that I wanted to go to! The Future of Wayfinding, Recovering from RSI, Stuff You Shouldn’t Tweet That I Have, Hack Yourself A Cheaper Train Ticket, Teaching Journalists to Code and Coders to Write,, Design in Lost (the TV show). I wanted to go to all of them! I’m still a little bit gutted that I missed these; next time around (and yes there will be a next time) I’m going to force myself to take a look at the grid earlier and choose some sessions to go to. As one of the organizers, you know you can’t make it to all the session slots, but we should have at least each picked out a handful of ones to go to and give ourselves a little break.

I finally made it to my first session which was The Art of Improvisation from Willem van der Horst (hippowill). It was a funny session, even though I realized half way that I had only joined halfway (he had booked a double slot). After dinner, I remained in the realm of improv, with first going to the “An After Dinner Game” session, where groups of 3 had to hold short presentations, each person only saying one word (me and my team failed miserably), and then Powerpoint Karaoke, which always turns out fun.


After the after-dinner sessions, began the party! There were free drinks for everyone, and tons of games and stuff going on. We had a massive round of Urban Terror going on in the cafeteria, plus board games like War On Terror, Muchkin and Carcassonne, and of course, BarCamp’s obvious game of choice: Werewolf. I joined in one game of Werewolf this time, even though I said I’d never play again; there were enough newbies and people who I hadn’t played with that often to still make it fun (my problem with Werewolf lately has been that people don’t trust me anymore. So or they kill me off early in the game, or they keep me around, but won’t listen to anything I’ve got to say, because I’m potentially *dangerous*. Yeah, it’s no fun when you can’t actually say anything!)

I managed to stay awake till 3.30 or so, playing games and catching up with people. I’m still not exactly sure which 3.30 this was. This weekend the clocks went back, so we got an extra hour for this BarCamp (while the last one at The Guardian we lost an hour). So I’m not really sure what time I went to bed (I think 3.30->2.30). With how early I got up that day, I’m still baffled that I lasted that long. When I finally did go to ‘bed’, it didn’t take long for me to fall asleep. And after 6 hours sleep, I was fully refreshed for another day.

Sunday was slightly less hectic for us organizers. We had to do a bit of a registration in the morning, giving back badges to those who had left during the night. But the rest of the day seemed a bit more quiet. Looking back now, I only managed to go to 2 sessions, so it wasn’t actually that much less busier, it only seemed that way (less running around, but still quite some things to setup etc).

Sugar Rush

The first session I went to that day was about NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and everyone who takes part has to attempt to write 50.000 words that month, that’s 1667 words a day! I’ve always wanted to do something like that, but I’d have no idea where to start in writing a novel. I like writing and with every blog post I think it comes more naturally to me, but novel writing? That’s a whole different ball game.

The second session I went to was a discussion about Failure, lead by Ben Reyes. Some good points were made, but it seemed a lot of the discussion was focused on failure at work. How about failure in other aspects of your life, like relationships? Also, it seemed most were talking about ‘how to accept failure and get on with life’, but always treating it still as something negative.

Around lunchtime things got slightly busy again. Kevin and Dom had the brilliant idea to turn the coffee seating area into a ‘picnic’ area with a Duck pond in the middle. So the PayPal blankets we got as schwag were spread out throughout the room with the packed lunches already setup over them.

Down By The Duck Pond

Also, somewhere during the day one of the toilets began flooding. It didn’t seem much of a major issue at first; IBM got a guy in to solve it and we thought that would be the end of it. Nope. More toilets began flooding and we had to ‘evacuate’ the help desk (well, unplugging all electronics just in case the water reached that far). The IBM staff were all on hand to sort it out, and thanks to them I think most attendees didn’t even experience the whole incident. Later on we found out what caused the blockage: a male g-string. Ehm… right. *giggle*

Before we knew it, the end of the BarCamp was in sight. Cristiano held the closing talk (with Kevin and me adding some bits), thanking all the attendees, sponsors, etc. It ended with a huge round of applause from the attendees thanking everyone involved in the BarCamp. That alone was worth going through the past couple of weeks; the response was staggering!

With the help of all the attendees, the tidy-up went pretty quickly, although there were things only us crew could do (like dismantling our “war” room). Slowly, people started disappearing to the pub, until only a handful of organizers and IBM staff were left. By that point it was all kind of surreal: we had done it, we had organized a BarCamp, we had put so much work into this, and now it was over.

Swag Bags

The final thing that had to be done that day was figure out what to do with the stuff we had left. This included leftover food/drinks, schwag, but also crew stuff for the next time (laminators, lego, cables, etc). We quickly figured out best option was bring it to Cristiano and my place: closest to the venue and enough space. We still have to figure out a permanent solution, but for now I’m sharing my living room with a huge pile of stuff.

And that’s it. That was my first real BarCamp experience from the other side. There are still a couple more things that need to be done before I can put BCL7 finally to rest, but the main stuff has been done now. I think this might have been the longest blog post I’ve ever written (and I’m wondering how many of you will even take the time to read my ramblings), but I mainly had to get this all down on ‘paper’ for myself.

One more thing: thank you to everyone who was involved in this BarCamp. Thanks IBM for allowing us in your great venue. Thanks Zoe for being a great contact and force within IBM. Thanks to all the IBM staff and volunteers for helping out on the three days. Thanks to all the sponsors for contributing and providing us with the means to make this all happen. Thanks to the catering and security guys and gals for putting up with this weird bunch of crazy people. Thanks to the rest of the organizers, especially Cristiano and Kevin, for making this a fun (albeit slightly stressful) experience.

And thank you to everyone who attended and participated. Without you guys BarCamps wouldn’t mean anything; it would be yet again another normal conference.

If you’re interested in hosting or sponsoring future BarCamps, you can contact me at Oh, and if anyone is missing a g-string…

Photos courtesy of Flickr users alicebartlett, martin_88, philliecasablanca, and rugbymadgirl
Tags: BarCamp

Event: Playful 2009

October 16th, 2009

One of last year’s best conferences I went to was Playful 2008 (see my blog post about it); it was an interesting day with a fun collection of speakers from different fields, all talking about game design (without necessarily being game designers or working within games). It was great to hear that this year they would hold another event, and the lineup of speakers is again pretty amazing.


Here is Playful’s description of what their event is all about:

Playful is a one-day event all about games and play – in all their manifestations, throughout the contemporary media landscape. It’s a conference for architects, artists, designers, developers, geeks, gurus, gamers, tinkerers, thinkerers, bloggers, joggers, and philosophers. We look at what PLAY means both creatively and culturally, and put speakers on the stage who offer different perspectives on where we are currently, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. We want people walking away talking about the nature of games…what they mean to different people inside, on the periphery, outside or miles away from the industry.

Check out their programme to see the full list of speakers that will be there. I know all the talks will most probably be great, but in particular I myself am looking forward to a couple of the speakers: Robin Burkinshaw, who is behind the blog Alice and Kev (an experiment in The Sims 3 with two homeless sims), Simon Oliver, the founder of indie games studio HandCircus, creators of the Rolando series for the iPhone, and Roo Reynolds, because his talk from last year was awesome!

There are still a couple of tickets available on the Playful evenbrite page for only £40. That’s a bargain compared to most conferences! But be quick: tickets are limited, and I have no doubt that these will be snapped up before you know it.

So, see you all at Playful?

Tags: Events, Games

Two weeks to go! I can’t believe it’s only two weeks until BarCampLondon7. I’ve been putting so much time into organizing this lately, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. We’re releasing one final round of tickets TODAY (Friday 9th October) in an hours time. 13:00 on the dot. Check out the BarCampLondon blog for more details.

BarCampLondon logo

If you have been unable to get a ticket for BarCamp London7 so far, don’t despair, loads will be released today. Like previous BarCamps, this will be on a first come, first served basis so be prepared for high demand and make sure you are there refreshing your browser to snap a ticket!

Good luck!

Tags: BarCamp