GLLCon and Shenandoah

January has concluded. Boy was it fast. In this moment of quiet, it is then proper to share and reflect a bit.

The big happening in January was Game Level Learn Con 2, a small meeting of quality folks interested in games and education. The inestimable Tracy Wazenegger shared her gamified global studies curriculum, which was both impressive and inspiring. Michael Cosimini shared his lessons learned from developing a card game aimed at medical students. And I ran a short workshop/lesson on critical game studies – which seemed to go over pretty well. Enough that I’ve started toying with the idea of writing a short book on the subject. Having put close to a dozen hours into preparing for that one hour talk, I found that I had quite a lot to say. More than I realized.

The photo on the top shows me in action. You might not think that professional conferences are intense and exciting, but they are. See the motion blur? Things happened. It was intense. And very worthwhile.

Next. I have resolved to be more proactive about seeking opportunities and connections. I continue to be excited about DROMP (the cloud game), and it’s going to happen! But the indie-developer lifestyle is very challenging. One’s chances of success increase when one has strong connections and supports. Therefore, my rough goal is that, each week, I will ping an opportunity. It could be a design contract, a networking lunch, a grant application, a residency, or perhaps something else. But something.

Last week, I submitted a formal application to the artist-in-residency program at Shenandoah National Park. The residency offers a free two-week stay in a furnished cabin. It then requires the artist to run two public programs while at the part, and to donate an original piece of artwork to the park within six months of the residency. Which is a pretty big ask. Design a park-based game, for free? Yikes! And they don’t appear to cover travel expenses, which would be significant. But it also sounds like a lot of fun.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be continuing to develop DROMP. It shall be slow but sure. I will also do quite a bit of volunteering – first as a dolphin in the social entrepreneurship branch of the Diamond Challenge, then as an industry mentor at the Rose Valley Game Jam. So other tasks will evolve only slowly, but evolve they will!

As usual, life has been full but worthwhile. Thank you, for helping me to make this happen. Thank you, for helping to build a better world through play.

As an extra special thanks to those of you who supported us at the $10/month level and above, I’ll be sending you a pair of second-draft critical studies lens cards. You may wonder how these cards are different from last month’s. In short – everything is just a bit better. These have slightly better art, slightly better words, and slightly better branding. I printed a passle, and gave them to the folks at my GLLCon talk as a combination handy-cognitive-tool and party-favor.

Once again, thank you.

    Tim