DiGRA Side Notes

I haven’t been able to blog yesterday and this morning, I was preparing my presentation and it sort of consumed all of me. We (Shanly Dixon and I) got to speak in a “Canadian Consortium” panel, with Alison Harvey and Nick Taylor. Our panel really flowed well – actually, the Women in Games sessions all had a really nice flow into one another.  We got a few questions at the end of our presentation – always a sign that you did something right (if even just pushing some buttons…).

On the social side of things (a big part of any conference), the weather has been great which has allowed for a lot of walking about. We spent the first day figuring out where things were in and around campus. Since we arrived on a Sunday, not much was open, so we took a walk to the closest town (village?) – Uxbridge. On Monday, we took the tube into London proper (45 minutes!) and spent the day seeing the sights (Buckingham Palace, Picadilly Circus and of course, a fish and chips early dinner at a local pub). Monday night was pre-conference pub night at a great little local place called Load of Hay quite close to the campus (small picture here). A good 30 people gathered on their outside terrace – which was absolutely beautiful as the tables and seats were carved out of an old forest tree stumps that were cut down some 80 years ago. We took some pictures, so I will post them when I get home and upload my pictures. We had ordered the game pie – well worth the wait and the kazillion calories in the mash and gravy!

Yesterday was the first formal day of the conference, we attended the panel on horror and videogames, where we saw some great presentations on the uncanny and on the heuristic cycle of gameplay (which encompassed issues of gameplay time, and game ‘completion’ based on external goals). Afternoon was spent writing and powerpointing. Early evening  began with the conference wine and cheese – which was really more Flemish beer (there was wine though) and candies/chips. Interesting conference fare indeed. Before heading back to our dorm rooms, it was back to the Load of Hay for a bite to eat, and nice pint of Guiness. Mind you, perhaps having the mash and sausage drowned in beans and gravy was not necessarily the best pre-presentation meal to have!

We are heading into the Women in Games Keynote, and then off to their wine and cheese. Perhaps afterwards, if I am not too full, we will venture back into town for a drink and yet another search for good food.

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