Category Archives: Life

David Silver again!?

Wow, I gotta say… the bus definitely has its moments. Today, David Silver and I happened to meet up on the bus again! this time on the way home.

Here’s something cool. My initial inclination was to say that the conversation was one-sided, in that all we seemed to talk about was my current research, but you know what? David is a terrific person to talk to and bounce ideas off of… Normally when I find myself talking about what I’m doing, I’m doing most of the talking, but this time there was so much back and forth with David continually pressing me to clarify… it was great! So, we did sort of just talk about my research but the dialog was so very organic that it didn’t feel one-sided.
Anyway, I just also have to say that it is totally awesome to talk to someone who actually finds what you do interesting. How validating!

Deja Vu

I was in a meeting today with the TEP people and at one point I had a very, very strong sense of deja vu. I mean, I could practically predict what a couple people were going to say. Most times I have deja vu, I just shrug it off, but this time it was so prolonged… like a good minute or so, that I wrote it down during the meeting. Anyway… I just wanted to capture the fact that it happened. ๐Ÿ˜›

Just dreamed about soccer again…

I need to go out and kick a ball around… and remember how much I SUCK at it… sheesh.

I’m a total geek as defined by Freaks and Geeks

Robin and I have been watching Freaks and Geeks on DVD from the library. It’s a TV show set in 1980 that lasted one season in 1999-2000 that’s about two traditionally ostracized groups of kids in high school. One group represents the stoner/smoker/hang-out-under-the-bleachers type–the Freaks. The other group are the nerdy D&D/straight-As/bad-at-sports type–the Geeks.

My brother said I should watch it and that it represented our high school experience really well. Other than being a tad 7-10 years earlier than when we went to high school and the fact that we didn’t really interact with the “freak” group (a better description might be punk and maybe nowadays goth, but I’m just pulling that out of my ass) and that I don’t think we were nearly as girl-obsessed as the guys in the show… yeah, we were geeks. But we knew that already…

Continue reading I’m a total geek as defined by Freaks and Geeks

Live action MMOG?

I was playing around with the idea of working for my former employer, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. My old manager (who I thought was horrible at managing) isn’t there anymore and the head of the department we were in (who I also thought was a horrible manager) is also no longer there. I daydream about what the workplace could be like, but in the back of my head I know a lot of things won’t change. If I were to get there, any grand designs I have for their website and education programs and incorporating games into education would be put on the back-burner while the day-to-day crap would overwhelm me.

But still… I was thinking this morning. What if we created a mini web-based MMOG which featured science learning as quests? Would kids be into that? Completing an activity/quest could give players an equipable item for their paper doll inventory… I dunno… The details could probably be worked out, but it would require money which a non-profit does not have.

Then I thought… hmm… what if it were a live-action MMOG which took place in the museum itself? That might work. Kids would complete quests by demonstrating knowledge which they can get from certain exhibits. Upon completion they get a reward of some sort which allows them access to other areas… hmmmm…

I dunno… Just a thought.

Here comes Dr. Tran

OMG… Don’t know how I missed this… someone asked me today about the Danger in my name, whether I was dangerous to Chens or a dangerous Chen. When I replied neither, he asked, “so you’re like Dr. Tran?”

Check it out.. I am kinda… I mean, I don’t really have anything to do with danger…

http://www.zippyvideos.com/6433767761876696/drtran/

Delirium dreams

You know how sometimes when you are sick your head feels really heavy and you can’t move it very fast? Maybe you have a fever and sore throat and stuffy sinuses. And when you sleep it’s sort of a groggy delirium? Well, I’ve been sick for the past 4 days and just woke up from a stupor this morning which I will probably fall back into in a couple of hours… (it’s why I haven’t posted anything recently.)

I was dreaming about soccer, specifically about kicking the ball as hard as I could to get it out of our defense. And when I kicked it, it curved a bit to the right and was beautiful. Slow motion… Everything else–the players, the field–was indistinct. Just my foot and the ball’s arc.

I haven’t played soccer in any serious way for like 18 years. But now I feel like playing again… ๐Ÿ˜› Problem is, if I start playing again, I’ll remember how much I sucked.

things to do

Here’s my list of things to do:

1. write about ethnography in an online game.. and get really nitty gritty

2. post my writings about adventure games

3. put up an annotated transcript from MC or Onyx so people can see how complex things are

4. write an article about games and coordination in games FOR gamers

I’m going to let go of my fears, instilled by academics, that I shouldn’t publish anything other than finished stuff. If you take one of these ideas and do it, that’s great! My version will be different than yours and we can share data.

Even though buses (or more to the point, people on buses) smell, there’s something to be said about the time to reflect.

I was thinking about AERA today… the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting is in San Francisco this year. I’m not there. Just like I didn’t attend / won’t be attending the Games, Learning, Society conference, the Education Arcade conference, and GDC this year and last… I just can’t afford it. My parents live in Sunnyvale and my brother lives in San Francisco, too, so even though I would save a bundle on not having to stay in hotels, I still can’t afford it. And I got really pissed off. (Coincidentally, I was thinking about this while waiting for the bus. Someone ought to make a movie about how much thinking happens on or around buses or subways…) I mean, part of the way to get your name out there is through networking. The most valuable thing about conferences is the face time you get with colleagues. But people who are not funded and cannot afford the fees on their own are shit out of luck. We have to work that much harder through other means. While I could just buckle down and be a good boy and work with the system… I dunno… It just seems unfair.

Wow… I have an audience!

Amazingly, someone besides me has read my blog! And I’m proud to say that David Silver himself has commented on what I wrote about regarding academia which was spurred by meeting him on the bus earlier this week… Scroll down to that post and read his comments!