Not “the” official picture but I love that they’re all cracking up! From the back left: Peter Wingaard Medahl, Ricki Sickenger, Espen Thomassen Sæverud. Infront from left Bjarte Sebastian Hansen and Stefan Svellingen.
I think the jury is still out on the direct translation of the wonderful name – either it’s Game Developer’s Guild or Game Maker’s Guild. Either one is pretty wonderful in my book. Basically they are a bunch of hard working game developers in Bergen, having a few beers and having a vision about making game development more accessible and open in Norway. The result has been a wonderful space where game developers can learn from each other, exchange ideas, exchange resources and of course – dreams. Their morals and goals are pure and sincere – and needless to say – I adore them!
The event – Console
I was introduced to the guild in february and when I learned that Indie Game: The Movie was being considered for The International Film Festival in Bergen (BIFF) I felt that I had to make my move. We HAD to make a gaming event worthy of the documentary and game developers in Norway. I got in touch with someone that I knew was on the board at the guild and he agreed to let me speak at their next board meeting. I remember being rather nervous. I have a lot of respect and admiration for game designers and I desperately wanted them to like me. I got to make my case to the board of the six wise game developing men and I let my passion and enthusiasm have free flow – which is always a scary thing – but I just couldn’t help myself. I honestly had trouble catching my breathe at times. Thankfuly – they were in agreement! We should create an event in unison with BIFF and do something fun! I was also happy to hear that they were interested in making the games industry more available to the public. So we decided to make the event two-fold. One part for game developers and the other part for the public that may not know games as well as we do.
My wonderfully talented friend, Tini Malitius, sendt me this very inspirational talk by Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swiss Miss): The Power of Side Projects and Eccentric Aunts. I would also add that it’s also about the power of community and how important it is to surround yourself with smart people. Not to mention the acknowledgement that haters are gonna hate! It’s a very personal talk as she bases it on what she wants to teach her kids. It gave me the boost and inspiration that I needed, hope it does the same for you!
When I was writing my masters I became a fan of T.L. Taylor and her incredible knowledge of play and play culture. She seemed to have an excellent grasp of what was happening with online gaming and the players. I’ve been out of the game for so long that I wasn’t aware that she was researching e-sports and she’s recently written a book called, “Raising the Stakes. E-Sports and the Professionalization of Compute Gaming”. I’ll be buying it and I look forward to reading it. I’m curious about e-sports and T.L. Taylor is such an enjoyable writer that I’m certain I’ll love it. I don’t know why e-sports baffles me because I generally do enjoy watching others play. I’m starting to think it has something to do with the commentators.
Anways … she shares a lovely and powerful video of spectators and players at EVO 2o11 on her blog (which I also just found – I am so way behind!). I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
I’ve been looking forward to this game being released for a long time. And I therefore have to give a little personal rant before talking about the game:
I’m a huge fan of Turbo Tape Games. They’ve done so much excellent work in bringing the computer games industry into the spotlight in Norway and doing an excellent job in preaching the value of the industry. These guys have opened so many doors and broken down so many barriers for the future of game development in Norway – I hope that we can do it justice. I remember meeting Fredrik Sundt Breien (Managing Director) at a First Tuesday event about games (OMG! 7 years ago!). He has the charisma and enthusiasm to charm any audience into believing that games are worth investing in – which he’s done! And continues to do so as he’s speaking at (Bergen’s new innovators and The Nordic Media Festival). In many ways I guess I’m kinda jealous, cause I’d like to do the exact same thing some day.
I met the technical director, Jan Haugland, at the Industrial Gaming conference, which was also one of my first presentations of Machinima hungover – thankfully come a long way since then! We had an indept conversation about game mechanics and the genious of Tetris, the details elude me, but I remember the happy feeling of meeting a good friend that day.
As for the rest of the gang – we still haven’t reached the threshold where hugs are a natural greeting.
So when Turbo Tape Games was established, it was only natural for me to invite myself and the cHixOrs (pre Spillpikene) to visit the headquarters at Pixel Park. My what a long way they’ve come! I remember spending a good hour in their cramped office and still having absolutely no clue what Naval War was about. All I saw was a lot of code I did not understand and a lot of indication that this game was going to be just a tad too complicated for my taste.
But as you may have understood from the long personal rant and reminiscing – I adore them and on launch day of Naval War: Arctic Circle – I wanted to stop by and wish them good luck. I incidently had a meeting next door and thought I’d stop by with the gift of coffee and wish them good luck. They were surprisingly calm and relaxed and I felt like such a fan girl being so enthused and excited for them.
And then … I was allowed to try the game and I was scared.
If your reading list is like mine, you may have noticed the controversial (or tedious) blogpost in Forbes about Fake Girl Geeks. I initially hadn’t thought to comment it, but alas – I can’t seem to help myself. I remember our first Girl Geek Dinners Bergen meeting and when we started discussing who was allowed to come to our events and who was not, the brilliant Hilde Corneliussen just simply said “Why should we have to exclude anyone?”. And so began our policy that anyone who wanted to come to our events was welcome.
I sometimes felt torn about this decision. I relished every moment I had with these great women. It was so fun to talk about so-called geeky subjects at the same time as I could giggle foolishly without seeming insincere. But there was just no way that I would turn anyone away that was interested in coming. The word “girl” has also been an issue that’s been discussed on the subject of girl geeks. Some have felt that in order to be taken seriously we should call ourselves “women” (which we are). But for me, I loved the relaxed atmosphere and the unseriousness of the word “girl”. I desperately needed a venue to chill and talk about geek issues and could never think of these events as business networking opportunities. If we used the word “women” I feared that the atmosphere would become too serious and businesslike. But this is for the next generation og girl geek leaders to decide – I’ve stepped aside.
Another hinder we kept coming across were girls and women who wanted to join our dinners but feared that they weren’t geeky enough or that we weren’t geeky enough. I was constantly asked to define exactly what a geek is and this is the line I usually came up with:
“A geek is anyone who’s extremely fascinated about something and wants to share it with us. The subject can be anything from a favourite knitting pattern to a space shuttle design.”
I’ve always felt very pleased with that, although I never seemed to gather large swarms of crowds – but it felt right to me.
Will Wheaton has a great new show on table top games on the new YouTube channel Geeks & Sundry. I wasn’t expecting to, but I actually watched the whole thing! So he invites guests and they play through a table top game entertainingly and informatively. This time around was Small World. There’s some great camera angles and it’s beautifully edited so that I learn the game as I chuckle and I don’t get bored. Extra kudos for inviting a woman! I hope they do Android at some time because it’s still in my closet after ending play with a big unison sigh after a dinner party over a year ago. Having a program like this to make me understand the goal and rules of the game will be lovely. And Mr. Wheaton is just the perfect game master for such a show! Very cool gaming table!
If you follow this blog by RSS, I may have annoyed you this last week. First let me say a huge thank you for still following me! The reason that my blogg has been clogging your feeds is because I’m actually doing a little (!) spring clean. Years ago I transferred this blog from blogspot to WordPress and in the process lost all my tags and categories so my older posts are hard to find. At the time I didn’t think it mattered but my frustration has slowly built up with time and now that I find myself at a crossroad – desperate to impress cool people – I want to make my enthusiasm and interests more accessible.
It’s almost been fun! I’ve forgotten almost everything that I wrote so sometimes I get a little burst of pride saying “Oooh! Was I already writing about this stuff in 2006? How cool am I?!”. Other times I just cringe and may just “forget” to tag and categorise the post (still available, though).
March 2006 is coming up and I’m dead tired of all this tidying up! And I feel rather disheartened that I had been blogging for one solid year in March 2006 and that first year consists of half of all the pages I have on this blog! But I’ll get there in the end and by golly people will be impressed! And I’m certain that the offers will come rolling in after that! I’m freelance now and I desperately want to FINALLY get into the games industry!
Wow! I woke up this morning and started writing this blog post in my head! I haven’t done that in soooooo long! I suppose it’s a sign that it is my last week at work and my own thoughts and desires are starting to come out of their protected shell.
Two weeks ago I was fortunate to catch the back end of an amazing symposium in Bergen called “Data is Political” organised by Amber Frid-Jimenez and Ben Dalton. I suppose I had been too wrapped up in my own life to notice that this event was happening so thank goodness for the fabulous Jill Walker Rettbergwho tweeted from the event. After work I stopped by to catch the panel discussion and get some form of conclusion about what they had been talking about all day. I mean … what an interesting subject for art students and scholars to be discussing? I was so impressed and rather excited!
I just watched this wonderful keynote by Leigh Alexander on the challenges of being a female journalist and being labelled a feminist journalist because she writes about things such as computer games. She really gives a lot of her own personal experiences and I’m very thankful for that. I recognise a lot of what she brings up. It’s awkward, uncomfortable and a bit daunting being asked to have an opinion or a voice for an entire gender, speaking on behalf of all woman everywhere. I don’t even feel comfortable talking on behalf of female gamers. But Alexander is great at pointing out that we already have some wonderful female role models in the game industry out there and that we shouldn’t let ourselves be silenced for our gender or that the pressure of talking on behalf of a gender is too awesome. Her conclusion was absolutely great: “I believe that games can speak to more people than they already do and in order for that to happen they need all of our voices – they need you!”. Thanks Mathias Poulsen for recommending it!