In October I was very privileged to attend a dinner organised by Bergen International Film Festival – BIFF (falls under the category “Love my job”). Here I met a very enthusiastic gaming man named Erik. BIFF is one of, if not THE, largest international documentary film festivals and one of the things I adore about them is that they go out to schools and show important documentaries and discuss them. Erik was one of the discussers and when he got a whif of my gaming interests he went in a trance like state talking about this great gaming documentary that they were talking about at these schools. I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced – it sounded way too classroomy for my taste. But I gave it a go – and admitidly I too was smitten! The documentary was called “World Peace and other 4th grade achievements”. Here’s a little teaser:
Now – another thing that I adore about BIFF is that they often invite the subjects of the documentary as well as the directors. So the amazing John Hunter was actually in the room taking questions – and I was instantly smitten. Let me take a time-out to also say that Chris Farina did a great job in telling the story of this game. It was beautifully told!
So in the course of the next months I spammed Erik with articles and lectures that touched on gaming narrative. He finally agreed to meet me sometime before Christmas and we had a fabulous inspirational enthusiastic talk about games, learning and taking kids seriously. The idea was born that we should do a summer school or something – trying to experiment with the game – see if we could recreate it somehow.
Erik has been in constant dialogue with Mr. Hunter and been able to participate in some gaming sessions via Skype. I do envy him for that, but my life has limits on time. But I’m so pleased to announce that John Hunter will be coming here at the beginning of August and we’re actually going to recreate the game with him! Isn’t that cool?
Still not convinced this is fabulous? Watch John Hunter’s TED talk:
Admit it! You feel inspired, too!
The thing I’m most looking forward to is extracting John and putting it into our game. I think this is the most challenging aspect, because it is his insight, his will and his aura that makes the game. How do we extract his personality into the rules of the game? It’s challenging and soooo fascinating! A thing that I’ve been caught up in is his almost ceremonial reading of The Art of War.
So this first round will be in English since John will be here so we decided to have teenagers that are more comfortable with English. The following groups will be participating:
1) Teenagers from Bergen
3) Teenagers from Oslo
4) Teenagers from Finland
5) Teenagers who have had their asylum application denied
I think it’s a good group and I think we’ll see some great communicative activities between the groups. The board is almost ready to be made and the bits and pieces should be getting together pretty soon.
We’re still short on funding, however – so if you want to contribute or have any ideas of where we can apply for funding, please feel free to get in touch!