SI17 reflection: ☾ Ål Nik ☾

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Overall experience

[topic] I really enjoyed working on the topic of productive play and gamification. Between 2009 and 2012 I worked in a gaming company and between 2012 and 2017 I had a startup - both experiences were in the early rise of gamification as a new methodology for productivity. Back in the days, that was a truly exciting idea to everyone in these communities: the games finally being recognised as not a negative thing only; workers in the gaming industry being appreciated; adding some fun in a boring work environment. The TEDxtalk of Jane McGonigal was a hit in the tech community, all of my friends and colleagues were sharing it everywhere. I was inspired by that then. Reflecting on this 10+ years later was an interesting experience for me, analysing games' ideologies and creating some critiques brought projects such as the "Can Gaming Make A Better World?" karaoke. Because in order to make your reflection and critique valuable, you also have to consider the reasons why a new trend is coming, not only where it is going. Everything is connected.
[process] The beginning with enough time to read was really good. Thanks to that structure of the process, I believe this special issue was better theorised compared to the previous one (but not limited to, because there were many other factors that had a big impact during SI16). However, I felt like we did not have enough time and space for prototyping and experimenting. After the reading, came the need for production straight into the publication, and the need to quickly self-organise. Once again, that took too much time and space, so I believe we would appreciate more help from outside (to be able to really have some pure experiments).
[publication] I am very happy with the final publication: I find the box a really interesting format (and beautifully done by team 2) and the papers inside as its content (great outcome from team 1). It was also nicely theorised and the contents reflected our process and learnings. I think team 3 did a great job with the whole experience and it went really well. I was happy to support the process of unifying the concept, to write the intro letter and edit everything with Steve and Gersande. This special issue was a good experience, indeed. :-)

What did I [absolutely] love

▶ reading groups and karaoke
▶ the editing master class I had with Steve
▶ exploring Rotterdam during the break
▶ the introduction to the topic with time to read and reflect
▶ we had a proper launch event and it was nice

What did I hate

▶ we had to put too much effort in decision making and self-facilitation of the whole process [thus, not enough time for more experiments individually or in small groups/pairs]
▶ feeling stuck again on deciding on concept & form [thus, we had to split into smaller groups - that's nice, we should have done it 1-2 weeks earlier at least]
▶ lack of time [but can we help it...]
▶ the pressure of the launch event ahhahaha

What would I like to keep

▶ having more time for reads in the beginning [but less than a month]
▶ start making the prototypes after we've already read and reflected on the reads
▶ having restrictions about the special issue form [in this case - a physical loot box]
▶ reading groups and jamming - more, please!
▶ continue with the karaoke
▶ having an editor team so there's someone to help the projects get together into one piece

What would I like to improve

▶ look for a balance between reading/researching and prototyping/experimenting
_IDEA_ from a conversation with Chae: how about we only read for 2 weeks and then only prototype/experiment for another 2 weeks
& then back to more research while already elaborating on some of the initial ideas
▶ more space for experiments & also getting feedback from the tutors at a very early stage
▶ better connection with the publisher (in our case PNF) during the whole process
▶ facilitation from outside us 12 would be super helpful for us to focus more on the projects and content [would love to have a different process experience for the last special issue]
▶ maybe it would be nice to have one special issue without so much focus and effort on the launch event, so everyone could have the time and space to play more during the trimester