Sunday, December 14, 2008

The EMC's first official LAN Party!

What do you get when you combine:
  • 40+ Students...
  • 7 Large Pizza's from Papa Franks in Winooski...
  • 96 cans of soda, 4 pounds of candy, 100 mini bags of chips, 36 bottles of water, 72 cookies...
  • The Emergent Media Center Lab computers loaded with the America's Army Game...
  • America's Army Game Schwag...
  • ...And 2 Champlain College Student maps that have been released through America's Army Game website?
A HUGE LAN Party celebration! :o)

Screen Shot of "District" AA Map

Screen Shot of "Canyon" AA Map

This was a big deal for the two teams who invested 2500+ hours in creating two, well-designed, official America's Army Maps which were released on Thursday, December 11th! Even prior to that, there was information floating around from America's Army that got forums buzzing with interest. Some of the students followed the forums and game servers around the globe playing their maps and by the next day, there were 9 servers playing "District" and 16 playing "Canyon". During this post (two days later), 23 servers are playing "District" and 29 are playing "Canyon". May not sound like a lot, but these maps are gaining ground in TWO days! All Thursday and Friday, I had both teams intermittently informing me about their news updates via the web... It was as if I accidentally subscribed to a cool RSS news feed: I was getting updates every half hour!

I couldn't help, but be proud of them for accomplishing what they did. The party was to honor the hours and accomplishment all of them made. It wasn't an easy task that they took on, but it definitely is now a rewarding one. In fact, we played the two maps beyond the two hours originally planned for the party. We went from 5pm to 1am in the early morning! Best yet, no student playing ever got bored playing the maps.

On a personal level, I know what it's like to have someone admire your work, but I don't think I could imagine how they've been feeling, all week and through today, at this type of scale.

Talking about admiration, apparently someone posted a YouTube video with a fly-through of the student's map just yesterday and at this time of me typing this post; it had a total of 95 hits.


And to give those reading this post some more content found on the web (Google brings up 9,000+ hits), here are just a few other spots about both maps:
I'm looking forward to another couple of sessions playing these maps in the future. Even more so, I'm looking forward to what these students, and others at the EMC, will accomplish next...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Learning in 2008

I knew that being involved in the Emergent Media Center was going to be an excellent opportunity to get involved in a creative and technical field with greater, social purpose that feeds my soul.  I’m not the only one as 60+ students who work at the center feel the same way during the time I interview them for positions prior to hiring them. Being part of a young generation who can have the opportunity to work in areas rarely explored is incredible and, knowing all of them, they would agree with me.

As an example, Saturday morning, October 25, Ann DeMarle, 6 Students and I, flew out to Orlando, Florida for the Learning 2008 conference.

Once again, the Emergent Media Center was offered another amazing opportunity by Elliott Masie to have a group of students create a game within a 3-day period on the topic of “Teleworking”.  This year’s stellar team consisted of Chris Rolfs, Kate Baxter, Max Nichols, Auston Montville, Dan Peavey, and Vanessa Blockland.

I must say, the audience, and even I, was impressed with what they pulled off in the short amount of time they had to research, design and program the game.

I view my job at the center as to not only act as the Project Director and to manage projects, but to also help students manage their lives in many cases.  At the conference, the students were working non-stop.

Almost ironically, some of the topics brought up in the game this past week revolved around the idea of balancing out work and life.  Their time awake over the short period was about 60 hours and all of it was worth the effort from their point of view.  They barely slept, needed to cut loose to release their stress and take a breather, but it was not easy.

It took me a little finessing with the help of some attendees and literally closing a laptop of a student to pry them away the last night so they could have some fun by dancing on the dance floor.

video

Later at probably around 4am, they started sprinting up and down the long, empty corridors to have a little more enjoyment… There’s nothing wrong with that, right?  I’m glad they had some freedom to have fun, which should be part of the whole experience of having a job in my mind.

When they took the stage the final day, they impressed.

Their game is called “Teletrust” and focuses on how employees of a company need to gain each other’s trust while working from home to complete important individual and team tasks with distractions getting in their way.

My eyes swelled as they presented and showed off the game on stage to the 1,800+ attendees.  They spoke well with confidence.

People laughed and applauded as the game mechanics and in-game jokes worked well.  It proved how the team did their research, listened and created the content based on the Learning 2008 participants’ input, feedback and contributions.  Even Tony O'Driscoll had blogged a bit about it!  People filled the halls after the closing session, while we were packing up and getting to ready for the bus to the airport, telling the students how awesome they are and how much fun they had as participants in the game process.  I believe we even had some “groupies” who hung out during every day to talk and catch a glimpse of what was to come.

The game at this point works and is fully functional, however, the students want to spend this weekend to fix a few game play/balancing issues and minor bugs.  In addition to this, they want to continue developing a side component to the game that makes it modular and modifiable. It is not critical to the deliverable people were expecting, but they thought it would vital for the companies who want to use this tool to easily modify game components, without delving into the open source code, to fit in line better with the companies’ training goals.  Who does or thinks this way other than professionals with a large amount of time?!?!

What a great experience it was to be involved in this great process and event.  Unfortunately, Ann had to bow out as she hopped a plane to Boston on Tuesday, a day and a half before the conference ended, to attend the CIMIT Innovation Conference.  She’s definitely a busy woman… Maybe she’ll read this post to get the update on what happened when she’s back.  ;o)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Emergent Media Center Open House Celebration

Yesterday we celebrated all the work of our marvelous students, staff and faculty with an Open House Event!

News coverage has been incredible and I would like to share it with you. Wonderful is that, in the varying publications and video coverage, you can hear and see many of our students and our team.

It was great for the students to connect up with industry, government and community to share their projects. Here are blog posts by students Heather Conover and another by Robert Witbeck before and after the event which illustrates the depth of their commitment to their work: http://theseethroughmirror.blogspot.com/2008/10/craziness.html
Below are the press links that I can find at present.
Newspapers:
Seven Days:
The Burlington Free Press:
Television News:
WCAX TV news:
You can see photos of the event courtesy Steve Mease, three of which are in this post, at: http://picasaweb.google.com/steve.mease/EMCOpenHouse#

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's in the Air

It is fall in New England. There couldn't be a more beautiful experience. The entire world explodes into flaming oranges, reds and golds before going quietly to sleep. Change and intensity are in the air—life at Champlain is fully awake from the summer's slumber and all is aflame on the learning fronts. I wonder if the students sleep at all during this time. It is insightful to read the student blogs and listen to their creative roar as they attack the myriad of learning instances that involve them.
Likewise the Center is in almost over its head. This month is our busiest to date. The new facility is still being adjusted but we are firmly "in" evidenced by the new set of doors that grace our entry. 
Aminata's visit was all we could hope for. The students connected to their sponsor sharing their discoveries. Aminata directed us all to reach broader and empowered us with her deep intellect. Wonderfully, news coverage highlighted our project. Here are two links to coverage:
  1. To Public Radio station WAMC
  2. To WCAX TV coverage with both a written description AND video clip
Coming up next week is the Center's official Open House. All are invited to meet our students, test drive their projects, partake in conversation, food and emergent media from 4:00-6:30. Vermont Governor James Douglas will hold a press conference at 4:30 to discuss his hopes for Vermont in this sphere. Our friends from around the globe are invited to a post-opening dinner exploring collaborative opportunities in the emergent media sphere.
Speaking of Governors, I just received very big personal news. I have been elected to a three year term as an IEEE Computer Society Board of Governor! It is an incredible honor with potential to connect youth to an esteemed organization. Last month IEEE Computer Magazine published an article I wrote entitled "Standards: Innovation and Value" on the place for standards in game development.

Two weeks from now student teams will be participating in two major external events all about innovation:
  1. Elliott Masie's Learning 2008 in Orlando where once again a student team will be challenged to create games on site with participation from attendees. I will be conducting workshops on developing games.
  2. CIMIT's Innovation Congress where students will act as docents guiding attendees through games supporting medicine and health to include two of our own projects - the Cystic Fibrosis project with Dr. Peter Bingham and CIMIT's RIPS project with Ryan Scott Bardsley.
By the end of the month, as the trees lose their splendor, we will be more than ready to take in the night air and celebrate Halloween. Students have been deciding what EMC staff and faculty, Ray, Sarah, Heather, Ken and myself shall come costumed as. All great fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aminata Toure to speak at Champlain College, Tuesday, Sept. 30

This is an invite to all our readers. Next week, Aminata Toure, our UN sponsor will be speaking at Champlain College, Burlington, VT in the Hauke Conference Room at 5pm September 30. 

Furthermore an exhibiton of photos we took while in South Africa is on display at the Emergent Media Center's new home in Winooski, VT—the Champlain Mill. Please stop in and visit during office hours. Below is the official news release:

BURLINGTON, Vt. (Sept. 26, 2008)  – Aminate Toure, an internationally-known leader in human rights, will spend two days meeting with Champlain College students and faculty to work on a United Nations’ funded project aimed at reducing gender violence in developing nations. 

The Emergent Media Center at Champlain College and Population Media Center were awarded a grant from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to carry out the project, which consists of creating an electronic game for young boys in developing nations aimed at preventing violence against women. The game will evolve into a global initiative, with an initial focus on South Africa.

Aminate Toure, chief of the Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), will speak about international women’s health challenges in a community lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 5 pm at Hauke Family Campus Center’s Conference Room at Champlain College. A question and answer session follow her talk. This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You are invited!

Robben Island, S.A.: site where ANC prisoners did hard labor and yet undermined the system. Referred to now as their "university" and place of triumph. 
Most of the blogging I have done recently is captured in our blog: EMC: Games Take On Violence Against Women . We returned from South Africa just three weeks ago. Exhausted, exhilarated, and needing time to readjust. Instead we jumped right into the midst of everything!
South End Art Hop: a mix of traditional and emergent—Champlain College and current EMC projects.
  1. Classes for the students,
  2. campus commitments for faculty and staff,
  3. an exhibition at the Burlington South End Art Hop (thank you Sarah, EMC students and all the support of Champlainers such as Toni Lee Sangiastino and Richard Terricciano),
  4. and most exhausting for Ray, Sarah and myself a huge move into a new space for the center. 
Renovation
It is 3700 beautiful, functional, funky, brick and sunlight bathed, cool square feet! Many thank you's due here but to start Michel George, Penny Miller, Mark Sammut and team. We are now located in the Champlain Mill in Winooski, Vermont. For the students we are directly across from the Spinner Place student residences. For the rest of campus, it is a short Champlain College bus ride down the hill and across the river. Students often walk it in 20 minutes.



Off and running, we are working on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Cystic Fibrosis game, completing the Information Literacy games, moving ahead on Burlington 3D, finishing for an Oct. 15 release date America's Army, and transcribing dialogue for the UN Violence Against Women project.

This in-spite of construction work, painting, wiring, and unpacking!
Heather Kelley, Ray McCarthy-Bergeron and Sarah Jerger getting work done despite building chaos

With all of this—or perhaps due to it, I want to issue two major invites: 
  1. Come hear! Next Tuesday, September 30, we are honored that Aminata Toure, our UN sponsor is coming to Champlain!!!! She will be presenting to the community on her work for the UNFPA. I can promise that you will find her impressive. We are finalizing the time so if you are interested in attending, please contact me and I will send you the time and location. Did you know that this year 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign runs from November 25 to December 10.  The campaign will run in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is celebrated on December 10th
  2. Come see! The EMC is having a major grand opening celebration, Oct. 21st from 4:00-6:30 and all are invited! There will be a very official ribbon cutting, hands on demos of our projects, students will be on hand to discuss their work, free food, etc. Please contact us if you need info on parking, etc. I will try to post ahead of time.
Hopefully I will see you all soon!
View from our windows

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wonderful Work—looking towards sleep.

The other night, I collapsed. Not physically, but psychically. There has been ALOT going on—all good, just a lot. I needed a down night and luckily for me, my husband Jim took over, dinner and serenade by accordion. By the next day all was well.
So what is the lot—wonderful things.
The summer projects: America's Army, the student teams (pictured above) have passed their first review, final touches are in place and we shall announce and release their levels by October 15th. Look for an announcement. Info Literacy is near completion and looking good. Likewise the Google Earth project is well along. Ditto CIMIT's RIPs project. In that project the team has made tremendous breakthroughs in both concept and visual style.
August projects. We finally began the Robert Wood Johnson Games for Health grant with Peter Bingham at UVM on games for Cystic Fibrosis patients. The students will begin interviewing patients this week. Likewise we have begun the UNFPA project about Violence Against Women. This week we fly half way around the world to South Africa with a team of 17 (13 students, the remainder EMC staff and Champlain faculty). For the next week plus, I want to direct my readers to a new blog for that project EMC: Games Take On Violence Against Women .
On yet another end, I completed an article for the September issue of the IEEE publication Computer. It is under the standards column and looks at standards in relation to innovation and value in the game industry. Likewise I am up for election to the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governor's—an enormous honor just to be nominated!
And finally perhaps the news most able to link all together: the Emergent Media Center is getting a NEW home!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been working with Michel George and Penny Miller to renovate 3700 square feet in the Champlain Mill in Winooski, VT. It was approved less then a month ago and we move in upon our return from South Africa on September first.
Is it any wonder I am tired. I am looking forward to sleeping on the 22 hour flight ;-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Strand of Yarn To Be Unstrung













Is it providence, magic or a process of generational learning? Either way, I'm a lucky one! The first thing I was blessed with, before even breathing the oxygen of this existence, were my parents, Dave and Trudy DeMarle. Last week I was fortunate to be able to spend my vacation time with them in Vermont and my home state of New York.

To this day they are an example of respect and care, intelligence and creativity. They are the spine of a strong family and support each other even more fully. What is the magic that made them such and me so?

Unfortunately this is not to say that I have not made detour choices or overcome very difficult challenges, to include a long forgiven, misbegotten abusive relationship. However my parents' early example has shown me the magic and held forward a light to steer towards.

In the past two weeks, inclusive of my fractured vacation, an activity surge has hit the Emergent Media Center. The AA team projects are completing. Deadlines are nearing for the Information Literacy and the Burlington 3D projects. We are planning the renovation and move to a new space in the Champlain Mill in Winooski—off campus but across the street from the Spinner student residences. Looming largest of all was the kick-off of the Robert Wood Johnson funded Cystic Fibrosis project and the Violence Against Women project for the UNFPA (UNFPA VAW).
Three prior weeks were spent selecting the teams for these two projects. It was highly competitive and students were matched to projects by interest, their potential for individual growth and the potential they bring towards solutions. The photos here are from the kick-off beginning with President Dave Finney addressing the UNFPA team, underscoring the significance of the project. Others include the students getting to know each other with Apples to Apples, recognizing the immensity of the task at hand with Population Media Center's (PMC) Scott Connolly, and working through early brainstorming.
This past Monday, PMC president Bill Ryerson and I met with Aminata Toure, our UNFPA grantor in New York City. Her comments illustrated her passion for creating change and her intuitive understanding of the unique power games can bring to creating it. Likewise she was deeply interested in who makes up our student team: what were their personal experiences with domestic violence, what early ideas did they have, and what game mechanics can be envisioned to reach young men? She stressed that this is a universal tragedy—distributed equally between cultures, ethnicities, economic strata. There are no stereotypes.
This afternoon the UNFPA VAW team met to share progress made this last week. Many excellent discoveries were shared. Poignantly, the group has found that each question they pose and answer, leads to a multiplicity of new questions. A strand of yarn becoming unstrung.
This evening my central question with a yet to be uncovered answer remains this: what is the magic sauce that has created a strong, respectful, joyful partnership for my parents—and in turn instilled for their progeny a joyous respect for all humanity? Is it possible to game-ify that?

Believe it or not, in a bit over two weeks most of the team travels to South Africa AND the Emergent Media Center moves into a new home off the Champlain College campus. Stay tuned. And thanks Mom and Dad for sharing the sweetness of life's air.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In the night air

Tonight I wish I could share with you the loveliness of the early evening from my front porch. Before me are hills, a farmer's fields, a small NE-style housing development under construction, and thunder clouds wrapped in sunset hues. Behind me, hundreds of acres of woods and the evening song of birds—like wood winds on the night air.

In my mind however is Africa, the US, gender, the nature of violence, and the power of youth to create change. The Emergent Media Center has received a grant from the UNFPA to create a game targeted towards ending violence against women. Our initial audience will be young African males. 

Ray and I have been interviewing students for the project for the past three weeks and we are near decision on it. We will have three teams: two as game production and one as research. There are many questions needing to be answered to make this project successful. Our research team will work towards those answers. The two production teams will create using the co-opetitious model that we have embraced under John Abele's tutelage.

What I am struck with tonight, no in awe of, are the young people who have applied for the positions! From a range of life experiences, with majors stretching from software engineering to marketing to game art, design, programming and to education, they come with passion for positive change. Intuitively they "know" about collaborative creation, the wisdom of the audience, the power of emergent media and games. In them it is evident that future Americans may no longer be US centric, instead I find them true global citizens.

It will be interesting to see how the African night air will impact all of us. 

PS The image tonight is courtesy John Cohn's blog of June 29 after GIV with Ken and Geeda's baby, Rose. Rose has a blog—how cool is that? Also I'd like to point everyone to Lauren's blog. Lauren will be one of the lead designers on the UN project. Reading her blog thoroughly you will understand why. Goodnight all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hush

At JFK once again, and again with delayed flights. But it is not as bad as it seems. I know I will get home. And at this point JFK feels like home, I've spent so many recent hours here. Even the media boards are saying "Welcome Home, CBS 4 New York". It does give me time to collect my thoughts.

This week I've been at Games for Change. There is a reoccurring group of people at these conferences for games—more so when focused on games that fall outside the entertainment industry. There are also surprising new faces.

A person I find impressive is Tracy Fullerton from USC. Though she tends to stand in the background, her students' works shine sparkling clear. Jenova Chen who created "clouds" and "fLow" was a grad student of hers. Demoed at this conference, a work that touched me deeply, was from another pair of her students. Like our student Nick Malutama, they have created a piece on Rwanda. The game uses singing as a mechanic. Flipping a normal game procedure of the avatar being a more powerful persona than the actual player, the game puts the player in the place of those with no power. The only defense against the incomprehensible is voice. The player is a Rwandan mother trying to quiet her crying child so that both are not massacred. The only "weapon" the player has is to sing to "her" child a lullaby. Simple, graphic, stressful, touching. Here's a link: http://interactive.usc.edu/members/jantonisse/2008/01/hush.html. Researching further, I find Ian Bogost has reviewed it and appropriately names the form a vignette.

Another highlight for me at this conference was the final keynote speaker, Sandra Day O'Connor. Yes the former Supreme Court justice. She acknowledged that if anyone asked her when she retired from the court if she would be speaking at this conference today, she would have thought that it was impossible. However she is collaborating on a project to get education out to youth on our democratic system particularly in regards to the judicial system. She stated that she had come to the realization that to educate young people today, one needs to reach outside of our educational system to where they are—on computer screens. She said we need to give them the tools that enable them to recognize situations, to analyze, to provoke real thinking, and to debate and commit. Though Justice O'Connor acknowledged she does not play video games, the tool she chose to reach young people on her heart felt mission is computer games. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24975511/The game is expected to launch by fall. The web site is at http://www.ourcourts.org/.

Youth + games = learning. A powerful mixture, whether youth are creating or consuming. It makes it even more vital that we as adults are aware of the shift.

Friday, May 23, 2008

To play for the holiday

Just quickly I added two new sidebars. One is for my presentations given in the last year and a half. You can find the Vermont Business Expo and IBM presentation, last week's IEEE CS Tech Summit talk and others. The Kingbridge GameChange Summit was really the questions for a discussion John and I led. Likewise the GDC Building Partnerships guided a workshop and includes the output of the groups.
But you might find it more fun if you view the other new sidebar. It is for Class Created Games. I separated this from the EMC projects as the purpose of creation is very different. It is the first class in which the students get to create electronic games as a team. They have previously created paper based games. In former blogs you may have read about the process the class and myself went through and what we all discovered. Different from the EMC games, the class created game is purely about the player having fun!

I think the team who's game is posted did very well in that objective and the corresponding goal of learning to work together! The team members were Justin Kimball as producer, Jaime Fraina as lead designer, Scot Gaylord as lead programmer, Matt Gustafson as lead tester and sound, Chris Matuzsek as lead artist, and Dan Hart as secondary artist and programmer. As a warning there is blood and robots but no real violence - very Doctor Who-ish. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Too many cool things to share...

I am REALLY tired. So tired that I had to type my own blog address in three times before I got it right. So tired that when I hit the Google site, the graphic looked beautiful...Spring and sunshine :-) I have been once again flying coast to coast and working at breakneck speed. Too many cool things to share. So please excuse the length and seeming random nature of the delivery. One thing that made me happy upon my return were "miss you Ann" messages from my students Rafi and Jordan on my whiteboard. Good to come home.
Home. Today I keynoted at the Vermont Business Expo Technology Luncheon (I will post that and the IEEE CS presentation after compressing). Man I was nervous playing to the home town crowd. Even my friends commented on the television advertising. "Ann, I've been invited to lunch with you." All things good. When I finished the talk I realized just how much I have discovered this year. Speaking gave me the opportunity to arrange and share much of the content and thoughts I have been writing about here. The talk began with Ray Kurzweil, traveled through to the impacts technology has wrought or brought (dependent on your persuasion), introduced possible business models that make sense of the exponential change, and ended with the remarkable capabilities of this generation to accomplish and create change illustrated by the work our EMC crew has been doing.

Speaking of which, Tuesday and Wednesday America's Army, in the guise of Phillip Bossant, Matt Soares and Kevin Lee came to campus. They began working with the student teams to create level maps. If successful the maps will be distributed through the AA site—full credit given to the students. Their energy and excitement was palatable. Discussion, whiteboards, and impassioned listening were part and parcel. The AA teams were as gods—and rightly so for the knowledge of building complex yet popular levels and art assets based on reality that they shared. All comes back to the power of mentoring.

Likewise the students working on the Info Lit games, the CIMIT project and the Burlington Google Map projects are also working energetically. It is soooo cool! The atmosphere is somehow different this summer. I believe the spring green and the lack of scheduled classes have given the students the opportunity to put their heart and soul into their projects. They are learning all the same but in a concentrated manner much like I experienced as a graduate student.


Students. I just returned from the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors' (BOG) meeting and our Technology Summit in Las Vegas. There I am on the Education Activities Board and the Awards Committee. This BOG, I hosted the Game Summit. Speakers were CTO of A2M Martin Walker, newly minted COO of EA DICE in Sweden Senta Jacobsen, Davey Jackson from GarageGames and Scot Osterweil from MIT's Media Lab. All gave incredible presentations—each very different topically from the other. I opened up the day. Project management, game engines, AI in games and what that portends and games for learning were the topics. The downside was the size of attendance, the plus it was captured via video for web distribution (visit the IEEE CS site). Biggest plus was the exchange of knowledge and camaraderie of the speakers...very cool group. An aside is how crazy LV is! Talk about addictive behavior and virtual worlds!

Back to learning. Three weeks ago, incredibly influential to me was the Digital Now summit hosted by Fusion Productions. I can not recommend it enough for those in associations. If they opened it more broadly, many corporations would benefit as well. I am very grateful to Hugh Lee and Don Dea for inviting us to participate. There the focus was social networking, Web 2.0 for connecting to community. Both a sky eye view and the in the trenches approach helped me to focus on what we should be doing for the Center and what we are integrating into projects for our partners. If invited back I would love to find sponsorship for our students to create games on site. I think that would really touch this impressive group. Check out the link in the sidebar. They have posted all of the proceedings in forms of video, slides AND notes.

Luckily students Lauren Nishikawa and Wes Knee along with our new but invaluable operations manager Sarah Jerger were able to attend. Sarah will be in-charge of applying much of that knowledge into the Center's outreach. We took Saturday and went to Epcot at Disney to celebrate Lauren's 21st birthday!!!! What a marvelous day. I am still amazed at the genius of Walt Disney, the man behind the corporation. He was virtual environments before we computerized them! Did you know that when Disney World first opened it flopped? Artist, businessman, technologist, futurist.

Lastly touching on the Games for Health conference from two weeks ago ( I have been traveling ALOT). My biggest understanding there was that the field is just opening up. Exergaming seems to be a given, as is patient motivation. What is now needed is research and for that funding. I was very lucky to get to know Leighton Read. It is a very small world. He knows Tom Malone and Tony O'Driscoll. I was hooked on his presentation to our small group of RWJF grantees. It is not surprising. He is behind seriosity, created one of the very earliest games for health and he was a doctor in Boston.

Another fun thing for me was to reconnect or meet for the first time some very interesting people. It was like old friends' week if that is possible at an event I've never attended. I was able to introduce Peter, the chief PI on the grant to Ryan - our SME on the CIMIT project! Both I could introduce to Mike Zyda (coincidently he is the first person I knew behind AA though he is not with them anymore). I was lucky to meet Jeanne and Anne, two RWJF grantees from Indiana that I hope to keep intouch with. In the small world category we would run into each other at the gym pre-start of day and they both are connected to the Lake Champlain region!


OK That is it for the evening. I will part with the quote from student Ben Gerowe's signature:
"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to be visible."
—Vladimir Nabako