Monday, 12 November 2018


DiGRA 2018

Last summer the prestigious annual conference of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) took place in Turin, at my alma mater Università degli Studi di Torino thanks to the hard work of Riccardo Fassone.

It was the first time that I attended a DiGRA. It was great to see new faces and meet old friends, but most of all I appreciated the variety of topics and perspectives presented: an (unnecessary) proof of the rich cultural reach of digital gaming.

It was great also to be there with my dear friends Vincenzo Idone Cassone and Gianmarco Giuliana (see paper), both semioticians from CIRCe. Big conferences have often a liminal feel that makes them almost playful. This one in particular, as Erik Zimmerman engaged us in a few rather funny games at the end of the day.

I presented an extended abstract on the poetics of cardboard, you can find it here.






Friday, 12 October 2018

GamiFIN 2019 in Levi, Lapland.

If you happen to be interested both in awe-inspiring Northern Lights and in understanding how play and games are influencing our culture and everyday life: look no further! You'll get the whole package by submitting a paper to GamiFIN 2019.


GamiFIN is a very Finnish, top-quality conference on gamification, this year at its 3rd edition - and you know how the saying goes: "third time's a charm". That is probably why this edition of GamiFIN won't be in the big southern cities of Finland, but up North, in the snowy region of Lapland, over the Polar Circle, in Levi.
But don't worry! The venue is easy to reach and, no, you won't freeze to death: the conference is held in the comfortable Sokos Hotel up there. On the other hand, you will both get a chance to see the northern lights and to participate in a leading conference on gamification, where your work will gain visibility and you will be meeting other distinguished scholars.

Not sold yet? What if I told you that GamiFIN also allows you to develop your paper towards the dedicated gamification minitrack at HICSS and special issues in journals such as Internet research and Electronic Commerce Research and Application. This means that GAMIFIN Coordinators will work hard to increase the predictability and rigorousness of the peer-review and publication process by providing a concise review continuum and discussion with peers .
What else?
The conference will be held April 8-10, 2019, while the submission deadline is December 10, 2018.
Check the Facebook event and see you in Levi!


 


Friday, 5 October 2018

Ninjago and some strange affinities.


I just saw The Ninjago Lego Movie. Although I enjoyed greatly both The Lego Movie and The Batman Lego Movie, this one wasn't great. It had some moments, but it felt pedantic and slow.
HOWEVER it ha a rather interesting feature: it put together three things I wrote about recently: cats (here), Lego (here and here) and east-west hybrid cities (forthcoming in a book edited by Bruno Surace and Frank Jacob). Fun.

Here, have a cat pic.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

New book:  Viralit√†/Virality.


It took some time, but the book I edited with my pal Gabriele Marino is finally out!
Ever wondered where memes come from and why they spread so easily online? Are you skeptical about the biological metaphors that we use to explain everything that is non-trivial in communication? (we certainly are!) Do you spend far too much time on 9gag or 4chan and you'd wish to pretend it's time well spent in some scientific endeavour? Look no further and read our multi-lingual, interdisciplinary, unmerciful, 550 pages-long issue of Lexia!


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Designing the Future: what Design Fiction can teach to Sustainable Design.


Earth-chan is in a bad shape. The anime girl with coloured hair and a NASA T-shirt represents our planet's dire situation and it's last call for help.
The meme was born as a running joke against flat-Earth theories, where the girl would get offended for people calling her "flat". Soon enough, however, she put aside these mundane concerns and
started to focus on her own health issues - global warming above
all - asking internet users to do more recycling.



Recycling is indeed seen as a possible solution to prevent a planetary disaster without having to change our lifestyle. This year’s Dutch Design Week was crowded with Substainable Design projects dedicate to creatives ways of recycling - the theme of the event was "Good Design for a bad World".
But are we really sure that we can design our way out of the consequences of human pollution? Shahar Livne's Desing Fiction project forces us to ponder on the irremediable changes that human life has already engraved on our planet. An article by Meg Chaltron appeared on Slate explains us why.