Friday, June 29
dailyml place=”Botteskerkpark” year=”2018″ month=”06″ day=”29″ time=”8:30″]
I woke up bright and early, having woken twice in the night, dreaming each time about a problem facing me as one of the Grateful Dead’s road crew.
Every morning as I walk to the tram I walk over a small bridge over an equally small canal. On either side I can see a row of terraced houses. Each of them has a small jetty in the canal, and some houses have their own boat moored there. I like the idea of owning a boat in a city that has a network of watery roads for it.
This morning I find myself watching a Japanese research student explaining Wildcat Jump. This is an immersive, interactive game that solves the problem of how to allow children to interact with wild animals that will either hide from them, or try to hurt them, in real life. The “game” uses a Konnect sensor from an X-Box. It uses this to record the child’s movement as they jump up and down on a mat. As they do this the computer matches their movement to the movement of a wildcat. A cartoon wildcat then jumps as high as they do on a big projected screen on the wall in front of the child.
As a result of this the child can see that the wildcat jumps as high as they do. As a biproduct of doing this they also simulate being in a 1980s Commodore 64 game. How does this count as allowing children to interact with wild animals (except in the most trivial and boneheadedly literal way)? Why does this count as research?
The following presentation will discuss fantasy prone personality research in the context of an experiment which again seeks to prove the obvious. In this case we will find out whether people will have more, or richer, fantasies if they play for thirty minutes in a narrative fantasy virtual world, or in a virtual world designed “realistically”.
We will learn that a virtual world designed to stimulate fantasy will stimulate fantasy more than one designed for a different purpose. All I will think of to say is “Well, blow me down with a feather, Skipper”, and I will decide not to say it.
The third speaker at the session will not turn up, so I will stand by the only exit and make a suggestion, which nobody can refuse. I will thus finish the morning by unilaterally performing my pecha kucha to just over a dozen surprised but mostly delighted people. It will raise more questions than my official presentation and the second presenter and I will end up having an interesting conversation.
The conference will finish at 14:45 with a lunch and some prize-giving. I will say goodbye to Roni, and then walk around the centre looking for a place to buy some souvenir cheeses. I will walk around Amsterdam centre for almost two hours, finishing at Dam Square.
I will recognise enough to walk confidently to the stop for the 17 tram, and twenty minutes later I will arrive back at the hotel. I will decide to eat there tonight and order a beer, a bowl of homemade tomato soup, and a cheeseburger that looks and tastes much better than I had expected.
Later in the evening I will shower, pack, and book a train ticket online from Centraal to Schiphol for 5.40€.
I will set my alarm for 7:30 and go to sleep at 22:40.