Tuesday, March 4
Last night I slept all night, and got up five minutes early. Naa was also awake and we left before the cat got round to complaining about the lack of breakfast options.
I spent the morning with the Social Gaming crew. They were supposed to have come up with a rock solid idea for a game that would form the staff into teams for Arcada Day. They hadn’t. They said this was a “hard task”. I offered them the choice of an even harder essay examination as a way of finishing the course. The problem turned out to be, in my view, that they were thinking too hard.
At 10:00 I said we would start again from scratch and see if we could come up with a game idea that we could turn into a fully functional game in the remaining two mornings of the course. Somehow it worked, and by midday we had a game concept, and a set of tasks that everyone agreed they could do before we meet again on Thursday. We moved in stages from an online game to a mobile app, to a mobile app that used the framework we had already built during the Mobile Apps course, to the realisation that a game and a story could be the same thing, and by the time we had finished everyone in the room was enthused, and believed we could do it.
I spent the afternoon looking again at the framework we had built to make sure I wasn’t about to get any nasty surprises, and then I left for a dinner in the city with the board of Pixelache.
I am in the centre about thirty minutes early and so, on a whim, I decide to have a look at the main railway station which I haven’t seen for a year or two. I get a shock. The Eliel restaurant, which has been there for decades, has become a Burger King; a cavernous, cathedral-like Burger King in which both the customers and the illuminated images of Whoppers seem dwarfed.
I leave the station and walk past Academic Bookshop where I get my second shock in ten minutes. The front corner of the bookshop, where the magazines are displayed, has become a Starbucks. By the time I get to the Chinese restaurant I will be ready to accept anything. Perhaps the Swedish Theatre is a roller derby rink.
We will eat in Dong Bei Hu, off Esplanadi, where my main course will be fried pork and beans. The beans will turn out to be runner beans, and the sauce will turn out to be filled with hot chilli. I will sit opposite Samir Bhowmik, who is originally from Calcutta, and we will talk about Indian paper bags and how this kind of direct-action recycling has very different consequences to the top-down recycling we practise in Finland.
For some reason that I won’t be able to put my finger on, the walk from Esplanadi to the railway station will make me think about Auo, and I will continue thinking about her most of the way home.