Jesper Juul on Gamers on Game

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Leading Game Theorist and Author of the website and book, Half-Real, Jesper Juul was on Gamers on Game September 26, 2011 to talk about what are games, the impact of failure and do-overs in games, time in association with games and the future of game theory.  He called in from New York City.  Jesper is a researcher at the Danish Design School and an affiliate at New York University Game Center.

The website and book, published by MIT Press in 2005, Half-Real, work in tandem with each-other. In the website, Jesper has a a dictionary of video game theory. With the dictionary, he hopes to provide a resource for students, researchers, teachers, and game players looking for terminological clarifications and pointers to further reading.

Along with being an author, Jesper has a blog, the Ludologist, is a teacher, lecturer, and gives talks about:

  • General video game theory
  • Rules and fiction in video games
  • Games and storytelling
  • Time in games
  • Games and other media
  • Video game design (including practical exercises)
  • The future of video game theory

I came to know Jesper in 2007 when I was first researching video games and game theory. His dictionary was a boom to my studies and has the best definition of “games” that I found. The sentence should be seen as an evolution of game theory and is shown at the end after 7 other definitions such as Huzinga’s from 1950 .

Here is Jesper’s definition from chapter 2 of Half-Real:
“A game is a rule-based system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels emotionally attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are optional and negotiable.”

During the show we discussed each clause of this long and important sentence.

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog92511.mp3″ title=”Jesper Juul” graphical=”true”]

Robert Sward on Artist on Art

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Robert Sward came into KZSC on September 26, 2011 to talk with Nada in celebration of the publication by Red Hen Press, “New & Selected Poems 1957-2011” by Robert Sward, work culled from his newest and best, including both previously unpublished poems and selections from his 20+ books of poetry. It is the definitive Sward collection, exhibiting throughout his signature style: outwardly zany and fanciful, but inwardly serious, troubled, and questioning. They cover the territory Sward has tread so well-love, divorce, multiple marriage, aging, loss, and the challenge of bringing up children in a highly unstable world-in his lifelong search for the liberating illumination of IT.

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/aoa92511.mp3″ title=”Jesper Juul” graphical=”true”]

Here is a video of our interview.

Ralph Abraham on Gamers on Game

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Local world-renowned chaos theorist, UCSC Professor of Mathematics, Ralph Abraham came on to the show to talk about using games and computer technology to educate and help the world. He is currently working on a project using agent based modeling in the classroom (middle & high school).

I first met Professor Abraham in the summer of 2008 when I was greatly concerned about my archaic computer skills for his upcoming class, DANM 220, Computer Programming for the Arts. He told me not to worry even though I hadn’t taken a computer class in over 20 years and he was correct. I had a wonderful time and learned a great deal specifically around a programming language and easy game development entitled the freeware, NetLogo. Ralph showed us the technique of dissecting for learning computer programming. Not only is Ralph brilliant and has consistently pushed active on the research frontier of dynamics, he is able to teach complex theories and higher mathematics to elementary students all the way to graduate university students.

Ralph has been Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Santa Cruz since 1968. He received the Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1960, with a thesis in tensor calculus and applied differential geometry. He is the author of more than 20 texts.  One his newest books, Bolts from the Blue, The Co-Evolution of Arts and Mathematics, Ralph lectured at UCSC in 2009. The entire lecture is on YouTube. I highly recommend watching it.

Here’s a little video  we took outside of KZSC  right before our show:

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog91911.mp3″ title=”Ralph Abraham” graphical=”true”]

Ray Gwyn Smith

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Local painter, multi-media artist, Ray Gwyn Smith came into KZSC for Artist on Art on September 19, 2011 to talk with me, Nada Miljkovic, about her upcoming participation in this year’s Open Studio Art Tour, where artists across the Santa Cruz County open up their studios and homes to the public.

I found this quote on the Ray’s website that I think wonderfully encapulates her paintings, particularly the one to the left.

“My work comes through my life, and I live my life engaged with nature with a reverence instinctive as breath. Balanced on the edge of knowing and not knowing. And so I would have my painting, color — a visual chord, a gesture of movement, prayer to the passing moment. This particular fall of light, a homage to enchantment, a freeing — excantare.

That last word means to charm out, bring forth by incantation. It’s the perfect word for the painting and Ray’s approach to painting. Ray explained how she found this word during our interview.

Prior to coming to Santa Cruz County and During the period between 1967-1971, Ray lived in Los Angeles, painted professionally and exhibited in numerous galleries. Solo large scale works included in various juried shows such as The Younger Artist Exhibit, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, several shows on La Cienega Boulevard, including one woman show at The Molly Barnes Gallery 1969. She organized and taught art in independent and public workshops. Took a year off to travel and paint in 1971 to the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, England, India, and Nepal, before Moving back to Santa Cruz, CA and eventually settling in Bonny Doon, CA, and establishing her current art studio on the edge of Wilder State Park.

Ray has partaken and will be partaking in this year’s Open Studio, the art tour put on every year by our CCSCC.

The tour dates are:
October 1st & 2nd for the North County which is north of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor,
October 8th & 9th for the South County which is south of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and October 15th & 16th which is the Encore weekend for those artists that want to do it in both North & South County. The New Studios Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To find out where all the artists will be showing, purchase an art tour guide and calendar at many participating stores and outlets across the County.

Ray will be participating in the first weekend only.

 

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the grey ‘play’ button below:
[haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/aoa91911.mp3″ title=”Ray Gwyn Smith” graphical=”true”]

Christopher Molla

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Multi-media artist and 2010 DANM alumnus, Chris Molla came into KZSC to talk about his newest adventures with partner Jessica Faith Hayden.

Chris is a musical composer, teacher and  former member of Camper Van Beethoven.  Jess is a theatrical performer/writer/interactive object creator. They are both amazing artists doing wonderful participatory collaborative new media art. After graduating from UCSC with their MFAs, Chris and Jess took off across country and through the desert looking to get a start as artists.

Their newest endeavors involve starting a new gallery, Silver Street Contemporary Gallery, in Tucson Arizona. Their first exhibition will be October 22 through December 3 entitled The Deeds and Suffering of Light comprised of photographs taken by Chris and Jessica. Chris described his images as photographs approached in a painterly fashion and Jessica’s concerned with the macro lens.

The Silver Street Contemporary Gallery is just coming into being through a new art collective, Monterey Court found at 505 West Miracle Mile, Tucson, Arizona. The space originated from in late 40s and early 50s when motor courts were in vogue and populated routes throughout the Western States. After the advent of cheap hotels, motor-courts fell out of style and lay wasted. Monterey Court is repurposing their motor-court into a group of galleries. Chris also mentioned another interesting art gallery concept found in an organization, Axle Contemporary. They use a big moving van as their roving galleries on wheels for showing paintings and works on paper.

Here’s a little video we took right before the show:

To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the grey ‘play’ button:
[haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/aoa91211.mp3″ title=”Chris Molla” graphical=”true”]

Robert Sward’s Begins His Book Tour

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Local poet, Robert Sward begins his book tour for his newest book, New & Selected Poems 1957-2011, September 14, 2011 in Sausalito.

The material for the Robert’s new book is culled from his newest and best, including both previously unpublished poems and selections from his 20+ books of poetry. It is the definitive Sward collection, exhibiting throughout his signature style: outwardly zany and fanciful, but inwardly serious, troubled, and questioning. They cover the territory Sward has tread so well-love, divorce, multiple marriage, aging, loss, and the challenge of bringing up children in a highly unstable world-in his lifelong search for the liberating illumination of IT.

The publication by Red Hen Press is scheduled for October 1, 2011. Pre-orders are available from www.redhen.org. In celebration, Robert will be on Artist on Art September 26, 2011.

The book cover art is beautiful using a painting by his partner, Gloria Alford, entitled “Words, Words’ Words.”

Here’s a little video of Robert and Gloria took right before our show back in May of this year:

Mike Muldoon

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Local Programmer, Code Monkey, and Role Player,  Mike Muldoon came into the KZSC studio for Gamers on Game to save the day.

Mike is one of the founders and CEO of Infrno.net, a website dedicated to finding other gamers throughout the world and a platform for playing paper and pencil role-playing games by using online tools. We talked about his passions, Nerdery, Gaming and Eduction.

Mike and I met at NextSpace Santa Cruz back in 2009 just as he was creating the code for the Infrno Platform which launched a little over a year ago.  Since the launch, Infrno has nearly 5000 world-wide players, video conferencing and whiteboard with logged in over 13,000 hours of game play.

It was a great pleasure to speak with him about the evolution of Infrno and his next big project using the Infrno Platform to help make the world a better place through using games and game dynamics for education.  The inspiration came from a GenCon game entitled National Security Decision Making involving over 100 people that play for 12 hours straight.

This made me think of a serious game created in 2007 entitled, PeaceMaker involving  bringing peace to the Middle East or the agony of plunging the region into disaster.

Infrno Con 3 will be happening October 1st with two 4 hour slots for playing D&D, Pathfinder, Inspectors, Fiasco – Based on Coen Brothers.

Here’s a quick video we took right after our radio interview.

[haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog91211.mp3″ title=”Mike Muldoon ” graphical=”true”]

Ben Mears – Noesis Interactive

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For the August 29, 2011 Gamers on Game radio show Production Lead for the local Santa Cruz company Noesis Interactive and Design 3, Ben Mears came into the studio to talk about the company and their unique business model, teaching individuals and institutions how to make video games through a virtual on-line library of over 1500 tutorials.

During our interview Ben spoke of how Noesis Interactive came into being back in 2006 teaching modding and evolved into Design 3 a subscription based on-line education video plan that teaches Unity, Source, UDK, 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, Photoshop, and more with new tutorials added weekly.

Design 3 takes a person from beginning to end with instruction for every aspect of video game design from concept to marketing the finished product.

To see their free tutorials and interviews with game designing celebrities, they have a YouTube channel, design3channel.

To hear our show in its entirety, please click on the play button below.
[haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog82911.mp3″ title=”Ben Mears” graphical=”true”]

Here is our show videotaped:

Limbic Software on Gamers on Game

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Limbic Software is an incredibly successful independent entertainment company currently focused on the iOS platform. It was a great pleasure interviewing Arash Keshmirian, Iman Mostafavi and Srban Porumbescu. The three (out of four core team) came to Santa Cruz to speak at the monthly E-Games Gathering this past August 25th.

Limbic was founded in 2008 by UCSD computer scientists, Arash, Iman, and Volker Schönefeld; three entrepreneurs with big dreams for mobile gaming.

Their award-winning debut title, TowerMadness, launched in 2009 and has been to the top of the free app rankings three times and has over 6 million downloads. Craftsmanship and a commitment to improving the player’s overall gaming experience have won them legions of dedicated fans across the world.


In Summer 2011, Limbic released two new titles, Nuts! and Zombie Gunship.  These guys make the games that they want to play.  This is a bit puzzling to the venture capitalists in Silicon Valley but that is what makes these games so fun to play.

To hear our show in its entirety, please click on the play button below.
[haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/gog9511.mp3″ title=”Limbic Software” graphical=”true”]

Micah Ofstedahl

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Micah Ofstedahl is a local multi-media artist that is currently painting and drawing surreal images of the microscopic on a macroscopic level. I had the pleasure of seeing his work a few months ago at the Windmill Cafe. His images are unforgettable.

Micah will be participating in this year’s 26th Annual Open Studios Art Tour put on by the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County for the second time.  You will be able to see Micah’s work along with three other artists in a studio on Graham Hill Road.

The tour dates are:
October 1st & 2nd  for the  North County  which is north of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, October 8th & 9th for the South County which is south of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and October 15th & 16th which is the Encore weekend for those artists that want to do it in both North & South County. The New Studios Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To find out where all the artists will be showing, purchase an art tour guide and calendar at many participating stores and outlets across the County. 

To hear our show in its entirety, please click on the play button below.
[haiku url=”http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/miljkovicaudio/old_public_html/nada/aoa9511.mp3″ title=”Micah Ofstedahl” graphical=”true”]

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