Update: In Brazil on the 25th

Gonzalo_Frasca_Sao_Carlos_UFSCar I'll be in Sao Paulo by the end of this month. Sao Paulo = Brazil + Great Japanese Food (it doesn't get better than that).

I'm invited by the Federal University of Sao Carlos, and I'll be giving a lecture on Videogames and Communication at the CECH amphitheater at 20h on the 25th. The 26th, I'll give a one-day seminar on Contemporary Game Studies. More information (em portugues) here.

This is the first time I give a lecture in Brazil. A couple of months ago I gave my first in Argentina, too. It's really exciting being able to discuss videogames with people from the region where I grew up. As far as I've seen there's a lot of energy in young developers to push further the local industry. My visit to Argentina was truly great (I'll be back in a couple of months) and I seriously look forward to being in Sao Paulo, the largest, craziest and probably coolest city in South America.

ROBOTS in Seattle!

Robots_web_tout What can I say? I'm happy! In a couple of weeks I'll be attending Casual Connect in Seattle. Even though I'll probably be working non-stop, I was hoping to spend a couple of hours at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum (yup, even the name sounds like a match made in Heaven). So, I fire up their website, only to find out that the have an exhibit on TOY ROBOTS. Literally, it's Xmas in July! I'm looking forward to visiting Seattle (and Atlanta, where I will stop for a couple of days). Even though I lived in Oregon for many years, I've only been to Seattle once, probably in a rush (I did fall in love with Vancouver, B.C., though). But any city that pays hommage to toy robots is definitively my kind of city.

3rd Uruguayan Game Dev Contest

Mime-attachmentWe just launched the 3rd Uruguayan Game Dev Contest, organized by Ingenio (business incubator) and ProAnima (Animation and Game Dev cluster). Everybody residing in Uruguay can participate (sorry Shigeru!) and we'll be announcing some cool prizes really soon. The deadline is November 13th. There'll be a series of talks on game development during the year. The last keynote will be given by Chaim Gingold, who has also kindly accepted to be one of the contest's jury. You can learn more about it at

Lunes y Martes en Buenos Aires

My excuses for my español.

Voy a dar dos charlas en Buenos Aires. El lunes 9 de junio, a las 16.00 horas, daré una charla en el INET (Saavedra 789 1P), sobre Ludología y Pedagogía.
El martes 10 de junio, la charla es a las 19.00 horas en el Auditorio de la Facultad de Comunicación de la UBA, Ramos Mejía 841.
Ambas charlas son abiertas al público, así que espero verlos. Estoy muy contento porque es la primera vez que doy una conferencia en Argentina. Nos vemos!


Wow, GDC was such an overwhelming experience! Keep in mind that I was absent for 4 years and, since then, it became even bigger than it was. I could not attend to many talks since I had quite a bunch of meetings with clients and publishers, but I was lucky enough to attend to pretty good ones.

I would highlight Jane McGonigal's rant, which deeply moved me. Unfortunately I think it did not get the reaction that it deserved but, at least for me, it was the first time that I heard a designer speaking straight from the heart about the importance of play itself in our everyday life. Kudos to Jane, you're my hero!

Margaret Robertson also gave an excellent talk. Her encyclopedic knowledge of games is simply amazing. She picked excellent examples to illustrate her main point, which was how designers must treat players: with love. And she did not mean this as a metaphor, but rather literally. A truly smart presentation, given in plain English and illustrated with right-on examples.

Rod Humble's presentation on The Sims Carnival was also one of the highlights of the conference. The site is still only accessible by invite only but keep an eye on it. It's an online community where players not only can create games but can also modify other people's games. I was delighted when I learned about it, since it's pretty much the same model that I proposed seven years ago in my dissertation Videogames of the Oppressed. At least at first sight, it seems like it would be a great environment for testing my theories on Boalian games (and it was developed on EA's money, which is even better :)

Raph Koster's keynote was a virtuoso technical demonstration of Metaplace. Certainly, it was much more technical than most people would have preferred, but it was amazing to see what the project is coming to: an elegant approach to MMO design where the client is designed using regular web technologies. Incidentally, Raph was one of the very few people who got a chance to take a look at my upcoming commercial project (sorry, it's still secret!) He seemed to have really liked what he played, since he even posted about it.

Overall, this GDC was particularly satisfying to me since I got the chance to meet again many friends that I had not seen for years. And I got a chance to bring Rock Band to my studio (which I'm starting to think it was not such a great idea, since I can hear now from my office some awful version of a Nirvana song... Oh, well, I guess it's just play after all :)

iEnter, Barcelona

If you're not going to GDC, make the jump to Barcelona this February 28th and 29th for iEnter, an event about interactive entertainment (which I guess it's just an academic euphemism for videogames). Espen Aarseth, Miguel Sicart, Gordon Calleja & Aki Jarvinen will be there (in spite of what the program says, I won't be there. I'll be in GDC instead). But if you're around, it certainly looks like it'll be a great event.