And now for something completely unrelated to COVID-19! Introducing "Quantum Alpaca", a tabletop game that I created together with Giovanni Caruso and the fine folks of Speculative Futures Milan and Dotventi to facilitate the creation of speculative design concepts. This was presented at the Push conference 2019, where I also had the pleasure of holding a speculative workshop while standing literally behind the counter in a bar.

medium.com/milan-speculative-f

OF COURSE someone would try to gamify social distancing in a stupid, simplistic way. Nothing wrong with giving playful incentives, but this is a lazy approach to a difficult challenge.

"Zenly has gamified shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today the app launched its Stay At Home challenge that shows a leaderboard of which friends have spent the most percentage of the last three days in their homes"

techcrunch.com/2020/03/24/zenl

During Covid-19, it's important that we don't stop being critical researchers. Have a look & contribute to this syllabus (still in-becoming) called "Flatten the curve, grow the care: What are we learning from Covid-19"
syllabus.pirate.care/topic/cor

People stressed out by the quarantine, take a look at SelfCare, an "AI companion" for relaxation. It is not a game, a virtual assistant, or a tool, but something that helps people take some time for themselves. If it works, I'll take two of them :-)

truluv.ai/selfcare

Today, my class on designing speculative fiction scenarios about dystopian futures has been postponed due to a viral pandemic outbreak.
I feel like the universe is looking at my design fictions, and says "Hold my beer"

"Calling for a More-Than-Human Politics"
An edited transcript of Anab Jain's talk ‘On Critical Activism and Fungal Revolts’, presented at the Tentacular Festival, November 2019.
medium.com/@anabjain/calling-f

I'm curious to hear about how the coronavirus situation inspires/motivates and initiatives. We keep teaching students that speculation is a lens through with we can investigate fears & desires in society. What's happening now with the corona situation?
Dear colleagues, any relevant examples?

One to get the conversation rolling: Sun Dayong / Penda, and a wearable virus-shield.
instagram.com/p/B8wGAWPp5A_/?u
m.weibo.cn/status/447450241337

people into game studies, have a look at this CfP on "Playable Theatre" from the Well Played Journal. The editors invite proposals of analyses of games that draw from digital games, Big Games, tabletop and live action roleplaying (LARPs) combined with theatrical conventions and methods to create fully immersive, participatory live theatrical events in which the audience plays a substantive role in the experience.
press.etc.cmu.edu/index.php/sp

“Democratic Socialism Simulator”, a political video game by Molleindustria (Paolo Pedercini). I’ve just downloaded it, but given Paolo’s track record I’d just recommend everyone to give it a try.

“The Democratic Socialism Simulator lets you play as the first socialist president of the United States. Can you redistribute power and wealth while addressing the climate crisis?”

molleindustria.itch.io/democra

What I'm reading these days. "As Airbnb grows in Cuba, locals suffer the emotional burden of entitled tourists" by David Nemer. It is an account of the emotional labor experienced by Cubans who deal with the influx of AirBnB tourists while being unused to the social practices of the gig economy. salon.com/2020/02/16/as-airbnb

Cool stuff you should be reading: creative technologist Tomo Kihara explores why Google AI image recognition system "sees" people with darker skin as more violent. He is developing simple games with the Cloud Vision API to push & prod the system, and understand it better. This is a really cool example of what could be called Research Through (Game) Design

medium.com/@kihapper/are-googl

It took awhile to announce it, but Inte Gloerich and I published a meta-speculative piece titled "Take root among the stars: if Octavia Butler wrote design fiction" where we explore an alternate reality where and were kick-started by an African-American woman instead than a lot of white dudes (with all due respect) interactions.acm.org/archive/v

The California Sunday magazine has a really well-written in-depth exploration of and related worries:
"From iPhones and Snapchat filters to airport check-ins and smart doorbells, facial recognition has entered into our everyday, as has the anxiety surrounding it. Here, a look at how facial recognition works, who’s relying on it, and for those truly concerned, how to avoid it."
story.californiasunday.com/fac

Mozilla just launched With Great Tech Comes Great Responsibility, a guide for college students and anyone wanting to enter the tech industry to help navigate issues and rights in the tech. This guide has background on the history of tech organizing and advice from academics, current and former tech workers, and others on how to grapple with challenging choices.
foundation.mozilla.org/en/blog

This is a great initiative worth supporting! Research Summer School for Designing Technology for Social Impact, targeted to underrepresented minorities. If you are a student, please apply and tell your friends; if you're a faculty member, please send this opportunity to students you know.

(the call requires applicant to be residents of USA or Canada, I assume for visa issues. Maybe contact organizers for options?)

impact.infosci.cornell.edu/

Things I'm reading these days: E. Giaccardi "Histories and Futures of Research through Design: From Prototypes to Connected Things"
'This article discusses how the artifact of Research through Design (RtD) is changing due to data technology. The article firstly reviews the role of the prototype in RtD traditions. It then describes the move of RtD to data-enabled practices to offer a conceptualization of artifacts as connected things.'
ijdesign.org/index.php/IJDesig

Folks into (or just good old sci-fi) have a look at this post about how writers from the '80s and '90s envisioned the 2020s
onezero.medium.com/how-science

Folks interested in , , and interacting with non-domesticated creatures on their own terms, have a look at the open access Dinacon book dinacon.org/2018/11/02/book/
Dinacon is a crazy experimental conference in the jungle in Panama!

A PhD position to develop a "Swimming markup language"? In New Zealand? I clearly chose something wrong in my career...

"Swimming is one of the healthiest workouts and tracking one’s progress is a great motivator. However, sharing swim workout sets and viewing these on today’s wide range of available displays remains difficult. [...] This project aims to develop and test a Swimming Markup Language (SwimML) as an enabling technology to standardize swim training sets."

findaphd.com/phds/project/swim

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