Sunday, March 04, 2007

Busy, busy

It's not slowing down any, although we have managed to tick one or two things off lists. On the other hand, one or two sneaky little numbers have slipped through cracks in diligence to take their place.

With a long plane trip sequence coming up it was time to make time to download all 14 episodes of Strange Company's Bloodspell machinima movie. The leg from Brisbane to LA is likely to be the only chance for a while to watch it from go to whoa. After an episode during the week involving some colleagues getting knocked back on their request for a SPARC addendum permission for some work they'd done it was nice to see Hugh Hancock and friends positively inviting remixes of their work. Mind you, I'm still smarting from missing the machinima festival last weekend in Melbourne, hosted by the Australian Centre for Moving Images. Many of the biggies of the game were there, including Paul Marino, whose I'm Still Seeing Breen">>I'm Still Seeing Breen would have warranted a trip just to pay homage. But the airplane was headed in the opposite direction at the time. Next year.

But there have been a couple of healthy tick offs to show for the head down time. First, we have got Jim Gee's new book, "Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays on Video Games, Learning and Literacy", off to the printer at Peter Lang. It should be out in 6 weeks or so (in time for AERA). Assembled in a way that resembles games structure and principles -- short and simple at the front, to mucho accumulation at the end, with built in redundancy along the way -- it's a lovely book, and we are thrilled to have it in the series.

Second, the long-running "Handbook of New Literacies Research" has now gone to the publisher for production. The last acts have involved chasing down permissions, as well as Don Leu reconciling varying takes on APA style. (I should know what APA is, and I'll get onto that if I ever graduate beyond Harvardish.) Putting the Handbook together has been a big job for the four editors, but it has come together pretty well. More than 40 people from around the world have come to the party, and the final product has exactly the kinds of diversity we hoped for. It has undergone a publisher metamorphasis in the process, with Erlbaum being acquired by Taylor and Francis a few months back. So the book will come out in a Routledge list.

Meanwhile, hopefully this will be the week for working through the Hugh Hancock "Neverwinternights" machinima tutorial. Nothing like the imminence of a boarding pass to push the envelope.


Have fun with the Neverwinter Nights tutorial. It's a bit outdated - if you have any questions or problems, feel free to raise them over at the BloodSpell site, and we'll try to help.
i'm going to have to dedicate a whole bookshelf for all the books you produce! seriously, so thankful for all you do in guiding/shepherding this work and putting great stuff out there that inspires, confounds, and provokes... :)
Many thanks, Hugh. We will be in touch pretty soon on another issue. We hope the Machinima for Dummies book is going well.
Thanks, LMV. We see our own stuff as pretty modest by comparison with the heavy hitters, but we do give our best shots at trying to help get issues and phenomena onto the literacy agenda that we think should be there. These spaces have to be claimed, as you and lots of our other valued colleagues are doing. Getting in there and having a say in how stuff should be thought about.
I totally echo Imv's comment I think the perspective on literacy you are bringing is extremely important, especially to developing nations. For centuries, the third world has been taught to believe that its people are lazy and developing countries should dictate what is "good". I think the new literacies whether through electronic or other media can bring a new perspective on sharing knowledge, and on the value of people as equal and valuable contributors to the development of knowledge.
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