Thursday, May 29, 2003

DAC03 laid to rest
Today I have been looking through some of the published experiences from DAC 2003 in Melbourne. I have blogged my experiences in the official DAC blog, while others have posted their experiences and summaries in their own sites. Nick Montfort writes a great summary in GrandTextAuto, Noah Wardrip-Fruin has a short note in his blog, Jill Walker has a quick comment in Jill/txt and Lisbeth Klastrup is just happy to be home in lush, green spring Denmark.

Perhaps the most striking experience with DAC was that it has grown out of our hands and belong to more people than what was once a small, loose group of scholars with some common interests. There were high expectations to this conference. People came to it with intent beyond the hope that perhaps somebody might take an interest in their work. And I have to say: some of these expectations had been shaped by the fact that the game studies people would be there. Games were very much the topic, and yes, we were perhaps a little surprised by how deeply the concept of game studies had penetrated academia in Australia. This surprise was so pronounced that both Susana Tosca and Lisbeth Klastrup felt compelled to comment on it in the conference blog (Susana's and Lisbeth's comments).

There has been a lot of talk about the next possible DAC, and Noah mentions the possibility of a DAC workshop next summer in New York, a very convenient venue from Europe. I will certainly attempt to be there. Jill and I have aired the possibility of having DAC back in Bergen in 2005, sharing the work as well as the glory, but that is nothing but ideas yet. Although I did tell Noah that I don't have fantasies, I only I have plans, I have to admit that not all plans of mine bear fruit and I am notoriusly bad at finding funding. So please, if anybody have ideas about where and when to arrange the next DAC, no decision has been made about that yet.

I do feel invigorated by the trip and the conference though. It seems like what I needed was to go to the other side of the planet, immerse myself in a lot of other people's ideas, thoughts and lives, spend two weeks sleep deprived and read a lot of trashy fantasy and science fiction on airplanes. I no longer wake up at night with panic attacks over the thesis, I can count to ten without using my fingers, and the word "writing" does not make me burst into tears. For me, DAC03 has been the shot I needed to get back on track... or get off it.

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