Sometimes, going away can feel like going home. For years, I have been going to international conferences, and have found some in which I feel like home. The Digital Arts and Culture conferences, the Internet Research Conferences, the different game research conferences such as State of Play and DiGRA, these are places where I can expect to meet the people who understand what I talk about, what I think of, and the choices which have led me to where I am as a scholar and also a person.
But sometimes it’s possible to get much more home than that. Today I am in the 13th Norwegian Media research Union’s conference in Lillehammer. It’s a biannual conference, so this has been running for 26 years, so if my maths is right the first one should be in 1982. I started in media studies in 1984. Over the 24 years since that I have studied with, worked with, argued with and laughed with a very large portion of those present here. We have aged and grown and developed in different directions, and more have come to. But that is some of what coming home is like: To return to the familiar place, that which we expect to be unchanged, and find that it both is and is not the same.