New York New York

Filed under: Blog in March 11, 2014, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Print This

Monday

It’s 23:00 hours on the first day in New York, and we’re just back from an evening meetup. Just thought we should drop a few lines about what we do here. Adam, Marcus, Tommi and I are in the US for Game Developers Conference 2014 (starting next week) But we decided to make more of the atlantic crossing this year, by stopping in New York to visit all the proper game educations. Parsons, Instititute of Play, University of New York etc. We’re also meeting groups and organizations that are relevant.

So, Parsons have been dodging our attempts to reach them, since January. So first order of business today was to walk over to their new building and talk to meat people. We managed to reach through the reception all the way up to the principal, so she’s putting us in touch with suitable faculty. Hopefully they’ll manage to get their ass in gear by Thursday or Friday.

This evening we visited the New York Open Data-group, near the World Trade Center. They’re all about using technology and visualization to tell stories about publicly available governmental data. They get excited talking about big data, data management, data analysis, data processing and visualization, and they teach R, python, hadoop, processing, D3.js, agile workflow, and etc.

Lots of interesting stuff covered during these talks, but let’s just drop some names and we’ll talk about the content of these presentations when we come home. We got to meet with Chad Pry, who created chicagolobbyists.org, crimechicago.org and opencityapps.org. We’re meeting him again later in the week to talk more about collaborations (today was mostly about what he does). Vivian Zhang founded supstat.com (statistical consulting) and runs the Open Data Group itself. We talked about her possible doing one of her multi-day workshops in data acquisition (eg: screen scraping, APIs, parsing, cleaning, etc) and -analysis for our students.

We’re all alive so far. More t/k.

Tuesday

Today we visited New York University’s Game Center. They offer a Master of Fine Arts in Game Design that’s incredibly similar to our undergraduate degree, in both intention, perspective and execution.

We met with director Frank Lantz, watched some of Eric Zimmerman’s workshop with the MFA students, and walked past the office of Ken Perlin – it was quiet today though. (har. har. har.)

Then we walked here

And then we walked here. 😀

Wednesday

Institute of Play was GENIUS. I’m flying them all over to present at GGC so I won’t spoil it now. GENIUS.

Offices

Thursday

Today we met with one of the co-founder of General Assembly. He took us out for a proper coffee in the morning, but your offensively charming Program Coordinator and Subject Responsible roped this poor man in to a full-on lunch with extra everything. So a long meeting, is what I’m saying. 🙂

GA are offering education, training and community for creative startups in NYC. They do proper full time programs, they do courses, they do one-shot classes and workshops, they work online and offline. They even do “on demand” lectures and deliver them online. It’s incredibly efficient, compared to the more traditional academic structures. And, again, extremely relevant to the MOOC projects Uppsala wants us to get into.

Coffee-making in the US:
Fancy schmancy coffee

We also dropped by (as in; walked in off the street, smooth talked a busy security guard and bolted past a self-closing door into-) the Code Academy headquarters and sat down with their founder tonight. It’s -9 in NYC – thus, jackets. emoticon

They did not expect a delegation from Uppsala University at eight in the evening, but were excited and eager to sit down and chat with us. Cool stuffs.
Codecademy HQ

They’re 20 employees burning through venture funding and looking for monetization strategies like there’s no tomorrow. But codecademy.com is the online classroom we’re looking for.