Friday, October 14, 2011

Lecturing @ Berlin's Technical University

“You were predestined for this, Jeff,” Hartmut wrote in a reply to an email sent out to several Berlin game designers.  It was a request from Berlin’s Technical University.  Their first-year architecture students were beginning the semester with a project on board game design, and they were looking for a game designer to give a lecture on the subject.  The faculty had contacted the Spieleautorenzunft (Game Designer’s Association) which, in turn, forwarded the request to me and the other Berlin members of the organization.  The problem was that the semester would begin the same week as the Essen SPIEL game fair, which all of us were attending.  “They are not flexible in the date of the lecture,” the email read.  But , thanks to Hartmut’s comment, I decided to see if I could convince them otherwise.  After all, who would be better to lecture to architecture students about game design than a former architect who was now a game designer? After writing to the faculty, they agreed and postponed the lecture to the week after Essen.

I enjoy the academic atmosphere so much that I could easily envision a career as a university professor—or, at least, as a professional student.  And nothing excites me more in a university than perusing the architecture studios, meeting young students from all over the world honing their creative skills, as I squeeze in between the myriad of drawings and models that are always a “work in progress."  Finally, it is especially exhilerating to see the wide diversity of design solutions that are brought out for the final presentations.  In fact, I enjoy attending the Goettingen Game Designer’s Meeting for the very reason that it reminds me of the studio setting.

And so I now have the unexpected privilege of lecturing to architecture students about the architecture of game design.  The title is, appropriately, "The Architecture of Play:  An Inescapable Art."

I could also call it "the best of both worlds."

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