29 Days Later

Although we have a leap year, and were gifted an additional day in February, that month went by rather quickly. I spent the time mostly by either being with friends, or working on my dissertation project. I still try not to engage with any projects or topics that don’t fit (can’t be made fit) into my thesis, and I believe it pays off.

Next to caring for the apartment, the plants and the isopods, the only thing that I couldn’t let go was to work on some games for the micro:bit. I had several of them lying around at home, leftovers from two workshops I gave. They’re even easier and funnier than an Arduino, since they already bring some sensors with and can be programmed in Python, JavaScript or even Scratch. I love them. So, I guessed, why not make an auto-ethnographic mini-project where I create video games within limits, you know, like they did in the 80ies. Of course, this is not comparable, but I had a good amount of fun.

For starters, I tried to recreate some classics - Tetris, a generic shmup and snake. It was really fun to think through the design constraints of a 5x5 pixel display and having only two buttons! Now I’m thinking about a micro:rogue 👀 (me on mastodon)

The games’ code is available in a git repository. Some notes from the development process.

I also saw some movies in cinema the past few weeks. Among which, Zone of Interest and Memoria. Both will haunt me for a while. Zone of Interest, in the spirit of Hannah Arendt’s Banality of Evil,

[…] follows the German Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig as they strive to build a dream life for their family in a home next to the Auschwitz concentration camp. (Wikipedia)Ludens blog

Enough said. The film is brilliant and unforgiving. Memoria is also challenging to watch, but on another level. Watching Tilda Swinton being confused for two hours straight made me beyond uncomfortable and uneasy. The film is beautiful to watch and has hints of narrative that can be interpreted towards meaningful reflection. But Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 5-minute scenes1 are just pretty tough to chew on.

I was very much hooked on the hypnotic sounds of woodwork by pä and Discorde by Megabasse. Not sure what they do exactly, but I really like listening to them while working on my laptop. There is something about drone or ambient2 that just does it to me. I started to listen more to NTS these days, they’ve got some awesome stuff going on. To get some more activation, I relied on shows like Word of Command and TRAVS PRESENTS. And then there is my new favorite discovery of Mohammad Syfkhan - I Am Kurdish, which is pretty energetic as well. The last one makes me want to have summer while driving a car blasting the album.

It’s ok that time passed quickly, and it’s ok that I can’t follow any rabbit hole that I want. And, I guess that I experience that ok means that I’m pretty fulfilled by working on my thesis. I’m actually looking forward to writing my next post for the Ludens blog on working with Wikidata.

  1. Also see Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives↩︎

  2. Yes for SOPHIA ZHURAVKOVA 28th January 2024 | Listen on NTS↩︎