Last autumn and during the winter I participated in many a seminar where I was asked to hold speeches. This is nothing out of the ordinary – normally, in an academic conference, we are expected to be able to verbalise our research processes and results to the audience. The cases I am talking about, however, were more along the lines of popularising “science” (I write that in quotation marks since I do not see myself as a scientist. A researcher, yes, and academic, definitely, but not a scientist.). Since these occasions can never really be put to use in a CV, and they are not really appreciated in the academic world, I thought it might be interesting to save them here for posterity.
The first two were in Finnish, and took place in the autumn of 2014. The first of these was in a closing seminar of the Pelaten terveeks? -project I wrote earlier about. The next one was during the concluding seminar of the Pelitaito -project in Helsinki. My topic there was communality and communities in games, with a special focus on emergent player behaviour. The whole event was streamed online, with around 100 people in the audience, and some hundreds more online.
The last speech was done in English, and was delivered during the TEDx-event here in Jyväskylä. The organisers did a really nice job putting together an interesting ensemble. The space was nice, and the atmosphere was cozy. In this speech I talked about the power of games and a gameful attitude in opening people up for learning about computers. What I see so often when talking to students is the attitude that technology is not for them. What I also see is that the few courses they take are not nearly enough to provide them with the necessary know-how required in today’s technology-driven media landscape. A video of the talk can be found here. Unfortunately, while the video quality is good, they did not have microphones for the audience. This is a shame since I managed to get the audience going a couple of times, and the feel of the situation suffers from the lack of murmur on the background. Well, anyway it was a nice occasion!
Situations like these provide wonderful opportunities for honing one’s public speaking skills, and I am quite happy to take on challenges like the TEDx-talk. Scary they may be, but one always ends up learning a lot from them.