Members of the consortium discuss the project

Kicking off in Barcelona

In the middle of December, while Northern Europe was being ravaged by – globally speaking – light rain and a breeze, the consortium behind the GameBiz Erasmus+ project had their first meeting in a Barcelona exposed to weather that can only be described as “a perfect spring day in Denmark”.

 

The GameBiz Project

Lead partner Viden Djurs - represented by Mikkel Fledelius Jensen - outlines the framework of the project
Lead partner Viden Djurs – represented by Mikkel Fledelius Jensen – outlines the framework of the project

Under the auspices of the Danish lead partner Viden Djurs, the project brings together the Dutch university of HKU, the Spanish University of ENTI, the University of Malta, Bournemouth University of the UK, the Danish Dania Academy of Higher Education and the digital game company incubator Dutch Game Garden to map out strategies to effectively build infrastructures to assist students in becoming successful game entrepreneurs.

At the first meeting – situated at the beautiful theological faculty of the University of Barcelona, where ENTI is located – plans were made for how a model would be constructed to incorporate the unique knowledge of the various partners. Through workshops organised by the Dutch Game Garden, teachers from the participating institutions will gain invaluable knowledge on the structure of successful incubators, while they themselves will contribute insights on how the incubating experience can be integrated with the demanding life of a student in the 21st Century.

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The goal is to construct a model that is modifiable not only from country to country, but for different levels of education. Module-based, it should ideally allow teachers across Europe to adapt the model easily to their own upper secondary or higher education institutions, although the model is expected to appeal mostly to TVET- or practically-oriented educations in a broad sense.

Cultural exchange

In addition to the business of working in a project, one of the beauties of the EU system is the meetings across borders and the rich cultural variance in Europe. Although the people of this old world have many things in common, there is always a spice of difference whenever different nationalities meet.

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Members of the GameBiz consortium exchange cultural quips in the sun

During lunch on the first day, the conversation turned to the difference in perceptions of time and urgency between Northern and Southern Europe, and the loyal scribe taking the minutes from the meeting produced a poetic summation, that we feel confident in sharing here as an example of the cultural byproducts that populate these kinds of projects:

 

Time and Urgency in the Old World

 

Time is different way down South

than in the coughing North

in Spain long moments have some clout

in Denmark we get bored

 

Northern Europe has this thing

efficiency is king

the noble art of scheduling

can cause the Dutch to sing

and anglo-saxons have a fling

with legalese and legaling

but this stability can bring

such confidence and comforting

 

Southern Europe takes it slow

they think and think before they go

and all the Maltese Falcons know

you take your aim before you throw

yet from this calm ideas can flow

like arrows from an elven bow

so sure, we’re late, but don’t you know

the first one in is first to go?

 

we meet across this continent

to make it even better

with time and plans and condiments

there’s nothing we can’t weather

 

so North and South (and Greenwich Mean)

don’t capture time, just free it

and say like dear old Augustine:

“I know it when I see it.”

 

***

 

The project will run all through 2015 and until the fall of 2016 and this is the place to go for stories about the workshops, partner meetings, incubators, student companies, poetry, and games related to the project.

Oh, and month-old European weather updates, of course!

-Mikkel Lodahl, Associate Professor at Dania Academy of Higher Education

Institute Director of Institute for Danish Game Development at Erhvervsakademi Dania

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