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
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.
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.
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.
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