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December 18, 2008

Deferring required reading until September: Huizinga, Callois, Sutton-Smith, Bakhtin

The desert island strategy of our sabbatical adventure is enforcing some economies of space and weight. I had planned to catch up on required reading for the game field, namely Huizinga, Callois, and Sutton-Smith. Authors whose arguments I should be familiar with in detail. Alone they don't weigh much, nor are they too large. I have added to that short list two works of Bakhtin that have become relevant to the idea of play as a conversation or a dialogue - ideas reinforced recently by Hugh Dubberly and Ivan Alex Gämes. These five books are modest in size and weight collectively and individually, but the moveable library doesn't end there.

There are three technical books that I must take. I am going to take Head First Java and Processing. Both are physically heavy and large. I am also taking a pattern book for handcrafting felt plush dolls.

Further, as thematic reference and inspiration I am taking One River by Wade Davis, and Fictions by Borges. My editions of both of these are large but not physically heavy.

In order to prepare for a class that I am scheduled to teach upon my return, I must take a small and heavy design survey text.

Throw in a magazine and the Build A Game cards created by Tilt Factor, and we have close to twenty pounds of paper-based texts. A single piece of luggage cannot exceed fifty pounds, and I am limited to two such pieces. This is a hard limitation that we have cross verified with the airlines. For this holiday season they have implemented a strict embargo. No one will be forgiven an extra ounce, not even for a penalty fee.

So I'm considering leaving the Bakhtin, Sutton-Smith, Callois, Huizinga behind, with no small amount of guilt. Sacrificing the reading material will ensure that I can carry the drawing material and the electronic gear, which I haven't weighed, yet.

[UPDATE 2008.12.20: after a gentle and friendly rebuke by David Thomas I've decided to take the book by Sutton-Smith with me.]

Posted by SWEAT at December 18, 2008 02:00 PM