GameLoop & GCX

Today was an enjoyable day, taking in Montreal’s annual GameLoop “unconference” — “unconference” in the sense that as a group we crowdsource the sessions for the day, with each session then acting as a salon-type discussion.

After leaving Japan and moving to Montreal, it’s taken a while for me to decide to start attending this sort of event again. It was a big part of my life in Tokyo — from running the PechaKucha Night series there, my PauseTalk series, and then other types of talk events and workshops I organized throughout the years (and then there are all the events that I attended as part of the audience).

But after the move, my new goal was to concentrate on my new career path (working in the games industry) — you could also add to that the lack of knowledge I had about the creative scene here in Montreal. Then, a couple of months ago I finally decided to check out one of the events organized by the Mount-Royal Gaming Society, Art-UP (also prompted by the fact that my friend Renaud Bédard was one of the presenters), and it not only scratched the itch I had to experience this sort of event, it also made me want more, both in terms of attending and in terms of organizing.

It prompted me to reach out to the person (Nicolas Marier) who was organizing the long-in-hiatus PechaKucha Night series in Montreal, and not only did we hit it off on our first meeting, but it looks like things are brewing in a positive way to reactivate the series.

I then attended the Canadian Gaming Expo, with a day of talks that I found to be hugely inspiring (mostly revolving around indie game studios) — and it was nice to see a few of those presenters as participants in today’s GameLoop event.

It’s good to be bathing myself again in this sort of knowledge sharing — something I try to participate in and push at work as well — and I’m hoping that I’ll get to have a hand in organizing and supporting more events here too.

Indie Megashow Tokyo

Alas, Tokyo Game Show is just around the corner, and it’s again going to be something I’m going to miss — along with the legendary pre-TGS 8-4 party and big Nakame drinkup at Otaru — but I’m still happy to see that there’s now a new cool event set for TGS week, organized by my buddies at Dangen Entertainment. Not only that, but the Indie Megashow Tokyo party/event will take place at my old PechaKucha stomping grounds of SuperDeluxe, so you know it’s going to have an awesome vibe (bolstered by live performances from Megaran and DJ Uppercut). You’ll find details here.

Ametora, Japanese Edition

Big congrats to David on getting Ametora released in Japan — it’s available now. He shares a few details about the new Japanese edition in his latest Ametora Dispatches newsletter, and he’ll be doing a “talk event” at Ginza Tsutaya on September 1, with Popeye magazine editor-in-chief Takahiro Kinoshita.

Yayoi Kusama Museum

I’d love to visit the upcoming Yayoi Kusama Museum in Shinjuku, opening in October — not only to take in her work, but the building itself looks quite nice. You’ll find more details in this Spoon & Tamago post.

On a related note, here in Montreal we live near the Musée des Beaux Arts, and this summer they’ve set up an outdoor collection along Sherbrooke street, and we’re lucky enough to have a piece by Kusama near our place (pictured below).

DJ Dougie Jones

Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I’ve done a lot of music-related projects over the years, like my PLAY sessions at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro, and then in more recent years my Codex music podcast. I haven’t done anything in the form of creating mixes or playlists in ages, but recently have been teaming up with one of my colleagues and friends at work, Samya Khemri (who together with me is part of the studio’s Game Online Operations team), in creating playlists in Spotify for internal events at the studio. Since we’re both huge fans of Twin Peaks, we call ourselves DJ Dougie Jones. The first playlist was for a happy hour on the studio’s rooftop terrace, the second playlist we did as a soundtrack for an evening of Cards Against Humanity (that we played in a meeting room), and the third one was for our team’s summer BBQ, that was held last week in a park not far from the studio. These are really fun to make — we basically bounce off each other, track by track — and I love the exercise of listening to something someone else has selected, and then trying to think about what would be fun to follow with. It definitely scratches my music itch.

Designart

I’m very happy to see the arrival of the new Designart (“Design & Art”) festival in Tokyo, set to take place for the first time in October of this year. I’m especially happy because among the founders are Astrid Klein & Mark Dytham, who I of course worked with during my last 6 years in Tokyo. Here’s a Facebook post by Mark talking about the new event.