How I’ll Spend My Summer Vacation

OR, why one ought not expect the frequency of posts around here to increase.

I’ve dropped cryptic hints here and there, but I can now announce three happy chunks of news, each one about a fun and challenging project that will be occupying me for the next few months, possibly years, and in one case probably decades.

First: Bill Turkel and I, along with Brock University’s Kevin Kee and some great collaborators, have been awarded a generous grant for a project entitled “History at Play: Augmented Reality Gaming and the Ubiquitous Past.” The grant comes from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) as part of their Image, Text, Sound, and Technology (ITST) initiative. Basically, we will be using games and gaming models to teach some Canadian and American history and to promote public heritage sites. I’d love to say more about the cool stuff we are planning, but I am mindful of Bill’s injunction to at least cut a demo before posing with a guitar. So this summer we’ll be cutting our demo. I’ve sometimes been reluctant to cross the streams of my history day job and my gaming hobby, but I feel like this is a project I was built to do.

Second: In the fall, my family and I will be heading to Salt Lake City, where I’ll be a visiting professor for one semester at the University of Utah. I’m going to be cross-appointed in the History and Communication Departments. (We’ll be back in London come January.) I’ll be teaching one graduate seminar in Media History, but mostly I’ll be there to build on and extend the conversations that began at the terrific Frontiers of New Media Symposium in September 2007. I just got back from another visit there, and every time I am bowled over by the gracious hospitality of the folks at the U and the stunning natural beauty of the place.

But our biggest, best, and scariest news is this: a new baby! And soon, too. The due date is in early to mid May. Lisa is looking and doing great; the Arrival is kicking up a storm; the Ukelele is cautiously pessimistic about becoming a big sister. Cramming all this good news into one post, I feel I should touch wood or throw salt over my shoulder or something. Not because I expect something bad to happen, just so that the universe knows that I know what a lucky guy I am. And I do.

p.s. Speaking of gratitude, Happy Passover.


  1. Congratulations!

    “I’ll be a visiting professor for one semester at the University of Utah.”

    oooh! You totally have to run some games of “Dogs in the Vineyard” for the gamers out there. 🙂

  2. Wow, you guys play it close to the chest there, huh? You didn’t even give me time to make new hats. D: But congratulations!

  3. Yawn. Nothing about robots?

    Kidding! This is an incredible slate of news–congrats on so many things!

  4. Wow — you are going to be, as my dad would say, busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. In a good way. (Two kids instantly outnumber two parents, by the way. Congrats!)

  5. Congratulations on the baby – though I think this info was leaked to me earlier by an unnamed and mysterious source. And again, I’m stoked to hear your thoughts on Utah and all the things that come with it. Lastly, the passover blog you linked to was amazing. I wish I had seen it sooner! …so how bout that space race, huh?

  6. Hey, this is great news! [Isn’t it funny how exciting events seem to cluster together in our lives?] Sounds like you’ll be (more) busy very soon!

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