Light House Media Centre Events – Why hasn't Birmingham got a place with as diverse and exciting a programme of events as the Light House in Wolverhampton? Gallery, bar, training, events and most of all a superb cinema line-up. Buster Keaton's The Navigator with live organ accompaniment – 25th Sept.
A week in a dull, foggy and sometimes drizzly north Devon has left me invigorated on the running front. We had a four day break in a caravan near Woolacombe Bay which was lovely bar the weather (total sunshine in four days: about 45 minutes). It was great for running in however and I managed three runs in successive days – a rare event for me.
Day one saw me dropping down from the caravan park to the beach and then back along the dunes – about 5 miles. The next day I got lost in some woods and then found myself trying to get back via the coastal path from a tiny place called Lee. I only covered about 7 miles but it took me over an hour with lots of tough climbs. My final run took me along the famous Ilfracombe Branch Line except that I went too far and a planned 40 minute run ended up being 75 minutes.
Despite getting lost I can heartily recommend Croyde Cycle maps as the most detailed way to find your way around that bit of North Devon be it on foot or on bike. They only cost a couple of quid and include the kind of detail that OS maps don’t. Namely, the phone numbers of local pubs and restaurants, how often the buses run and even how muddy a particular path gets.
All this mileage is in aid of my so far rubbish training for the forthcoming Birmingham half-marathon which I’m pleased to see has a blog.
Finally, the title of this post refers to one of my fave summer-type songs. I found a nice video on youtube that sets the song to someone’s Super 8 footage of their summer hols. I plan a Super 8 related post soon so this seems apt:
I’ve been feeling guilty about those of you who subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog. You may be reading this because you find I’ve got something useful to say about the Creative Industries. In fact the amount of subscribers went up a notch after I discussed 4ip which is great but now you poor souls get everything I write sent to your RSS reader – even the pictures of giant courgettes.
So now I’ve created a feed that only contains items from the Creative Industries category. The link is over in the sidebar on the right hand side. If you find it useful then please add it to your reader. If you still want to read everything I write then carry on using the main feed. Of course you may hate that creative crap and just love the stuff about running and gardening. Well I haven’t listed it on the sidebar but there’s even one for you as well. Any more niche than that then you can go do what I did and create your own feed.
Both Dare teams who developed thier games in Birmingham come away with prizes at this year’s Dare to be Digital competition. Contrived and Dark Matter Designs were both housed at Birmingham City University’s Screen Media Lab
I spent Saturday racing against a train. To those not familiar with the weird and wonderful world of running this involves what it says on the tin – racing against a train. It’s simple really. Pack the 2.05pm departure of the Talyllyn Railway full of friends and family and start a race at the same time. Run as parallel as you can to the train for the 7 miles there and 7 miles back and the see who wins. On this occasion I’m pleased to say I won (along with quite a few others) – but only by about 10 seconds, coming in at circa 1:47:30 – official results to follow.
What a race though. You get to run through fields, people’s backyards, up the side of steep hills, through muddy streams – anywhere as long as it’s close to the railway track. I fell over a couple of times, wore the wrong trainers and generally had a tough time of it. My legs were so tired towards the end I walked a few times just to recover – something I only do if I’m really, really suffering. The train did go past me near the end (but then foolishly stopped at a station allowing me to just beat it back) with my family sticking their heads out of the window and yelling advice and encouragement at me – or at least I think they were, I couldn’t hear a thing over the noise of the train. Overall, a great race for which I woefully under-trained and suffered as a result. Oh and despite it being cloudy and rainy I still got sunburnt.
It’s not the first race I ran this week. That was the Rowheath 5k on Thursday. I suffered there as well. Almost a full minute behind my PB. What’s going on? I turned 40 in July so I’m now in the veteran category. I should be relishing putting down some great times yet instead I’m running badly in any distance you care to set me. What’s that you say? Why don’t I just start training properly? Instead of moaning maybe I could show my face on Saturday morning training sessions? Maybe run more than twice a week? Oh come on you’re just being silly now.
Channel 4’s 4ip blog continues to offer up details on the thinking behind the kind of projects that might get funded when the initiative goes live in September. In the most recent post Stuart Cosgrove outlines the fund’s stance on Computer Games:
“But 4iP is not about pure gaming entertainment nor should it try to replicate or compete with the existing online or console games products. The objective is to work in territory where Channel 4 has a reputation – identifying areas of creative culture, where there is a gap or failure in the market and turning that opportunity into success.”
And he has something to say about ‘Serious Games’, something we all get excited about here in the West Midlands:
“The term ‘serious games’ needs next generational thinking and beyond the games themselves there is a challenge around the users, what communities are locked out of gaming and its traditional market positioning?”
He name checks a specific game that C4 have invested in. Bow Street Runners is a spin-out from the City of Vice series. In fact there have been many hints dropped in one place or another about the kind of projects that C4 are interested in. If I find the time I might collate them. What they will share as projects is that attempt to address market failure; to attract audiences who have yet to be reached by either conventional media or fall outside of the scope of core markets addressed by most interactive media producers.