Something else about Pokémon and something about Ingress

I play Ingress casually. I know people who play it somewhat obsessively, who spend a fair bit of time, energy, and money on strategizing and building community and traveling to anomalies. I’m not in that category. It’s worth noting that it’s possible for me to play casually due to geography (for all that can fall under the umbrella of “geography,” not just actual latitude and longitude).

I live in the suburbs. Some park portals are within walking distance (and I submitted one of those portals; it’s one of several submissions Niantic accepted, back when they were taking player submissions), but my residential subdivision is portal-free. If I had to drive to get to portals, I probably wouldn’t have bothered playing, because it would sort of defeat the purpose. But when I started playing, I was working at the American Philosophical Society. In the Library, a building which is a portal and has another portal screwed into it, with another portal in the garden, and one across the street, and…well, you can’t walk around that part of Philadelphia without tripping over something of historical significance. There are a lot of portals, which became the basis for Pokéstops and Gyms.

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Storification of last Friday’s PACSCL event

For your edification, I have Storified Building Philadelphia-area Digital Collections: From Project to Plan to Program. This is quick and dirty, based just on hashtag, and I haven’t made any effort to track down anything that was missed or excise anything superfluous. (Especially since that would have been a chunk of the hobbit stuff, which would have been a shame and a misrepresentation of the character of the discussion.)

Locating labor

Labor was a big theme of last week’s Women’s History in the Digital World conference. How to discover, analyze, and reclaim women’s invisible labor. How to incorporate the labor of conversation within the digital humanities—yakking rather than, or in addition to, hacking. How to find support, at the top and bottom, to nurture digital humanities work in general and produce projects.

A recurring theme—present at this conference, and perennially discussed elsewhere1—was the specific issue of academic institutional support, or lack thereof. I see similar conversations in groups of public historians and archivists, though folks working outside of the faculty, or outside of academic institutions in general, do not have the same sets of concerns (e.g. tenure committees, course loads) as academics. WHDigWrld15 trended very academic.2 The experiences of full professors, varyingly contingent faculty, postdocs, grad students, and undergrads bring different perspectives, opportunities, and limitations to performing digital humanities work. While I feel comfortable using the umbrella term “academic,” it’s very important to be mindful of the wide variation of roles gathered beneath that umbrella, some drier than others.3

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