Expedition day! Strolled down to Ancient Rome, a beautiful walk along the Tiber in the morning sun. I’ve come to like my hood, maybe especially the river parts. There’s a heavily trafficked bridge with another, disconnected abandoned bridge next to it, so beautifully displaced and ruined, I want to eat it.
But then, arriving to the other side, Ancient Rome, ouch, depressing. Do not want.
I mean it looks great, it’s incredible, Colosseum punches all the right buttons of awe… but there are all these HUMANS everywhere. Uuugh. In busses, in groups, or just in pairs unaware that they dress alike, half-way out of an argument. I kind of knew it, and have backup plans, but still, I had a quiet naive hope that I would be able to do some of my intended work within strolling distance. No. Quick conclusion: Exploration, sampling and filming of the Ancient Roman civilization has to happen far away from Rome. I have notes and recommendations for remote ruins already. Which actually means, expeditions while on expedition. Yay!
Then, explored and learned the metro, tram bus system. Took metro A to it’s end. The screens were endlessly rebooting, neat.
Walked around the end stop, looked and recored stuff in everyday fringe Rome, away from the ‘ists.. Took a tram. They have cool window seats in the middle. Took a bus, ticket control by a SWAT team just as I entered. Recorded sounds everywhere, got some interesting things. I start having quite a collection of metro sounds from Europe.
Found a cute, natural market, kind of like an Italian version of Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg, one of my favorite markets. This one was messier but bouncier, and super friendly. Sometimes markets are stressfull and chaotic, for this correspondent a horrible trial, this one was very laidback and welcome. The roof was beautifully ugly. Approved.
First thing I saw coming in was this 7 year old girl wearing a proton pack and the biggest smile in the universe, running around surrounded by lots of adults … also wearing proton packs. Oooooh it looks like I arrived at the right place! There are all these HUMANS everywhere, but this time, it’s the COOL ONES.
It’s a very well done and interesting museum, maybe rivaling Computerspielemuseum in Berlin. I walked along looking at the exhibitions, lots of interesting stuff, well presented, lots of cool interactive stuff, game console rooms, arcade rooms.
Everything done with both love and skill. To me, maybe most interesting is that this culture is now having MUSEUMS. Who’d thought, when pressing play on tape we’d go to a museum looking at just that.
Eventually, somehow, ended up conversing with the director, a super nice guy, chatting about game development in Europe, where is the Italian Scilicon Valley, indie gaming, how to fund stuff, distribution models. Italy is not the biggest producer of games yet, but there is now a lot of enthusiasm, especially as mobile gaming and crowdfunding has kind of… kickstarted things.
But then, he mentions, hey, pssst… we have a couple of Oculus Rift devices. OHHH
MY GOD ITS FULL OF PIXELS
I fell in love with future, again. Amazing. Not because the graphics is incredible, they certainly are not (yet), but remember the first time you saw Internet? Or Spotify? This is like that. It’s not the NOW, it’s what happens FROM now.
I was just laughing all the time, this kind of amazement laughter, as i felt disconnected from my body, the magical moment when looking down and seeing my hands but OH ITS NOT MINE and my god there is a 1000 meter drop beneath me, woooaaahhh, i am existing in two places at the same time, the world is rendered as I look at it, I’m talking meta about Unity engines to the museum director but at the same time also swooshing through a dark mine and ooooh there’s a boulder chasing me (hmmm that’s quite bad lighting there but I buy it anyway) and hey this is like being in a Indiana Jones movie its actually really cool and just imagine when this is retina quality OMG this is the end of reality I am never ever coming back.
The director told me in two weeks they probably will have the new development kits and some proper games to try out, which I will make sure to investigate.
With public transit, went back to my room at the house to charge all devices and clean correspondents from a day in the field. Making a note that while reading and taking notes about “Spectacles Of Rome” I am apalled by the Colosseum but intrigued by Vigamus.
Now hiding in some dark, quiet bar in Trastevere, trying out some local draft beers, kill some emails and type out this report. Grabbed some vegetables from the grocer on the way, he recognized me, nice. They didn’t have coriander yet. Will head home and cook some simple greens and read books. Tomorrow expect to work through all the recordings of today, will report any interesting finds.
This was flying next to the Colosseum today.