Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Work Related For Once... and then not

Got home about an hour ago as this evening I've been on G4C duty.

It's actually been really good - this evening I met with the Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Branch of the Association for Project Management to discuss G4C and how we can work more with the APM.  The meeting was really positive, but also I was very impressed with the branch meeting and how much emphasis was placed on students and getting them involved.  As G4C is all about the future of the construction industry I really do see students as being part of our key audience.

Just straying onto the topic of construction best practice, the 2012 Yorkshire & Humber Construction Best Practice Awards are open for submissions.  There's a few new categories this year so do check out the categories, if you have not applied before it might be that there's something for you this year.  Details are on the website at - do be aware that although the website says the submission deadline is Friday 24th August, I've had email notification (as well as some tweets) saying that the deadline is now 5pm on Friday September 14th, so you've got plenty of time to think about your submissions and get them in.  The awards dinner is due to be held on October 12th and promises to be a good night.

I'm starting to relax now as I'm not back in the office until next Wednesday now - I've got a teleconference in the morning to talk about some work around intelligent clients that G4C is involved in, that should be interesting and I'm hoping to be able to provide some good input.

Moving away from work I'm aware that right now something like 3,000 gamers are thinking about (if not already done) packing up tents, sleeping bags, snacks, drinks, and their PC, to head down to Telford for insomnia46, the massive gaming festival that kicks off this weekend.

For those that don't know what a gaming festival is, essentially it consists of two elements.  Firstly, many many stands from various manufacturers of gaming-related stuff, be it computer builders, component suppliers, snack providers, game retailers, you want it (and it relates to computer gaming) it'll be there.  Lots of competitions and fun activities.

Secondly, a huge room (or rooms) of rows and rows and rows of tables and chairs populated by gamers hooked up to the Internet for a long weekend session of gaming.  There is various tournaments as well, with the best gamers competing for various cash prizes with somewhere in the region of £30,000 up for grabs.

It's really hard to explain to non-gamers because they say "But can't you just play at home?  I mean it's the Internet, why go somewhere to go in the Internet?".  But firstly, there's a lot of LAN gaming done (a local network as opposed to going on the Internet) which you can't necessarily do at home - unless you have several PCs hooked up to a home network.  Secondly, the whole festival vibe is unreal.  Everyone there is a gamer.  Everyone.  You become part of a mass of geeky, fun loving, gaming people who have the freedom to wear crazy stuff and live life.  Last time I was there one of our PCs wasn't working, so I put a message on the forum asking for advice - within ten minutes a guy in a leopard suit wandered up and fixed it (the leopard suit was really handy for tracking him down to deliver beer as thanks too).  It's just that random vibe that anything can (and does) happen.  Social barriers break down because although you might not know anyone, you're all gamers.  You can all admire someone's flashy case with UV lights and watercooling.  You can get pizza delivered to your desk (oh yeah).  And then you make friends because you can't finish your pizza, so you shout out "who wants pizza?" and someone turns round to you and starts chatting.  You can, for a weekend, not feel guilty about gaming because that's what you're there for.

I love i-series.  Last time I went was last August, as you can imagine it's trickier to disappear for a long weekend when childcare is an issue so I can't see us making it there this year (it's too late for August and I can't see me getting the cash together for the November one) but hopefully next year I'll escape for a few days.

For more info check the website -

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