Back from sunny Bergen, I can report that the Aesthetics of Play conference was most succesful. Presentations were competent and varied and the organizers impressively organized.
One thing that struck me as oddish was the strong focus, in most presentations, of issues related to realism, mimemis, representation (as opposed to, say, rules). Guess I just figured that general interest had veered away from such things, but the conference did of course focus on “aesthetics”.
No-one (else) spoke of games as competitive or of players as optimizers/achievers but that just proves my point that game studies represent a radically different theory of the player than does game design (how’s that for a generalization?).

Tourist pictures on Flickr.

Oh, and this site has been down for a few days due to the server-threatening behaviour of a WordPress plug-in.