General blogging ITU Copenhagen Me

There and back again, a short trip to Sweden


On a Saturday morning just like any other, the group of Spanish students I hang out with and me decided to go have a picnic in Helsingør, a small city to the North of Copenhagen. So we took the train and in about half an hour we got there.

Of course we were all Spanish, so you can imagine what we ate for the picnic…


That’s right: potato tortilla, Spanish ham, chorizo and salchichón, lomo… (it’s actually kind of hard to describe all these in English).

The beer was Danish though, one of our favorites here, the Tuborg Classic.

In the end we made our own space for lunch at the Kronborg Castle of Helsingør and despite the weather being so horribly cold we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.

However, and here comes the interesting part, we learned that Helsingør is actually the closest point of Denmark to Sweden. In fact it’s only 15 minutes away by boat! So we took an awesomely huge boat from Helsingør to Helsinborg (yes, the names are similar on purpose) just for the sake of being able to say that we’ve been to Sweden as well.


An unexpected problem: even though the currency used in Sweden is also called Krone (crowns in English), their value is different from the ones used in Denmark and with different coins. I guess we hadn’t thought about that beforehand.

Something we found funny were the several street signs around Helsinborg. If those are supposed to help people find their way I’m afraid they do a terrible job at it.

We still hung around the city for a couple of hours, visited some landmarks and went to get some beers. By the time we got back to Copenhagen it was past 10 PM, but Javier, Miriam, José Luis and me were still up for one last drink.

What we did not expect was to find a place so awesome that we were sucked in into the party and spent about 4 hours in the same bar just listening to live music by a group from the USA. We listened and danced to some great songs ranging from Highway to Hell to La Bamba (kind of an unexpected one). All in all, it was a great way to have a different Saturday. What else can we expect from the following weeks in Copenhagen?


ITU Copenhagen

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s an iPad-controlled helicopter!


Just a random ITU related post, but it will help you get a better idea of the things that go on in this university.

Basically a group of students was testing out this toy helicopter that was being controlled… from an iPad.

Feel free to check out the rest of the pictures. And I might upload a video of it sometime soon, once Valerio, one of my Italian classmates, sends it to me.


ITU Copenhagen Stupid things Videos

A plagiarism carol, hilarious video!


Today Tobias, one of the student advisors at the IT University of Copenhagen, has shown us why we shouldn’t plagiarize the work of others for our essays at university. He did it through this video created by the University of Bergen in Norway, and man, did he make us laugh.

Seriously, watch this video. It’s simply hilarious. Plus, it has incredible production values.

ITU Copenhagen Videogames

Cursor*10, a game of self-collaboration


One of the great things about studying Games Design is that you get to try some cool little game ideas and analyze them for class.

This one here is one of those small games that really caught my attention. It’s a really short game (you can beat it in under 5 minutes), but it requires a couple of tries until you get the hang of it. It’s called Cursor*10.

The basic premise is that you have to reach the 16th floor by moving your mouse cursor and clicking through the stairs. BUT, and here is the great thing about this game, you have 10 lives (10 cursors, hence the name of the game) each with a lifespan of under a minute. You will need to co-operate with yourself in order to win the game.

And how do you do that? Well, you are going to have to try it out for yourself if you want to find out, so head over to this website and try it out. I highly recommend it!

ITU Copenhagen

“I have gonorrhea. And I have brought it here to show it to you”

“I am going to be sincere with you. I have gonorrhea”, said professor Miguel Sicart during one of his Game Design lectures at the IT University of Copenhagen. “I have gonorrhea, and I have brought it here with me to show it to you”.

As you can imagine, all of the class was startled, looking at each other at the impossible revelation.

Mind you though, this came right after Miguel had been taking out of his bag a Barbie doll, a teddy bear and a set of toy cars. So we were almost sure that there had to be some sort of explanation behind all of this.

And there was one indeed. Miguel took out from his bag yet another doll, called Gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea, our class mascot?

This plush little thing is Gonorrhea, and it’s purpose in the classroom was to prove an important point. That’s why the teacher asked us to “pass Gonorrhea around the class”, frequently asking “who had Gonorrhea” at that time.

Jokes apart, what Miguel was trying to explain was the differences between affordances and constraints. When creating a toy we have to create affordances (what people perceive is possible to do with the toy) and constraints (the designed limits of use for the toy).

A given example was the teddy bear. It was designed to make us want to hug it, to treat it with care. It has some constraints though, like not having the right shape or weight to kick it in football.

Something similar happens with Gonorrhea (and Black Death, which was shown later on). It’s a doll shaped like a germ, but its designed affordances tell us to hug it because it’s cute, even though the constraints tell us it’s not right because it’s a disease.

Point proven. And I want to have Gonorrhea as well! Too bad that Miguel took it back from us…

ITU Copenhagen

Copenhagen: the good, the bad, and the amazing!


About a week ago I first set my foot in Copenhagen, and it was quite an experience! Everything from the beautiful city to the incredible IT University (just the building itself is a sight) have impressed all of the international students studying here this semester.

Of course there’s the matter of the weather not being as good as we would have hoped to, but then again this is Denmark. What can you expect?


Click on the pictures to enlarge

What you see here is the IT University of Copenhagen during the very first introduction day (we had an entire week of introductions). Very modern building and with a digital feel to it, with IP addresses flashing on the higher walls and lots of square angles everywhere. But of course sometimes you want to leave the digital world and go back to something a little bit more retro. That’s where the Analog bar comes in:


The bar is called Analog for a reason. All of the furniture has an old style to it, most of it lent by former university students who wanted to contribute with the decoration. Old magazines on the walls, an old vinyl playing in the background, old style coffee mugs… It all adds to the feeling of leaving the digital world of the ITU to travel to a different era. By the way, the guy next to me in the picture is Giuseppe, a cool Italian guy who will be taking the same courses as me for the next two years, both of us in the Media Technology and Games Design Master’s Degree.

But you see, what I still can’t quite get used to is the university having a night bar inside the very same building where we take classes. Sure, many schools will have their own cafeterias, but this is different.


What you see in the picture are Jägermeister shots, being sold at the university at about 1:30 AM, with the vice-dean drinking a beer not too far away and some of the waiters dancing on the bar. I understand that Nordic countries have a different culture when it comes to drinks and that they are much more open than, say, the United States about it, but it still comes as a shock to me.


But you know, who’s to complain about it? After all when you finish your last class of the week a Friday and it’s could out there, it feels nice to have a close place to go to for a drink or two with your friends.


Mind you though, it takes time to get used to the local coin, the Danish Kroner. At first you may think that is a lot of money in the picture, but take into account that 10 kroner is about 1.3 euros. And yet they have kroner cents, which makes me wonder who the heck uses those. But if I’m to live here for two years I’d better get used to it soon.


Oh and by the way, some of you may be wondering why am I all of a sudden writing this post in English when the entire blog itself is in Spanish. Just think of it as a possible change of direction for the blog. I’m still deciding, so it all depends on who the final audience is going to be in the short-term.