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Video Gaming Professor — Middle-Aged Ultra Runner — Virtual Restaurant Owner

…we learn to look beyond reality

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A simple thought experiment:

Imagine time travel is possible. You’ll be asked to go back to 1999 and explain humanity’s current concerns and mood in 2021. Before you make your trip to the past, you spend your days watching online content, consuming “old world” media, and asking the opinion of relatives, friends, and colleagues.

What would you report back to yourself in 1999? How would you describe the current concerns and mood of humanity? Where are we at? What kind of state are we in?

I dedicated some time myself this month (July 2021) to find the answers to these…


You can find inspiration in surprising and unexpected places.

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As I write this, Jeff Bezos is sat on the launchpad in Blue Origin, about to go into space. Having become the world’s richest man, I have the impression that Jeff — like the rest of us — is wrestling with the “life purpose” question. Nobody is insulated from the big dilemmas of being mortal.

And although none of us have the infinite resources of Jeff, we do have the unlimited resources of a digital age and the opportunity to find and consume content that speaks to us. …


You’re never too old to learn. So, I started to play Final Fantasy XIV and was blown away.

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Why should a middle-aged professor spend time on a video game he is most likely too old for anyway?

The answer is simple and straightforward. Gamification of education is gaining momentum.

Teachers and education experts can learn a lot from video game designers. The best way to understand gamification is to learn and get inspired by playing video games yourself.

But which game should you play?

I started to play Final Fantasy XIV this week. It was an exciting and scary experience at the same time.

It’s a Japanese game. I used to teach in Japan and reading about the…


We all need a daily break from tech and social media.

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We went back to the office this week and must adapt to another work-life shake-up after more than a year of working from home.

But some things won’t change.

I will continue to use teleconferencing tools and experiment with new devices and applications. As one of my colleagues mentioned on our first morning back: “We are completely immersed in the digital world now.”

Also, I will continue to go out in the morning for my daily run.

Running has become a crucial part of my life. It doesn’t matter how busy I am; I will not skip my run. …


We all need to continually evolve to remain relevant.

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I love the creator economy.

The opportunities for self-learning are unique and unprecedented. I’ve found so much inspiration in blogs, daily vlogs, video essays, podcasts.

To me, the creator economy is about everyone being able to become a creator, sharing their knowledge and skills with the world, and building communities. There is a massive market for authentic and knowledgeable content — from simply showing your experiences and skills to continuously being challenged to improve yourself and innovate.

Plus, the creator economy is a nice change from the traditional and corporate world. Or should I say, “was a nice change”? The…


The “re-inventing” power of the gaming world

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Any vacation plans this summer?

For me, there will be no beaches, mountains, or city trips this year. And I don’t have a bucket list of books that I would like to read.

Instead, I am planning to spend my time in the virtual spaces of video games. And, as a veteran gamer, I couldn’t be more excited.

The idea of starting this new journey to the world of gaming brings back tons of nostalgia. But I don’t see it simply as a trip down memory lane. Fun and adventure aren’t the only reason for my journey.

Discomfort

The truth is…


We shouldn’t waste the opportunity to change education.

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Who should I hire?

To everyone’s surprise, applications for my program next year rose by more than 100%, and I was asked to look for a new colleague to better deal with the increased workload.

In the past, the answer to the “hiring” question was obvious. The classroom was the center of the teaching and learning experience. I needed people who were qualified and knowledgeable — they had to be able to communicate complex information — but they also had to capture the audience’s attention.

Right now? I’m not so sure. Everything feels different.

What Do Next-Gen Students Want?

I love conferencing tools and applications…


Why long-distance running is the killer app.

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When I was young, working out wasn’t my thing. I loved sports for the competition and camaraderie. The long-term benefits of fitness and exercise were not the point.

Health just wasn’t on my mind when I was twenty. I was living on fast food and Dr. Pepper without gaining an ounce. I was in good shape. Who isn’t at that age? So, it was easy to disregard health and fitness.

My attitude changed when I hit thirty. I remember teaching a class. The light of the overhead projector cast my silhouette on the wall.

“Who is that big guy blocking…


Back to Life, Back to Reality.

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Last week was worrying.

Every discussion, every email was about going back to normal. Going back to the office. Going back to the meeting room. Going back to the classroom. The subsequent discussion annoyed me.

“Working from home was temporary. We will be so much more productive when we are back in the office.”

“Virtual meetings don’t work. They should always be the exception.”

“Great news! We can start to prepare to go back to campus next school year.”

It could be my gamer mindset, but I am not so sure about any of this.

The Gaming Mindset

The Progress Bar

If there is one thing…

Erik P.M. Vermeulen

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