Follow the adventures of Victor Bankler, a Game Design student from the University of Skövde, as he takes on an internship at indienova and life in Beijing.
The first person I meet as I reach the entrance of Beijing international airport is the indienova employee Liu Lin: A tall, outgoing and happy Beijinger who welcomes me with a smile and a steady handshake. Even though he struggles a bit when trying to express himself in English, his curiosity and friendliness keeps our conversation going the whole drive to my accommodation.
When we finally have found the apartment where I will live the coming two and a half months and get to meet my hostess, Lin takes me out for lunch. Several hours have passed since I had my portion of tasteless breakfast on the flight here, and the generously spiced restaurant food is delicious. After that it is time to go to the police station and inform them of my presence in the country. They speak no English so my hostess helps out with translation.
The day after my arrival I get to meet the rest of Indienova’s staff and begin a discussion about my study, my goals and my time at the workplace. I describe the goals of my field study but also show interest in how I can be an asset to them. They are very curious an welcoming, even though I get a feeling a few of them might be a bit shy.
Getting used to life at indienova – and in Beijing
To work at this office is different from what I am used to. The office is small but we still use chat to communicate rather than speaking directly to each other. Sometimes, someone takes a nap in their office chair. People get to the office somewhere between 10.30 and 12.00, depending on when it fits them.
The first weekend I get to go to a game conference and anniversary for one of China’s biggest distributors of video games. There is a vast mix of indie and AAA-games available for the visitors to try, and live e-sport tournaments held on a big stage upstairs. My first task is to write a short article about the event and post it through Indienova’s webpage.
The next weekend we went to the Global Game Jam in Beijing to cover that event. Since I was the only foreigner there I got some attention just for showing up, so to take the role as a silent observer was not as easy as I hoped.
Beijing is huge. Bigger than any place I ever seen. There are more people living in this city than in all of Scandinavia. But even though I’m just a little ant here, I feel safe and welcome. The people here are generally not very outgoing but do their best to help out when necessary. Especially my colleagues and hosts that seem to feel a great responsibility for my comfort and happiness.
The two girls from whom I rent my room has both been living abroad for longer periods and are apt English speakers. In this apartment, where both the language barrier and the cultural differences are as least prominent, I get most of my social needs met. The apartment is small but with a good attitude and mutual willingness to provide to the house we live in great harmony.