(BTW - I will go back later and add pics/links/etc to these posts but unbelievably, internet access is wicked spotty here and I'm trying to get out what I can)
So GDC is now a world of summits. There is the Mobile Summit, the Virtual Worlds Summit, the Serious Games Summit.....summit overload. There are some great speakers in each of these summits but judas h priest on a pony did CMP (the event organizer) do an AWFUL job of illuminating what is going on when. Really, one of the most un-helpful, non-useful printed programs that I'ver ever seen. They didn't even bother to synchronize the sessions between the summits so if you go to a session in Virtual worlds by the time that one is done, you've missed half of the serious games session that you wanted to see. Really amateurish work guys.
On the plus side, one of the reasons that the schedule thing is really pi$$#ng me off is that there seem to be so many great sessions. I'll cover as many as I can and try to get some reporting from friends who are here in different sessions.
Also on the plus side, Raph Koster is about to go on. The advisor to "Worlds in Motion" (the virtual worlds summit) just made the point that since virtual worlds were originally described as the "metaverse" in Snow Crash (a work of fiction) - that virtual worlds are a lot like scientology - both springing from science fiction right? The crowd loved it.
Raph is going now and most of the audience raised ther hands when asked if they were trying to make a buck off the current virtual world boom. Robert Sawyer..."Virtual reaity is air guitar writ large...and ultimately meaningless." Raph warns us to not get myopic, we're weird..most people don't carry multiple CPUs around in their daily life. CPUs per human....reminding us to be mindful of the rest of the world...Darfur image kills all noise in the room...picture of slum in Port au Prince...how removed is that from our torn jeans in SL? He asks how is what we're doing impactful at all on any of these problems, like New Orleans, that aren't really hard? "What do virtual worlds have to say about this?" We're still talking about technical interop and not people interoprability. What happens when there are no more admins? (read Broken Toys). What is relevant to the people outside this room? Outside this conference? Outside our little world? I'm struck by me sitting here listening to this while I had to a tech support call with my wife this morning who couldn't get online from home and couldn't give a shot about this stuff.
There are four sides to every story:
Person A: Its all about the money
Person B: Its exactlty NOT about the money, its about ideals
What is our imperative? Why do we do this? Moral? Idealistic? Financial? Practical? Can it, should it, be all of these? Have we been reducing the scope of what is possible in order to make our stuff more consumer friendly? Can virtual worlds break the tragedy of the commons? Why are we still thnking in terms of our world, our physics, our limitations?
"Most of the Web isn't very Weblike." Klein bottle. What is our flying car? The thing that we all dreamed of but that hasn't come true? Do you remember the first time you logged into a virtual world? Where is the sense of magic?
1. Making money in SL. Replicating life in a new context is not an advance.
<mass grave in Serbia....>
2. How much of our tech is keeping us apart? Research - VOIP makes us meet less strangers. With text you actually talk to more people you haven't met yet.
more research on Continuous Partial Attention
We need new dreams. All that we know is already obsolete. (play Facade) Contact lens with LED screens are in human testing now.
We are at the inflection point. There's just the world. Clients are windows to virtual worlds. The Metaverse is more than windows.
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