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Day 1, SXSWi 2010: Cool Kids / The Future of Video Games

After Rushkoff’s great talk, I hoofed it across the street to the Hilton for Do Cool Kids Leave When The Suits Arrive?, a core conversation run by @johnbiehler and @chrisHeuer. A lot of folks were new to the conference this year, and really keen to talk about social media generally; given that this session was held on the first day it’s not too surprising that the discussion went off in a bunch of different directions. It didn’t really go where I wanted it to, though.. I was hoping for more focus on maintaining a happy balance between early adopters and mainstream users, but after quite a long tangent on social media policy I realised that probably wasn’t forthcoming and ducked out. Sadly #Battledecks, which attendees were raving about, was almost over by then. Happily, there’s a podcast now!

Next, it was a tough decision to miss Cooking for Geeks (YouTube clip here), but I went for The Future of Video Games.

SXSWi 2010: Program or Be Programmed (Douglas Rushkoff)

Program or Be Programmed

Program or Be Programmed,
originally uploaded by jpob.

A talk by Douglas Rushkoff on 12th March 2010

[This isn't a word-perfect record -- if I got anything jarringly wrong, please comment!]

Online, things get extreme very fast and change a lot in a short space of time. There’s an overwhelming sense that we’re trying to operate society on obsolete social code, on the basis of legacy systems we don’t even remember that aren’t appropriate for what we want to get done. If we don’t understand these old systems, we have no chance of recognising the new programs that are layered on top. Understanding of this places people into one of two camps: the programmers, and the programmed. Grokking programming bias is really important because it helps us manage ourselves in context – the most important thing is to recognise that programming bias exists in the first place.
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SXSWi 2010

Eagle-eyed readers (if there are any left) will note that I only ever update this blog when I go to conferences. (Sometimes not even then.) At the moment, I’m in lovely, sunny, springlike Austin for South by Southwest Interactive, which so far seems to be the most massive and diverse sxswi event ever. Where previously it was impossible to choose between 15 interesting and concurrent sessions, now it’s even less possible to pick one of 25!

The schedule kicks into gear after lunch (a meal that I’m probably not going to be requiring after stuffing myself with bacon and wholegrain pancakes [in that order] at breakfast), and if my notes turn out to be coherent after a session I’ll pop them up. Tweeting now and then from @jen_bolton too. If you happen to see me around, come and say hi!

Time out

New board games

New board games,
originally uploaded by jpob.

Somebody’s nicked Heroquest, we rarely have enough of us in for a decent game of Werewolf and my Rock Band expertise doesn’t extend far beyond songs by the Police (oh, the joy in their eyes as they’re forced to play ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’ *again*!), so I bought some new stuff for game hour this week. I wasn’t around for the deboxings this morning though, since I’ve taken the day off to recuperate after juggling like a trained octopus all month.

Finished Mass Effect this morning, finally. Expected it to be good and it was, although the Paragon ending left me a bit cold and the romance stuff was eye-rollingly bad. At least [spoiler alert!] Kaidan didn’t pounce on Shepard at the end. Thinking about it… if ME’s supposed to be a trilogy, I wonder if we’ll be able to import our Shepards all the way through?

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