For those in the Austin area impatient for me to get back to writing my reports from AGC, you can go see Damion reprise his lecture that he gave at AGC for ACC’s legendary free lecture series on Wednesday at 7. Map here.
Oh yeah, and if you want spoilers, you can read his PowerPoint slides here.
No, I haven’t written a report about this, but I had to check around to see why SOE’s apparent plans to make a “free” MMO Real Soon Now is being presented as the most important aspect of SOE CEO John Smedley’s keynote speech at AGC.
In fact, I didn’t even recall him saying that he would. His main emphases seemed to be how the future will involve people being able to play MMOs from mobile devices like the PSP, consoles and computers at home and at work, with seamless transitions and preserved gameplay with the only difference being in graphics, and how great Station Exchange is for letting players trade in-game goods for real money. If he did talk about the free MMO, it wasn’t much more than a footnote, I’m sure of that.
Maybe the Statesman reporter just decided that was the easiest selling point to editors. But Mirjam Eladhari didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal, either.
Whatever. Not all MMOs are made alike, free or otherwise.
Not AGC here, just a footnote to the bit in my previous AGD diversity panel report in which I (perhaps unfairly) singled Ellen Hobbs out. I probably should make an effort to contact her directly, but my readers (if she’s included) are the only ones affected by this.
Continue reading Ellen Hobbs…
I didn’t go to this panel; Rich Weil’s panel on community relations. Odd that many of the same themes about listening to players seem to have been covered in both panels, though in different ways — but like usual, game developers are much better at defining their situations (including problems) than they are at identifying solutions. More on this later once I take time to dig out my notebook. (Thank you Steve Jackson for bringing up documentation and how developers push them on other people — Sachant and I both thank you. And Gordon, of course they don’t read “official” docs, they’re reading Allakhazam and umpteen other IGE-owned fan info sites. Do what they do.)
Another thing. Raph told me in person that he identifies me with an older generation of “ranters” that he wishes was still around in some form. I managed to choke out how most of the “ranters” still around don’t play games and mostly post on message boards about how disaffected they are with games and don’t play them. It’s part of why I don’t post more about them myself — not that I ever did play games as much as some people.
But I don’t really know what Raph meant by that. At least, I never think I ever did anything special “rant”-wise. Unless you want to dig up my old columns from nowhereland, and even then I wasn’t doing them that often.
My suitcase still isn’t unpacked and I filled up a notebook from the entire convention. Got photos, too. Here’s just a few preliminary notes, with more to follow. I seriously don’t know when I’ll get to write all this down, but I intend to. I’ll link up to other reports from AGC when I find them. For now, start with Mirjam Eladhari, who has a lot of free-form reportage.
Continue reading Home again from Austin…
It appears I’m growing too popular, and I’m running too old a version of MovableType. Comments are disabled for now, until me and mine can figure out what to do next.
Three days before AGC, and I’ve finally got around to printing out the schedule and figuring out where to go. Seems like Gordon Walton is moderating every other panel available. I forget which one, but someone put Brian Green and Jeff Hickman together on the same panel. Gordon better bring Mace.
This scheduling business might take me a while. Anyone planning to come who wants to meet me there, please let me know through comments here or otherwise. I’ll be there to cover panel discussions and lectures, but it makes a difference actually getting to meet people. Even if we already know each other.
UPDATE: Just got a note in e-mail that Hurricane Wilma just knocked the AGC Web site offline (it’s based in Florida.) A temporary site is set up here.
|Gordon Walton and Sheri Graner Ray. I get the impression Gordon isn’t a “casual Friday” sort of boss. More like every day.|
Diversity is probably the most difficult concept to talk about seriously that everyone agrees, or is obliged to agree, is an ideal. It’s like religion or politics, only there’s much fewer specific terms to debate, little concrete agreement about what it is and even more confusion about what it’s good for. The straightest course back to generally understood and universally accepted values is the long and twisty path where everyone talks about what others might have to offer and the only way for a society to grow and mature is through inclusion; though a shorter and far more treacherous but far more often traveled path is known as entitlement, where everyone lends a voice to the cacophonous cries of When Do I Get What Everyone Else Already Has?
A challenge, at best, and it’s easy to see why someone or some organization would give up on diversity, even with the best of intentions. It’s harder when it isn’t part of the plan in the first place, in the sort of outfit where exclusion was the rule. Where only a certain type of someone was expected to show up, and many such someones would always beat down the doors to get in, it naturally comes as a surprise when diversity comes knocking.
Such is the case in the game industry. In decades past, games of countless sorts and qualities have been made and released to a hungry public, and some game makers have become prolific, oftentimes for their unique personalities and quirky outlooks on life and their life’s work. And that the overwhelming majority of them have been white men probably never seemed like a problem to anyone.
Well, not quite. But it’s a debatable subject, and leave it to the Austin Game Developers to present it as a subject worth talking about, even if few seemed to know what, if anything, can be done about it.
Yeah, I know this is a week late. This was tough to write. Not just for what happened and what I wanted to say about it, but also how I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea.
Continue reading Managed Inequalities (AGD panel on diversity, 10-12)…
Yet more late-night nonsense precluding me from posting the unfinished report from the diversity panel last week.
Yes, I’m still going to write it. But AIM chat logs are easier. At least this gives you an idea about what’s been on my mind.
Continue reading Sachant means knowing just what to say…
Rough weekend to get through for me. I still intend to write the report as I have time this week. Too interesting to let drop.