Thursday, October 09, 2008

Meaningful Play, Day 1, AM

So I just arrived back in East Lansing, and felt that satisfying nostalgia of being back on campus flow through me.

I'm currently sitting in the Union, munching on a croissant, and taking tally of all the swag I picked up for being here early. Two T-Shirts, one of Meaningful Play and another of "Hackerteen," a graphic novel for young adults which apparently will demonstrate how to survive on the internet without getting your identity stolen, or your computer fried. I'll take a better look at that a little later. There's a few other pamphlets that I'll look into tonight, and small booklet of geek-related puzzles. Like a paper version of Brain Age, but that game designers would appreciate.

Excuse me if I'm too interested in this, but this is my first conference so I'm a little excited.

Not too many familiar faces yet. Though there is a guy here who looks like a really young version of Raph Koster. He's in the middle of a group of people right now though so I'll go say hello at another time. My old professors, who are running this thing, seem to be holding up alright, stopping to chat with people when they can. I guess that's to be expected.

I suddenly realize that in all the time I spent at MSU, I never once met Carrie Heeter.

Oh, hey, there's Ben Medler, my old TA and Spartasoft's last President. Ima go say hi.


So I just learned that the pen I got when I walked in here has a 1 gig flash drive on the back end.

Richard Hilleman's keynote is starting now. He's the Chief Creative Officer of EA, which means that he's in charge of making EA better; his talk will be about applying skills in designing games to other things in life, apparently.

"Pogo has 1.5 million customers, predominantly women... who play for around 20 hours a week. We call them Casual Gamers. Why? I do not know." - Hilleman

Hilleman also said that EA is going to change the way they spend their money in charitable contributions. They're going to give time and people towards highlighting social issues.

Apparently, Flash has had over a billion installs, total. How can I not want to make Flash games, now?

Paraphrase: "When it comes to narratives in video games, we're just starting out. We're developing the Greek Tragedy."

"Educational systems view us as The Enemy... once we get Mom, we'll get the teachers."

"Everyone is a 'Gamer' on some level."

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