Playful 08 was a gas: like Russell Davis’s Interesting crashed head-first into a crowd of games-heads. There were many fantastic talks. Lots of hardware hacking (Roo Reynolds on turning the Rock Band guitar into an actual musical instrument, Matt Biddulph of Dopplr on the possibilities of the Wiimote, Matt Brown of LastFM on Trumpet Hero and making sock-puppets sing), lots of technology stuff (Chris Delay of Introversion demoing his company’s procedural generation software), lots of game theory and ideas, and some completely out of the blueâ€”two in particular here:
Eric Clough of 212box, who designed and built this apartment in New York, describing how he did it. That latter was truly awesome, inspiring, tears-in-eyes stuff. More of this kind of thing, please.
Jolyon Webb of Blitz Game Studios talking about why CG characters have such unrealistic teeth, and along the way effortlessly transcending the uncanny valley. One of the pieces of video he showed demonstrates two CG heads, one of which sustains a major impact trauma and–well, you can watch it here, second video on the list. You could have heard a pin drop. I could feel my body reacting to the experience of watching this happen. Very odd.
My talk, ‘A Thing of Beauty is a Stout Green Toy’, a description of how a large percentage of the modern games industry can trace its roots directly to one three-page piece of experimental French writing from the mid-1960s, seemed to go down well. Judge for yourself: I’ve uploaded it here, interspersing the slides with the text. Slideshare seems to have done something odd with several of the fonts, but I’m sure you’re big enough to get past that.