Tuesday, February 26, 2008

GDC 2008 Diary Morning Day4 (Thursday)

I started out with a breakfast meeting with Mike Sellers from Online Alchemy. This was one of my highlight of the conference. You probably know that feeling of meeting a universe of ideas that is chillingly familiar to ones own but yet different. I get that when speaking to Mike.

I made it to the second half of
The Next 20 Years of Gaming
Ray Kurzweil

keynote, singulariites

A few random notes:
  • RK showed a number diagrams with similar curves. (exponential growth)
  • Do we have the SW to simulate the human brain?
  • uncanny/creepy valley
  • first phase - demented (simulated) humans
  • turing test was based on language
  • language + intelligence
  • Brain Scans -> can we understand the data.
  • Maybe our brains can't understand themselves?
  • Visual cortex, cerebellum, skill formation, the calculations needed to catch a flying ball.
  • In 20 years we will have more knowledge about our brains. Means to simulate human intelligence. Our learning will happen through virtual environments.
  • Self organizing systems. Speech synthesis.
  • Ended session with a speech synthesis, translation of the words "In a few years everyone will be able to talk to anyone"
The extensive use of diagrams showing exponential growth reminded me of Kelly who was so popular a few years ago. I noted down the word Singularity and thought about the Hello Kitty Singularity in one of C Stross's books. I thought about one of Marvin Minsky's texts where he too wondered whether we humans are capable of understanding our own brains. I thought about the fact that USC recently hired Damasio. I also realized I haven't read RKs books, so I ordered them - one is on singularity, the other on spiritual mashines.

Next I made it to
Future of MMOs
Jack Emmert, Min Kim, Ray Muzyka, Mark Jacobs, Rob Pardo and Jon Wood

future of mmos

I took extensive notes listening to this panel, but now when I read through them I dont find them very interesting. The panelists were asked the following questions:
1. There is a trend to use existing IPs. Will it be possible to dev without IP?
2. Platforms, consoles. Is it necessary to make cross-platform development?
3. Micropayments or subscriptions in the US?
4. It is getting more and more expensive to build MMO's. Will it be possible to dev without a monster budget?

Well doh. We all know the the answers tho those questions so i won't write down the obvious answers. The panelists did the best what they could with those lame questions. Such a waste of a good panel to not go beyond the obvious.

...But that's just me. Liz Lawley put her notes up on Terranova, and ill read those later to see if i have missed something.

Personally i would have found themes that went outside the sphere of revenues, IPs and platforms more interesting for the future of MMO's, such as:
  • The future develempment of the avatar - online personas (and maybe touching on the rights of avatars)
  • The future of meaningful experiences tied to thematic content in MMOs (individual stories etc)
  • The future of game mastering in MMOs
  • The future design of conflict resolution without combat (the topic of Gordon Waltons Roundtable)
  • ...etc...etc..

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