dConstruct 08 is over for another year - and another year of great talks.
This year was much more focused on the theoretical than practical, which in retrospect, last year appealed to skills I was a lot more familiar with. That being said, this years talks were superb, and stimulated a lot of conversation and thought.
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My two favourite talks were by Aleks Krotoski, and Jeremy Keith.
Aleks talked about gaming and the web, and although I'd heard some of the buzz on the Intertubes about how game play can be introduced to web sites, her talk really helped me visualise how that can be done, and opened my mind a little more beyond just using the Internet to deliver web pages.
My biggest gripe with the console gaming world and the Internet is the proprietary BS that we're still seeing. Though perhaps it's getting better - at least you can buy Guitar Hero 3 on a multitude of platforms. My gripe is that, although GH3 has been developed by the same company, and multiplayer works via the web, and there must be a standardised protocol for joining players together: I can't play my Wii version of GH3 against my friend who has an Xbox 360. WTF?
In a way, I see the Xbox Live subscription service a little like the IE6 of gaming.
The Universe of Links
I was warned by Andy Budd earlier in the morning that 20% of people would probably get and love Jeremy's talk, the other 80% will think it's pretentious waffle.
Whether that was a subtle reference to the Pareto principle or not - I actually (a little to my surprise) found the talk superb and inspiring.
I thought the talk was so good that I'm close to convincing my non-techie wife to listening to the podcast once it's available.
Some of the best bits:
- Black swans, and our need to explain
- Small world, 6 degrees of separation - and our logically random minds not being able to accept it.
- Not a particular point in the talk, but 6 degrees of separation is only successful from the weakest links in our social network, so therefore they're sometimes the best links to have. Something I'm trying to make use of in my "real world" starting today.
As much as I love having my brain go crazy with inspiration and ideas, I always experience the same drop off after conferences: the distinct feeling that I must build something.
That something needs to both be of business value and challenging existing products.
I've got lots of little ideas brewing, and God knows I've got too many domains (and there's more that don't point to my machine), but it's a matter of finding time and finding an idea that I'm passionate enough about to take to fruition.