Well I had a pretty major speech to give this year, it was at a conference called TED 2006. (Stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.)
The audience is a mixture of business leaders, scientists and incredibly creative folk. Over the years I’ve spoken at a ton of events, but this one really had me scratching my head.
I had to speak about “The Magic to Come” and where games are likely to go in the future. And these people expect good stuff as each seat in the house cost them over $4,000!
Knowing a large percentage of the audience probably don’t play the latest games, I had to somehow fit some history into the talk. Sounds easy, but the whole thing (past – present – future) had to be told in only 18 minutes.
I had people like Al Gore sitting in the front row, Anthony Robbins, movie stars, you name it. Even some video game folk, like Louis Castle from Electronic Arts was there.
So in the end I decided to go for a three pronged attack:
(1) I covered the history through a visual timeline I had Scot Rubin produce for me, it rapidly showed how every single genre has dramatically visually improved over the last 30 years. I also showed a flight simulator from the 80’s that was programmed in the same amount of memory that the eBay logo takes today.
(2) I covered some industry statistics. World of Warcraft dropped jaws as did the average age of gamers. (37 being the average age of the people that actually purchase the most games.)
(3) I focused on the future. As an industry we tend to talk about graphics and audio a lot, but at our gaming conferences we talk about emotion and feelings. (You see talks like “Can a Video Game make you Cry?”) I then showed an amazing video made by a student called Michael Highland revealing that maybe we are a lot farther on than we think we are. Chris Anderson liked Michael’s video so much, right there on the stage he offered him a free pass to TED next year (remember worth well over $4,000.)
I wrapped it up focusing on my daughter, as she will never know a world of Asteroids and Space Invaders, she will only know a world of absolutely amazing graphics, incredible immersion (where designers have mastered the art of involving strong emotions during play) and there will always be millions of people to play against just a button press away.
“I hope she likes games”
So it all went down well and I’ve had plenty of emails from attendees since.
So (for the future) if you come across any interesting images, videos, data or stuff you think would interest these kinds of audiences, please pass it along to me: firstname.lastname@example.org