Souveniers du Montreal

And that is about as far as my French gets!

Like most, I don’t quite know what to think of this second sale of livejournal, but this discussion of the specifics on Slashdot was quite interesting. The future of Russia on the Internet is not something that has figured largely into projections for the cyber-future, but it certainly contains some most interesting potential… and certainly the intersection of non-English-speaking communities with the American-heavy majority is something we will see more and more.

The mention in this Wired article of the Pepsi assault on Barak Berkowitz’s gift account page is brilliant and so indicative of the uniqueness, intelligence, and passion of the LJ community. Full of drama, sure — but give me that any day over apathy. [info]illucian, you’re on the first page of gifts! You all are amazing. Keep on keepin’ on.

A busy week and Monday is barely over. But all of you magazine types looking to get into online marketing — you should have a Zazzle store. It is like CafePress on E. GoPets has one, and even more designs should be available soon.

Jeff Murray over at Fuel Industries posted this very kind writeup of my presentation at MIGS:

Later that day, Erin Hoffman blew my mind with her presentation ‘Plugged in: Why game developers make great parents’. With a title like that, I was expecting something all airy fairy and went along out of pure curiosity as to what it meant. To my absolute surprise, Hoffman spoke fast and meant every word. I found myself literally nodding throughout her whole presentation. There were times when it felt like I had stumbled into some kind of underground movement to overthrow the government; true revelations. The atmosphere was electric and my mind was racing at the possibilities – if we don’t try to change the way that the games industry is perceived in the media, it’s going to have huge implications further down the line.

Hoffman goes on to talk about how parents who build games are more in touch with their kids and their kids’ culture. Game developers know more about games, which means a more informed choice about what is suitable for their kids to play. Perhaps game developers are more likely to pick up the titles that reflect their family values, family ‘moral code’ or encourage mental or physical development in particular areas. That is opposed to the typical parent who would not make such informed decisions. In my book, that reads ‘people who allow their 3 year old to baseball bat old people in Grand Theft Auto when they’re off down the pub’.

It was difficult for the talk not to sidestep into a discussion on violence in videogames, which is a shame since there are so many more interesting things to talk about. Hoffman detailed the ‘good stuff’ and cited some fantastic examples; What good can games do? How are games being usedto help real world situations and problems? Well, I think that probably deserves a separate blog post from me as it’s a broader topic than I can do justice in my ‘highlights of MIGS’.

I can dig it. Jason DR also says that the whole event was “snowed under with awesomeness” over at RealityPanic and gives a quick, if briefer, rundown of the convention. The segues in my session into the subject of violence in video games, and its effect (or lack thereof) on fragile minds, did absorb much of the discussion, which is my fault — but I do maintain that the two concepts are irrevocably intertwined. We cannot talk about the role of parents in games without addressing the public image of games in the media sphere. But that, and censorship, will be the topic of this week’s column over at the Escapist, so I’ll shut up here. The discussion of parents and games is really just beginning.

Photos from Montreal are up here and I am caught a few times, least awkwardly in this one from the talk itself. Yay! There are other photos in that album from the event — again overall a very cool experience. Now if I could just catch up on my email…

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