Author: The ARGNet Staff (page 2 of 3)

PICNIC ’06, Day Two: Conversations as a Source of Information

Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Dan Gillmor, Founder and Director of the Center for Citizen Media, spoke about the future of Internet-enabled media and content, focusing on the democratization of mass information consumption produced by the enabling ability of the Internet to allow anyone to be a media producer, rather than just a passive consumer. Consumers can not only produce media and information to present to traditional production companies but to each other too. Mr. Gillmor stressed that consumer-driven production on the web does not consist solely of blogs but many other traditional and emergent media forms as well.

Some examples he gave illustrated the vast difference between public-enabling technology today and the previously enormous expense required to develop content for mass consumption. The New York-based Rocketboom.com produces high-quality video newscasts daily, yet does so without the backing of the traditionally expected old media production company and facilities. Application mashups are popping up around the web, kludging together existing applications to create new and useful or entertaining tools and resources, such as the Chicago Crime Maps made with local public statistics overlaid on Google Maps using their open Application Programming Interface (API). For a bit of levity, he played a (YouTube famous) video mashup of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently singing a duet professing their love for each other, through creative editing of existing video culled from various sources.

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PICNIC ’06, Day Two: The Creative Process at Pixar Studios

Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Opening the day with the Keynote Presentation was Dr. Michael B. Johnson, Pixar Animation Studios‘ Moving Picture Group Lead. His presentation explored creativity and collaboration, art vs. craft, design vs. engineering, and above all, a unique entertainment experience. As he carried us through the creative process mixed with clips from a variety of Pixar’s projects, the message was clear – “Story drives everything.”

From the pitch — which is essentially telling a story at the same time as you are selling it — to the big screen, the creation process is driven by the story. It starts with the team – the best team that you can find because, as he pointed out, “A good team can take a bad story and fix it or reject it; a poor team cannot.” It takes a team to work through the process of iteration and criticism which is essential to fixing issues with the story, the characters, the design, and so on. At Pixar, art is a team sport. You cannot make a film by yourself.

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PICNIC ’06, Day One: Cities as Digital Communities

picnic0927.jpgWritten by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Hosted by Sylvia Paull, founder of the Berkeley Cybersalon, who called it the inaugural session of the “Amsterdam Berkely Cybersalon,” this panel discussion centered around the future of large cities, dubbed “Megalopolises” containing around 10 million people, and how to provide digital access to everyone within them. The panel included Joaquin Alvarado, Director of the San Francisco State University’s Institute for Next Generation Internet and Co-Founder of the Digital Sister Cities Initiative, Chris Vein, Acting Executive Director of the Department of Telecommunications and Information Services for the City of San Francisco, Esme Guzman Vos, Founder of Muniwireless.com, Eckart Wintzen, Founder of Ex’tent Green Venture Capital, and Erik Fackeldey, Project Manager for the IT Sector of the Paris Development Agency.

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PICNIC ’06, Day One: The IGDA Alternate Reality Gaming White Paper Presentation

picnic0927.jpgWritten by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Our day began with the International Game Developers Association’s Alternate Reality Gaming Special Interest Group’s (or IGDA ARG SIG) White Paper presentation. Adam Martin, founder of the SIG, introduced the project and overall goals of the special interest group, to provide a network for potential ARG developers who might need advice on the various aspects of creation. He offered the group up as a networking resource for authors and producers, support with design, and advice on how to obtain funding. He then presented Brooke Thompson, who filled most of the first hour with an intriguing lecture on current trends in Alternate Reality Gaming. Brooke talked while Sean Stacey took notes and occasionally heckled.

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ARGFest-o-Con 2006: Chicago – Geeks on a Train

Due to the extreme awesomeness of ARGFest 2006: Chicago, one writer was not enough to cover all the excitement! Therefore, this article has been contributed by the combined efforts of Sean C. Stacey, Will Bagby, and Michelle Senderhauf. All pictures for this article are courtesy of Will Bagby, photographer extraordinaire.

On a balmy Friday in late July, ARGFest 2006 commenced, as Bagsbee was first on the scene at the scenic Holiday Inn O’Hare. After doing some reconnaissance on the area surrounding the hotel, he went for an early beer and beef jerky run at the local Dominick’s (where, as one suit-and-tie clad commuter on the check-out line commented wistfully, “that looks like a pretty good day right there”). EGo showed up later that morning, and the first of many ARGFest toasts followed soon after. Imbri and a pair of BYOSPers (thunderclap8 and INCyr) arrived, the group dined at the local Hooters, and were soon joined by ARGFest Hostess krystyn.

More ARGFesters trickled in over the course of the afternoon, another booze run was made by Aliendial and others, and everyone gathered in Room 215 (a.k.a. the BYOSP room) for some pre-dinner PS2 Karaoke. At 7 p.m., everyone piled into cars for a 30-second drive to Gino’s East for some famous Chicago deep dish pizza. The jury is still out on Chicago vs. New York-style pizza, although these reporters know the truth. More ARGers showed up during dinner, bringing the total to around 20. After dinner the siren’s call of Karaoke led the group back to the hotel for more hilarity, and some surprisingly good performances.

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NextArt – The Voice

thevoice_v3.jpgNextArt: The Voice debuted last night at the Orlando Film Festival. Previously reported on here at ARGN, Jeff Wirth’s style of spontaneous theater blends real life seamlessly with a created reality, dropping a “spectactor” into a situation in which he or she is another person and must act accordingly.

If you’re in the Orlando area, you can use the contact information here to get involved with some of the real-life events taking place in the next week. Otherwise, watch the story unfold on the blog and on the Rosetta Corporation home page. Since there was a casting call posted to the Unforums a month ago, you might discover that some of the online interactors are people you know.

NextArt: The Voice runs until Thursday, March 30, 2006.

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