Surrealism, Immersion and the Metarati

Yesterday was the Immersion 2010 conference at the very central London BIS conference centre. It was a packed room for the entire day. There were a huge range of topics covered and it was particularly interesting as there was clearly a blend of the non gaming virtual world metarati (the usual crowd of us) and game related highly influential academia (Prof Richard Bartle), TV and media Simon Nelson (from the BBC) and Ian Livingstone Eidos/Square Enix (Gaming royalty!) as well as investors and angels. We often don’t have such a mix. The audience were from all over the place too from startups to civil service.
The discussion between Ian Livingstone and Simon Nelson on free vs AAA paid for content with intriguing to see played out. Also Richard Bartle’s views on the sort of education for the games industry was good to hear. A drive needed to do quality education not just games as media studies to attract paying students.
I was on a panel with David Burden (Daden), Ron Edwards (Ambient) and chaired by Mike Dicks (BleedinEdge) Yes we had to have two similar company names, great minds 😉
We talked about the future technology. The room had already had a dip into virtual worlds from the other metarati there with Dave Taylor (Imperial College), Justin Bovington (Rivers Run Red), Michael Schumann (Second Interest) and moderated by Rob Edmonds (SRI).
This meant that when I went last in the little 10 min slots we had I decided to push things a little further forward with the ideas I talked about at metameets in Dublin. Boiling down to this picture.
It shows the entire eco system that is really our real and virtual worlds all merged into a collective experience. The point still stands that we should not just replicate the world (though that is part of the equation). We have a whole host of ways to connect and feed one another ideas to show our thoughts and experience them.
I paraphrased Dali, the great surrealist. He stated he wanted to create a dream that was also a living room. A concept that resonates with how I want us to be able to express our ideas and bring understanding to one another powered by our ability to collect and share what we think on the web, to augment wherever we are with more of those ideas. Not restricting ourselves to one layer of AR on top of one physical world. This is a multilayer experience that changes as we need it to. It also encompasses the ability to physically augment our world not just with pixels but with atoms from 3d printers and alike. It is not about a single device or web vs mobile vs games vs outside vs inside. It is everything.
We have already started on this journey, and bearing this picture in your mind or people being truly connected in ways that suit them sits nicely on top of all that is already there on the web and in games and virtual worlds and existing communication technology.
With that post I will head of to a “real” “virtual world” and a family holiday to disney and universal. (You see once you get over making a differentiation and realise its all real life gets a lot simpler 🙂

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