Relive my fire

Yes ok a terrible Take That pun. Never thought I would type that. However I am recovering from the excellent Relive 11 conference we just had at the OU in Milton Keynes. It was a really good gathering of fellow metaverse evangelists mostly from Academia. As it was academic there was a humbling number of detailed well researched papers being presented in the sessions. Every one I heard I was impressed by the way that virtual environments were being pushed forward.
What was equally good was the degree of discussion, all based on a large body of experience and perspectives that all the delegates brought with them.
There was clearly a lot of disappointment at Second Life’s failings in education and customer service and huge respect for Opensim in particular as the natural place to move to as SL user. There was though a fondness for SL.
There was a great deal of effort put into the organizing with things like these
#Relive11 question cards
We had discussion cards, a subset of at least 50 different questions about avatar identity, future direction, best experience etc. These were great to have an I would love the full physical set of them, but my personal set I will remember and treasure.
Robin Wight from Engine (a Marketing guru) kicked off the event with lots of examples of virtual worlds but not as you might consider them from this industry. The virtual worlds of brands and imagination and aspiration. Some of the examples, for a converted audience were a little off but I was impressed by the discussion around the genetic brain and the task brain and the science and thought that goes into appealing to the right bits, in this case to get you to buy into an advert.
This is of course what I do when I am helping people come to terms with games and virtual worlds. Though I had not considered the brain chemistry past a little NLP.
Robin Wight keynote relive11
I was at Relive to both absorb and join in the conversations but to run a few sessions. The end of day 1 was the live link up to Vpearl the IEEE VW conference/game happening in Hollywood. As I wrote before this link up was itself part of the game really for Vpearl and to Relive. How smoothly could we do it with consumer tech.
Well as expected when you are at a site that you do not control the tech, not using your own machine etc its bound to not work.
We had trouble with the task PC having enough bandwidth to run Second Life (as we planned to do a metaverse linkup). At the other end there were problems trying to patch into voice without causing massive feedback. We tried skype and the local network barred us. Yet between us we found a path through. What we ended up doing was using Andy Piper’s machine that could get on the local wireless and was just about able to IM in SL to text talk to Sandy Kearney in Hollywood, who relayed the questions to their room. At the other end they had a roving camera and microphone and an excellent and enthusiast presenter. The video was delivered on the public Ustream channel. This all felt pretty exciting as I was keen to see the activity at Vpearl. The tweets the day before had been very informative too and it was so cool to see so many people getting on with big ideas live in the Rita Hayworth ballroom at the Sony Centre ! Just as vpearl was about documenting the results the live link up and what happens, whats missing with tech and process will all get fed into the public resources to I thank Relive11 and my audience in the room for their patience.
After day 1 we headed to the hotel and that was an amazing gathering of minds riffing ideas too.
Day 2 began with our panel. Paul Hollins was chairing me, Bill Thompson (BBC Digital planet/Click) and Rebecca Mileham author of Powering Up: Are Computer Games Changing Our Lives. We had a stack of questions that had been sent in and hopefully I can patch in a link to the recording of the webcast too soon. The beats line though in our discussion about getting people creating was Bill saying “If you are not programming you are being programmed”.
I did manage to get in my real virtual to real augmentation loop at some point.
Also Paul introduced me as being scared of Milton Keynes. This was becuase I told him the last time I was here I had to film my first on the road piece to camera and get thrown into a skydiving tube for The Cool Stuff Collective
Relive theatre calm before the storm
We had another interesting discussion on a session run by my fellow BCS animation and Games Dev committee member Jane Chandler. It was a goldfish bowl session around the subject of the when and where will the integration of virtual worlds into the web happen.
This session placed 5 chairs in the centre of the room. 4 of us had to sit on them and 1 was empty. The rest of the chairs were in a circle around us. You can only speak if you are in the middle. So you have to move to the empty chair and one of the others have to leave. This worked brilliantly well. The ebb and flow of ideas was one of the best I have experienced. Well worth doing.
The final session was Andy Piper’s keynote. It was good to hear Andy talk as we were seldom at the same events way back. He did a bit of a retrospective where things had been the last few years but also put his finger on the nub the problem. The lack of expectation that people should create things, or the empty room problem as he called it. He was very passionate, and many of us were nodding in agreement, people should expect to create, they should build and contribute because it is much more rewarding to be part of something than just consume.
I was happy to lend him my Mac too for his pitch as at this point below….
Andy piper #relive11
there were some video issues getting a feed to the screens. However, as with the IEEE linkup we all just get on and sort it out.
So huge thanks to everyone who organized this and thanks for Anna Peachey for inviting me it was a great honour and I heard and learned things which is always brilliant, plus met some fantastic people.
Hopefully see you all next time.

3 thoughts on “Relive my fire

  1. Hi ePredator,

    It was indeed an excellent event. I also thought that those coloured cards had brilliant questions on them – and maybe we could use some shared data space (wiki maybe?) to collect all the questions. Admittedly, it wont be as good as the physical cards but at least we would have the information. Maybe once gathered, we could then do a Phase 2 of running the questions as a survey. I am sure the answers that the ReLIVE11 attendees give would be a gold mine of information, insight and ingenuity.

    I realise the normal, Web 1.0 way to solve this would be to email Anna P and ask her for the electronic document with all the questions. But as the new adage go, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing online, collaboratively and gamificationately.

  2. ….or you could hope that she reads the post and offers the questions anyway 🙂
    Epred do you want me to mail them to you, or would you rather try and piece them together collaborative-jigsaw-like? I’d love to see some collective answers and was thinking of doing something of the type anyway.

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