Gamercamp 2010 Keynote

On November 13th, 2010 at the Toronto Underground Cinema, I performed the closing keynote of the first day of Gamercamp 2010, entitled “We Are All Trapped In The Belly Of This Horrible Machine And The Machine Is Bleeding To Death.” You can view it below (warning: infrequent strong language which suddenly becomes very frequent towards the end).

(While the slides are somewhat necessary to the flow of the talk, you can download an MP3 here too.)

As the talk was performed over three months ago, I think it does need some context, so I’ve thrown together some quick notes and links for anyone interested.

  • The claim that I wrote every part of this talk–including the synopsis–at the very last minute is not “shtick” but complete honesty. It’s reflected in the delivery of the talk, which to me comes off like a stand-up routine that hasn’t been rehearsed enough (I seem to have this ability to fail a sentence and somehow simultaneously trail off from it while instantaneously starting another. It’s disconcerting.)
  • The Jaime and Mark I refer to during the talk are (of course) Jaime Woo and Mark Rabo, organizers of Gamercamp.
  • If it seems like I spend a lot of time talking about myself, it’s because I genuinely believe (with good reason) that you have no idea who I am.
  • You can find the Chris Crawford article I refer to, “Sixty,” here.
  • If you can bear it, you can listen to my infamous (?) drunken appearance on the Listen UP podcast here (you’re going to have to scroll down to Listen UP: 04/3/2009, or find my name, misspelt with two Ts as usual.)
  • All forum comments taken from this NeoGAF thread, because it was passed along to me by a friend (though I won’t pretend I don’t obsessively google myself like everyone else, because I do, I just spell my name correctly when I do it.)
  • I’m still not a voice in Sword and Sworcery.
  • You can find the Joel Johnson article I refer to, “You Write ‘Bias Journalism’ and I Read ‘Derp'” here (trusting I get a Gawker link to work, they always bump me back to the front page.) My summary of it is awkward and my point is not really the post itself, but how applauded it was by others.
  • I’m not going to tell you what blog I dissect, but you’re all smart people.
  • Probably the most memorable (and most stand-uppy) bit of the talk is the “shitty house” metaphor, and one bit of that I feel that leaves me open to criticism is that while, yes, with exp. I am trying to clean off a small square of the house for myself, for money I have–and will almost certainly continue to–shit on the house along with everyone else. Even the people who are shitting on the house for peanuts (err…) are just trying to make a living. My problem is the people in positions of power, who see no reason to do anything other than shit everywhere.
  • The reference to Podgamer is, sadly, outdated now; Stuart Campbell and Jonathan Nash fell out, broke apart, and now the site is a shadow of its former self.
  • You can view Brandon Boyer’s talk on “snark” as part of the Indie Gamemaker Rant at the GDC Vault, and he talks about it here.
  • I keep telling people it wasn’t a standing ovation because only some people stood up, but I don’t know if that comes across as false modesty. It probably counts. It was great. I felt like Robin Williams at the end of Dead Poets Society… or something.
  • I think if I was to do this talk again to reflect the current climate, it would (probably) be a lot less positive. Dickwolves and misogynistic abuse over Twitter have taken their toll.
  • Ultimately, I know that there is nothing new under the sun, my points have been made before (and certainly better) and were at times were facile. However, for an emotive session of just one man’s views pulled together at the last minute (and for the time) I think I did OK. Take my message to heart and be gentle in the comments, if you choose to have anything to say at all!
Published by Mathew Kumar, on February 25th, 2011. Filed under: ArticlesNo Comments

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