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8:20pm on Friday, 27th January, 2012:

Sound System


It's years since I smelled the smell of a burned-out amplifier, but I did today. I'm at the Preservation of Complex Objects (POCOS) conference in Cardiff, and the amp burned out while they were trying to attach it to Ian Livingstone's laptop.

As an accidental metaphor, this is pretty good. What Ian was saying was more important than established views of games and society are able to cope with. He gave a talk mainly about his own history in the UK games industry, but in doing so he described the history of the UK games industry as a whole and much about its imminent future, too. It was fascinating stuff — the kind of thing that would make an excellent TV documentary. From his perspective, it was just anecdotes and predictions, but from the perspective of preserving games and their culture for future generations it was prime source material.

This is a much higher-calibre conference than I was expecting. There are maybe 40 or 50 people here, but on the whole they're surprisingly high-powered. There are people from major libraries and national collections as well as from some of the better UK games-teaching universities and a few from industry. There were some from overseas, too. Things may actually get done as a result of this.

I'd tell you what my own talk was about but I'll just put the slides up on my web site some time instead, it's lazier...

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).