the_eggwhite: (Default)
One month (and a bit) down the road, I'm still really liking sharing a flat with [livejournal.com profile] nishatalitha. We've been making slow but steady progress in getting our home sorted, and yesterday we reached the point where we have no crates in the living room. We've still got crates and boxes in the bedroom and what I'm trying to call the study (can't call it a spare bedroom as there's no bed in it), and we still don't have much storage furniture in our bedroom, but we're getting there.

I've even started to enforce order out in the garage - and I plan to make further progress with that today. I've still not worked out how to store the LARP wardrobe sensibly, but I suspect it may just get bagged & boxed (with mothballs) out in the garage. It'll make it less easily browseable, but it'll work.

Our moving plans were also briefly interrupted by Eastercon last weekend - which was excellent, although I had a bit of a subdued feeling for much of it that I can't quite work out the reasons for. Probably a part of it was that a large number of the familiar-face collection of friends I've started to gather at Cons didn't go to this one. I also managed to pick up some form of lurgy that didn't hit in earnest until I got home, but I think was making me unduly tired whilst I was there, too.

On the "my crowd wasn't present" front, though, there were a couple of folks I vaguely know from the Shakespeare's Head who put in an appearance. I've not been there for far too long - it's just ended up as a part of my mighty confluence of clashing third saturday activities, and I've ended up missing three or four in a row. We also made the acquaintance of a couple of new people, including [livejournal.com profile] katlinel, who was discovered by [livejournal.com profile] nishatalitha and drawn into our (rather small) circle by the expedient of convenient and unoccupied seating. Handy things, vacant seats at cons.

There were good panels on a great many topics, but with unfailing accuracy the inter-hotel busses failed me whenever there was a panel I most wanted to go to. In particular, I missed half of a panel on the story components of games - which was a bit of a gutpunch as that was the one panel of the con I'd really wanted to not miss. Still, I caught half of it - and it was enough to be interesting.

I did notice that (other than one notable exception) the gaming involvement on panels seems to have largely become firmly lodged between the '70s an the '90s. The notable exception was Sarah Newton, who has not only sold me on Mindjammer as a game (not exactly a hard sell, it's a FATE based SF game) and spoke well enough on the topic that I bought her novel as well.

It's partly because of that "gamers stuck in the past" feeling (and because [livejournal.com profile] nishatalitha suggested it) that I am thinking that I might start putting my name down as an "I'm prepared to be on panels" person. When I get on a roll (or when somebody manages to push my buttons a bit) I'm not a bad public speaker. I've had a fair bit of practice at it these days (between presentations, UX workshops, theatre stuff and BarCamps) and I have fields where I most certainly know stuff.

The drawback is identifying those fields well enough (in an SFnal way) to state them on volunteering / being on panels forms. I know enterprise software user experience (which, despite prevailing opinion/evidence, need not be an oxymoron). I know (but am a good few years rustier on) real-world AI - particularly industrial applications of unsupervised learning and novelty detection. I know story design for LARP, and creating rich plots where players still have agency. I've theorized at length about applying UX techniques and ideas to game design, and I've got proven experience in the field of online community design and (in a totally related fashion) a bee in my bonnet about personal and group identities. (edit: Also - really bad SF & Fantasy films)

How do you codify that into a "what could you talk about" list that typically seems to expect a list of single words?

Answers on a postcard, please (or a comment).
the_eggwhite: (Default)

Early Days

Arrival

Somehow, at around 9:20am, I was actually ready to get started.  Which was odd, because that was exactly what I'd planned - I usually expect to either be running late, or (more usually) to actually be ready a good half hour or so before I need to set off, leaving myself with nothing to do.  Since things were going to plan, I headed round to pick up TheMadOne, who I was driving to what would be his first Eastercon.

Upon arriving at the Radisson Non-Euclidean I went to see if my room was ready, and was told "1 hour".  So we registered and then started scouring the programme grid, whilst waiting for a few IFIS folk to arrive.

Read more... )

 

This post has been crossposted from eggbox.org.uk. There may be associated images over there too.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
Well, that was without a doubt the best EasterCon I've ever been to. Admittedly, it's the only EasterCon I've ever been to, but I felt that some superlatives were required as it was a bloody good convention. There were a couple of bumps along the way (I'll come on to those later), but in general I had a fantastic time - even where the bumps were involved.

(note: this is written bit by bit, in between doing work - if it doesn't flow well, that's why. I'll tidy it up more with edits as I notice anything particularly disjointed. It's also written for the public at large as much as for people who usually follow my LJ.)

Orbital: Con Report )
the_eggwhite: (Default)
...in that I don't think I'll be going to see Jonathan Coulton on Thursday night. I still could, but I've been burning the candle at both ends a lot lately, and I'm expecting to have a tiring time at Orbital (the name for this year's EasterCon - major British SF con). As such, I'll not be going... tempting as it may be. I just have too much else going on and need to have some downtime.

That said, I'm really looking forward to Orbital.
the_eggwhite: (Default)
I've just decided "What the hell!" and booked for Eastercon. I had previously held off from booking for two reasons... the first was general purpose crapness on my part and never quite getting around to it, but more recently I've been waiting to know when my mum's going to need me to go and visit her (she's about to go into hospital for a bit, and I'll be visiting when she's out again). Now I know when that's happening, I went ahead and booked.

Since I've also just received a nice little bonus, I thought "What the hell" again and decided to make a little local holiday out of it... so I've booked to stay in one of the con's overflow hotels (main one's full). This means that I can go to the con and be allowed to have a drink or two without a public transport enforced curfew.

I'm quite looking forward to it, really.

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