DICE Day 1

DICE today went quite well. This is really quite an amazing gathering of industry folks. Ted Price (AIAS Chairman) says they capped the attendance this year at 450; that long-term they’re planning to keep it capped to 500. This small attendance yields great face time with people, and a very high caliber of attendee. I’m quite happy to have come.
Highlight of today’s talks, I believe, was the opening speech by Marc Ecko. He gave an irreverant speech with loads of cursing and disclaimers, emphasizing the importance of being tuned in to the “consumer culture”. Also emphasized how little the average consumer cares about the technology (the fleece in his sweatshirts for example) – they’re really more interested in the experience, the brand, and what associating themselves with a particular product says about THEM. Interesting stuff. His top five things to keep in mind when producing products in today’s climate:
1. Popstalgia
2. Instant gratification
3. The marketing of the apocalypse
4. Customization
5. The democratization of design
I won’t detail these for now. Hopefully this talk will be available through AIAS on video.
Here’s a silly picture of Jamil Moledina (GDC head) and Julian Eggebrecht (Factor5 owner), on their matching Motorola RAZRs. I found it amusing to see that when I stepped away from our conversation I came back to see them both on the phone… Julian dropped his phone later, but it didn’t stick into the ground like in those commercials. Darn!
The awards ceremony was absolutely awful. It’s amazing that it was the 8th annual AIAS awards, and yet they haven’t figured out how to make them good. Basically the awards ceremony was a series of awards read off the teleprompter, one after another, with simply changing out the announcer every few awards. No video clips, no audio, no… no… no nothing really. Sooooo boring. 2 hours of boring. If we’d had alcohol we would all have been hammered by the end. Especially if we’d had a shot every time Half-Life 2 won an award. They were even in the console game of the year category (uh, what?)
Anyway, apparently there were massive technical difficulties which prevented them from both using the video clips produced by G4, and practicing the ceremony. So, yeah. Awful. I’m going to email and see if there’s anything I can help with for next year. Who knows. Sigh.

Marc Ecko’s talk summarized here. It doesn’t quite have the same amount of forcefulness, style, and profanity, but it gets his point across.