After a silly Sat/Sun I was in the mood for something more substantial. I was at The Glint last night for a talk on Making Motion Musical by Vangelis Lympouridis. Anytime I hang at The Glint I end up having all sorts of stimulating conversation…or rants. Let me start with my rant.
I met a woman from the Marina district (very nice woman, forgot her name) and she brought up a recent study on how video gaming is beneficial to the brain. I pre-emptively apologized to her and then proceeded to get on my self-important imaginary soap box and railed on studies of these kinds. Poor woman didn’t know what hit her. Let me explain (rant) what bothers me about these studies or any similar studies in different fields. I have been a gamer all my life. In fact, I started my own social gaming for good company (which probably makes me passionately biased, but so be it). Video gaming has been around since the advent of Pong 30 years ago and it’s taken this long for a study to come out on the benefits of video gaming? Really?
My problem with these studies is that they are meant for the misinformed and miseducated. What took years to realize through a study could simply be understood in a few hours of gameplay by anyone who appreciates games, not video games, games…period. Which is freaking everyone! We learn and grow from infanthood by playing games. Remember peek-a-boo? I realize the importance of these studies for the misinformed. I get it…I really do. What bothers me is that we even have to conduct these studies. I read a different study the other day on consumption inequality and had an “are you kidding me?” moment. I wondered how long it took for them to compile data and write this study. I could tell you there was consumption inequality by simply walking around downtown San Francisco for 5 minutes on any given day.
I’m probably sounding like I’ve gone on a rail and I apologize because I actually do understand the benefit of the study for those who rely on these things for their information instead of actually engaging in life. In fact, the study contains a great positive net effect for the gaming industry. I should be thankful…grrrrr. Bottomline is I feel we need to live more intuitive and engaged lives and find out about things instead of relying on 3rd party sources for information that is readily available in everyday life.
Ok, enough ranting. Soap box being burned in dishonor.
I then got a chance to talk to my buddy Erton from the Startup Genome. For those of you in the startup arena, you may have heard of their product the Startup Compass. It’s a well thought out startup benchmarking tool based on data compiled from startups from all over the country. They’ve recently moved into new digs in Palo Alto. They’re moving on up! Always great to catchup with him.
The presentation started soon after my conversation with Erton. I found the speaker, Vangelis, to be kooky yet likable. His presentation was a bit haphazard and unfocused, but we did learn about some new technologies that are being used for motion capture and he showed us some nifty videos from his research. I’ve seen these types of systems before where interactive motion influences a spatial field of sound. I’m particularly interested in seeing a system developed for 2 way interaction where the system learns the user’s movement and then is able to “talk” back, influencing the user’s movements and creating a spatial language system. Maybe in the year 3000.
After the talk, I met a filmmaker, Nico Komodore, and had a fascinating exploratory conversation on architecture and sound. We talked about how architecture could be built with the purpose in mind of creating positive sound for people to experience in their daily lives….and then we went off the deep end and talked about materialism, buddhist philosophy, the self model and all sorts of other tangents. You know, all that everyday sort of talk.
Well, that was my Sunday.