Disruptive Technologies Impacting the Future of Gaming | REACH 2013 #REACHGAMES

WP_20131024_001This was a really fun night. Hosted by TechZulu and Gadget Review at the shared office space Cross Campus LA in Santa Monica, a packed house sat through a stimulating panel of gaming professionals talking about the current state of gaming and what the future might hold.

Moderated by Scot Rubin (NITROPOD/SVP Digital Media Big Door/Cofounder G4TV), the panel included Josh Yguado (President SGN), Chris Hewish (Head of Interactive DreamWorks Animation), Wilson Kriegel (President/COO Paltalk /former CRO of Zynga/OMGPOP), Robin Kaminsky (CEO 1st Street Partners/Former EVP of Publishing, Executive Lead Global Gaming Activision/Blizzard).

Topics were fast and varied. From casual gaming disrupting traditional console gaming to talking about monetization and micro-transactions. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of demographics. I find the current media market is holding to age and gender groups in ways which actually work against production, advertising, and distributing content to people who might engage with it, all in the pursuit of some “target demo” which may or may not respond.

Also fascinating  was a mini-debate which took place over educational games. Info-tainment might not be particularly effective. Ms. Kaminsky dropped a bomb with “if a game is fun, it’s not going to be particularly educational. If it’s educational, it’s not going to be particularly fun”, yet the whole panel largely agreed that the gamification of certain educational arenas might garner results. The example of typing tutors was brought up, and I happen to be a pretty big fan of Typing of the Dead.

For more info on TechZulu events, check out their calendar, and you can watch the whole panel discussion from their Youtube Livestream below.

UPDATED! SomeGadgetGuy’s Production Master Class for Social Media Week LA 2013

BVHHsnNCUAAcIrfIt’s a good thing I don’t  ramble or anything…

I was invited to teach a master class on media production for Social Media Week in Los Angeles. I was honored to be asked, and thankfully they had me tackling a subject I could jump into, producing higher quality materials using the tools which come standard on just about all of our various gadgets and phones and tablets.

It was a great environment, being able to let my geek flag fly, and share my experiences ABOUT sharing my experiences while discussing how to create a work flow, tackle pre-production, and take some of the stress out of the post process for photos, audio, and video.

We’re wrapping up SMW-LA tomorrow, but I’ve gotten to meet some really cool folks and sit in on some fantastic workshops. For more info on Social Media Week events around the world, check out: http://socialmediaweek.org/

***UPDATE***

My somewhat rambling master class is now on LiveStream for you all to marvel at my presenting skills!

Microsoft unveils Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in NYC

LB_8705Before I even get into this announcement, can I just say it’s starting to become a real bummer when companies release these new products at swanky events but don’t do a live stream. I digress.

At a swanky un-watchable event in NYC this morning the Redmond Surface team officially took the wraps off of the new Surface Pro 2. A substantial update to the progressive little Windows 8 tablet released in February of this year. This was a necessary release time table for Microsoft as the OG Surface came out right before a new generation of lower power processors from Intel.

LB_8749The design and dimensions remain largely unchanged from the original. There weren’t many criticisms about the form factor or build quality. One of the few exterior updates is a change to the angle of the kickstand allowing for improved lap usability.

Continue reading “Microsoft unveils Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in NYC”

iPhone 5S Launch Day Adventure – SomeGadgetGuy at the AT&T store in West Hollywood, California

somegadgetguy juan carlos bagnell iphone 5s launch day att store west hollywood californiaAnd no fights broke out…

I might just start doing this for all launch day activities. The folks at AT&T were kind enough to open a store early for me to check out the iPhone launch. I got hands on with the iPhone 5S, and got to see a store in action on one of their busiest days of the year.

I did the whole day on about three-ish hours of sleep, so I might’ve gotten a little goofy… Yes I’m holding a Lumia 1020… This photo of me MIGHT have been taken with an HTC one…

Yay iPhone!

Pledge to reduce distracted driving! #ItCanWait ‘Drive 4 Pledges Day’ – September 19th!

it_can_wait_logoDistracted driving is becoming one of my primary technology “cause” issues. As tech becomes more fashionable, as we integrate data into more and more of our waking day, we’ve still yet to completely crack the user experience of interacting with technology while operating a motor vehicle. Some day we’ll have better solutions like heads up displays and eye pieces, probably used in conjunction with driver-less cars, but that day has not yet arrived.

Over 100,000 crashes a year involve distracted drivers. We can do better. We need to do better.

Backed by all four major carriers, the It Can Wait campaign will be sponsoring events all around the country on September 19th. During the Drive 4 Pledges Day, communities will be hosting pledges drives, encouraging their neighbors to sign the pledge to not text (or use your phone) while driving. I’ll be attending the Los Angeles pledge event to show my support.

For those of you who want to participate, but wont be able to attend community events, check out ItCanWait.com for other ways to support the cause. it only takes a moment’s indiscretion for someone’s life to be irrevocably changed.

If you haven’t yet, I would also recommend watching the documentary From One Second to the Next, directed by Werner Herzog. It’s available for free on Youtube, and I have it embedded after the break.

Continue reading “Pledge to reduce distracted driving! #ItCanWait ‘Drive 4 Pledges Day’ – September 19th!”

Field Trip Day coming to Pasadena, California September 15

field trip day flagField Trip is an app which helps users discover fun and interesting things to see in their general vicinity. Chock full of trivia and restaurant reviews, it can be a pretty handy guide aiding, you in your local adventures.

Field Trip Day is coming to Pasadena on September 15th! What is Field Trip Day you might ask? It’s a day where people get together and use Field Trip. Together. Here’s how the Field Trip folks explain it:

Field Trip Day is an afternoon of local discovery, challenges, one-day-only opportunities, and hidden surprises. Armed with the Field Trip app and your wits, an afternoon’s adventure will reveal Pasadena’s secrets – from rocket launches to peanut butter soda, from the man who broke baseball’s color barrier to the man who revolutionized chewing gum, from auditioning for the role of Stanley in “Streetcar Named Desire” to learning the truth about a religious cult… explore Pasadena like never before.

The event is free to participate, but space is limited, so head over to the Field Tripper site to sign up! Who knows… I might even go…

Werner Herzog Q&A After the LA Premier of ‘From One Second To The Next’

Hosted by Brooke Burke-Charvet, the documentary ‘From One Second To The Next’ was screened for an LA audience made up of celebrities and people who have been affected by texting while driving. Director Werner Herzog answered some questions after the screening.

For more information on the It Can Wait Campaign, please check out: http://www.itcanwait.com/

To watch ‘From One Second To The Next’: http://youtu.be/_BqFkRwdFZ0