As usual a slowish Australian conference start to the year, still getting used to these hot Jan/Febs ;-) Coming up though cool conferences and seminars I am appearing at and will add more to this post as others firm up. In chronological order:

  • Feb 24-29 – LAMP, Victoria. Directing the 8th residential in Marysville, Victoria
  • Mar 1 – Growing Worlds: Turning Your Stories into Games. Melbourne. Organising, panel and interviewing.
    • The recent emergence of games as a storytelling platform is extending the familiar narrative family of books, plays, film and television. The next generation of games will rely on story, narrative and character development to immerse users inside the experience and allow them to live the story. Come and hear award-winning novelist, TV and games writer Matt Costello talk about the key ingredients of planning, writing, designing and structuring a compelling game, referring to the types of stories and characters best adapted from other media.
  • Mar 3 – Broadband and Beyond. One day high power conference on models and Visions for Market Growth, Innovation and Profitability. Speaking on Convergence with the likes of Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Senator Stephen Conroy and CEOs of Fairfax, ABC TV and Hutchinson.
    • Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is the keynote speaker and will be joined by Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and a host of other international and local speakers who have been selected to provide the Australian audience with a robust and varied perspective on the converging communications environment. Together they will explore, debate and explain future trends, business opportunities, the impact of climate change and green technologies on the communications industry; world’s best practice and global trends in broadband services. The theme of the conference is Models and Visions for Market Growth, Innovation and Profitability which include: a) Convergence: What it will deliver and who benefits. b) How high bandwidth helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. c) Odd coupling in a digital era: or how broadband is creating new and unlikely business alliances.
  • Mar 6 – ABC National
    • If you believe some of the recent on-line statistics, international audiences for network TV are down a third since 1985, the number of radio listeners is at a 27 year low. In Australia, more than half the population is downloading and streaming audio and video from the internet. While YouTube and on-line games are preferred entertainment it’s not entirely a young person’s obsession. The average age of on-line gamers is just over 30. In today’s program, a look at the history of games from the first arcade entertainment Pong to the popularity of the on-line World of Warcraft and Rune Scape.. A recording of me babbling away can be heard here. Al Alcorn Games developer, Pong Helen Stuckey Curator, ACMI Gary Hayes Director, Laboratory for Advanced Media Production, Australian Film Television and Radio School
  • Mar 12 – ad:tech. Sydney. Australia’s #1 interactive event. On a panel discussing ‘€œBrand Opportunities in Social Virtual Worlds’€œ –
    • Social virtual worlds can be foreign to many and the benefits of building a profile or a full-on brand experience within those virtual worlds may not even be considered as part of the marketing plan. If you’re not sure how social virtual worlds can be beneficial for branding then join us for a basic look at the opportunities. We’ll begin with an overview of virtual worlds, how to approach them for the first time, and how to create and develop a personality or character within the world. Gary Hayes will outline the steps taken to launch his clients into these worlds such as ABC TV, BigPond and Fortune 100 companies and the value they have received. You’ll also hear Laurel Papworth’€™s experience as a user and insights as she outlines her views on what brand opportunities are available. Finally you’ll hear a case study from Tennille Wong on how IBM.com.au successfully used a virtual world as a research medium. Social Virtual Worlds definitely have a place in the digital landscape and if you’re interested in learning how to get involved, this is the session for you.
  • Mar 13 – Our Space: Asia Pacific Online. Sydney. Part of a global Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade conference. A final keynote “Overview of Virtual Communities: Life in the Virtual Space” looking at the economic, social and regulatory aspects.
    • Life in the Virtual Space. This session will examine the emerging phenomenon of social virtual worlds that to a great extent now mirror our real world. Special attention will be paid to explaining both the community and economic implications of these online multi user virtual environments (MUVEs), their increasing popularity in Asia, and how such customisable environments can be used for communication, education, business, product development and many forms of activism.
  • Mar 25 – AIMIA Intimates. Sydney. Guest speaker on the topic of Online Gaming
    • Virtual worlds, games and social networking applications will converge with the progression of web 3D and open social platforms. A panel of experts will discuss the evolution of online games from product to media and what this means to the media and advertising industries. Speakers are: David Edery – Worldwide Games Portfolio Planner for Xbox Live Arcade Janet Carr – Series Producer, Good Game, ABC Gary Hayes – The Project Factory. Jean-Marie Guitera – Subversive Games. Mark Fordham – Electronic Arts. David Kainer – Viva La Mobile. Come along and participate in the conversation and enjoy complimentary drinks to toast the first AIMIA NSW Intimates event for 2008. The conversation will take a look at: How companies are already trying to capitalise on the new business opportunities that are opening eg. Google’s next frontier – TV and in-game advertising. The trends the game developers are incorporating into their new games. Monetising the new medium and where the advertising opportunities will be, such as “Advergames”. The role online gaming will play in Web 3 technologies. The strategic choices about business model innovation as online gaming boundaries blur. The drivers of the online gaming evolution, such as new consumer behaviour and the technologies, (Euphoria, Digital Molecular Matter).
  • Apr 7-11 – Milia. Cannes, France. Speaker and organising panelist on “Social Virtual Worlds meets TV: The Mixed Reality Perfect Storm”.
    • “Where Social Networks meet Games meet TV”. Which side of the wall are you on? TV and Film OR Games and Virtual Worlds? That wall is about to crumble. This is a wake up call to all entertainment producers and consumers to prepare for an almighty collision. Audiences are already spending up to four times as much of their entertainment time in virtual spaces than they are watching TV and there is a growing tide of shows from virtual worlds which mirror our experiences in the physical world. This exciting afternoon panel will examine a wide range of cross-over services that work between games, virtual worlds and linear TV. This seminar is intended for film and TV producers looking to merge their entertainment worlds.
  • Jun 25 – Law & Regulation of Virtual Worlds. Melbourne. (Run through Monash Univ).
    • Businesses, and communities of users are increasingly operating in virtual worlds, such as Second Life. But doing business in virtual worlds raises many complex, novel legal issues.

More to add soon