The 2008 Austin Game Developers Conference has revealed noted SF author and futurist Bruce Sterling as the keynote for the Writing Track at the September 15th-17th conference, giving a speech named: 'Computer Entertainment 35 Years from Today'.
The description of the intriguingly-titled session reads as follows:
"Pong is 36 years old, and Pong marked the birth of popular computer entertainment.
Imagine if someone from 2008 walked into the office of Nolan Bushnell in 1973 as he prepared to launch Pong, to explain today's "computer entertainment" to the great pioneer. For instance: hundreds of thousands of networked people evolving their own Sim space aliens.
Or: an artist in residence in New York City fabricating an eighteen foot tall digital statue of Gandhi, as, using a treadmill and Second Life, he mimics Gandhi's epic march to the sea.
How could you explain that insanely great stuff to Nolan Bushnell in 1973 -- even though it's all perfectly true? It's par for the course for us -- but for him, could you even find the words -- the most basic concepts?
Now imagine the kind of "computer entertainment" our grandchildren will be tackling in 35 years. What if some visitor from the future frankly told you what was going on -- your industry, in his own language, from the year 2043?
Nobody can do that -- but Bruce Sterling certainly knows how to fake it. And he will!"
Bruce Sterling is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre. He has also written many books, including The Hacker Crackdown, Holy Fire, Heavy Weather, Distraction, and Zeitgeist.
For more information on the 2008 Austin Game Developers Conference, including other key lectures already planned for the September 15th - 17th event, please refer to the official Austin GDC 2008 website