South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, an event for new technologies and web entrepreneurs, has announced that noted game designer Will Wright, creator of The Sims
and the forthcoming Spore
, will deliver a keynote address at the 2007 ScreenBurn Festival, to be held from March 9-13 in Austin, Texas.
In addition to Wright's keynote speech on Tuesday, March 13, the SXSW hosted event will also feature additional gaming-related programming as well as a new ScreenBurn Arcade, which will feature gaming tournaments, as well as new games and technologies not yet released in a free to play public setting. The ScreenBurn Arcade will be open on March 10 and 11 at the Austin Convention Center.
Other programming highlights of the event include 20 panels on various video game topics, including, "Austin, Massively Multiplayer Game Development Capital of the West?" "Getting Girls Into The Game: Designing and Marketing Games for Female Players," and "Serious Games: Can Learning Be Hard Fun?"
Altogether the event will feature more than 130 panels, the SXSW Web Awards, the iF! Trade Show & Exhibition, as well as other events to be announced later. Among the most interesting presenters scheduled to speak at the event include Bioware's Gordon Walton, NCsoft's Linda Powers, and Sony Online Entertainment's John Blakely.
"We introduced ScreenBurn to the SXSW Interactive lineup in 2006, and received an overwhelmingly positive response," commented SXSW Interactive Festival event director Hugh Forrest. "Building on that success, we added more gaming-related programming in 2007, plus will launch the two-day ScreenBurn Arcade. Between the expertise of the high level speakers and the all-out energy of the Arcade, I think ScreenBurn will help take SXSW Interactive to the next level in 2007."
The 2007 ScreenBurn Festival, in addition to being open to the public, will be free of charge for admission, and more information will be available on its official website
in the near future.