Whew! Another long fun day at OryCon.
Last night at 11pm was the Polyamory panel, which was in a smallish room absolutely packed with people. There was a lot of discussion about different ways to approach non-monogamy, and a couple of people there were dealing with particular issues in their own relationships that they asked the room for advice on. There was a great deal of advice handed out both generally and specifically. I got a good laugh when I noted that 95% of relationship advice for how to have a good poly relationship also applies as to how to have a good monogamous relationship, “and the 5% that doesn’t mostly involves calendars”.
I had hoped to make it to open filk last night, but after this panel was over, I was exhausted so I went back to the room and went to sleep instead.
We got up and out in time to get breakfast at the hotel buffet before I had to be at an 11am panel titled “Social Media: Revolution or Time Sink”. It was a spirited discussion about the various ways not only that we all use social media, but the way that marketers use the information they collect from our engagement on social media for various purposes.1 We got a lot of good questions from the audience, and it was thought provoking.
I had a couple of hours off after that before moderating three panels in a row. The first was titled “Putting the Play Back Into Role-Playing”, and had a neat group of RPG vets. We talked a great deal about storytelling, collaboration, and how role-paying is ultimately what you bring to the table as a player more than the mechanics of the given game you are playing. I was left at the end of it with a desire to get into a really crunchy character-driven RPG again.2
Immediately afterwards3, we convened a packed, standing-room-only hour titled “Fifty Years With the Doctor”, celebrating everyone’s favourite Time Lord. The audience (and the panel) was a pretty even split between old-time fans of the show like myself and folks who had only gotten into Doctor Who with the new series. Two of the panelists even said that they got into the show because of their kids, which was a neat sort of reverse-generational story that you don’t run across too often. After a few opening remarks, we pretty much threw this one open to the audience, and had a rollicking good time rockin’ the TARDIS.4
The third panel of the afternoon was titled “The Positive Influence of Video Games”, and was just me and one other panelist. He had a lot of notes on scientific studies on the topic, and some background as a developer, so there was a lot of interesting data. But aside from those studies, we also talked about the aesthetics of gaming and whether or not video games could be art, the sorts of skills and social connections that gaming can help develop, and stories about games that had changed our thoughts about things or made a positive impact on our lives. We got a lot of good audience participation on this one, too, and I felt pretty good about it.
I met up with kitanzi in time to hear the very tail end of Callie Hills’s concert, which was unfortunately scheduled against my panel, and then we went back up to the room and ordered some food for dinner, after which I took a short nap before my final event of the day, which was being part of a “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” game. If you’ve never seen the TV show, it’s improv theatre games, with the twist here being that a lot of the topics and scenarios were tailored towards a science-fiction con crowd. My favourite game was one where we each took on the persona of a fameous author, and then discussed our approach to a book. The topic was “Romance Self-Help book”, and the authors were HP Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, Dr. Suess, and George RR Martin. The lady who had Dr. Suess went on a sad monologue about trying to gain the affections of Sam-I-Am, turning to me at the end and saying “He won’t try my green eggs and ham. What should I do?” and I, as GRR Martin, stepped forward and said “It was at this point in the story that Sam-I-Am suddenly and tragically died.”, which good a good laugh. When it died down, I said “But love must go on, so I am introducing 743 new characters in the next chapter.” which got an even bigger laugh. We also had a lot of fun with traditional bits like Party Guests and Dating Game.
Once again, I find myself too tired for open filk. But I have my concert tomorrow at 1pm, so i’ll get to do at least a little bit of filking at this con. But for now….sleep.
Which is ultimately, in my view, not really as sinister as we tend to treat it. 95% of the people collecting data are doing it to more efficiently sell us things we might actually want, which means less time wadding through advertisements that you don’t care about. Since they’re going to put ads in front of us anyway, they may as well be for things we want to see. ↩
Aside to the old Defensive Perimeter folks: I miss you all so much. ↩
luckily, all three of these were in the same room ↩
If the TARDIS is a’rockin’, don’t bother clockin. ↩