Saturday, November 28, 2009

#NEoN 09

Thanks to Scottish Enterprise and Abertay University who invited me to do a talk at the NEoN Digital Arts Festival in Dundee the other week.

As one of the world centres for video game design and development, Dundee is home to Realtimeworlds, of Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings and more recently, the double-BAFTA winning, multi-million seller Crackdown (and soon to be released APB, subject of much excited babble at NEoN).

Also Denki, creators of much of the game content on Sky interactive and DirecTV in the US and the much anticipated Quarrel for Xbox which will debut in 2010.

Among the many other speakers i caught the session with legendary Pixar animator Bud Luckey (who was in the same hotel as me). While Bud is best known for his work on the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, the Incredibles etc he cut his teeth in the ad business with the likes of Tony the Tiger and also early Sesame street (his viruoso banjo skizzles in full effect).

I also heard Mark Daniels of New Media Scotland give some exposure to the many interactive arts projects thriving in Scotland, including the BAFTA winning Cybraphon (from Edinburgh-based artist collective FOUND) an interactive mechanical 'band in a box'. The Cybraphon’s performance is affected by online sentiment as it trawls the web for reviews and comments about itself.

Previous memories of Dundee principally involved being ambushed en route to the railway station by the Hilltoon huns from Dens Park and Tannadice following 'New firm' clashes in the late 80's, but Dundee is an altogether more cultured city these days.

Where else could have a statue of Desperate Dan on the main street?
Looking forward to my next visit.

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