Call for sponsors – BarCampMelbourne2009 12th-13th September 09

The BarCampMelbourne organisers have been hard at it again – this time putting together an event at Royal Park, Melbourne at UrbanCamp, set to take place over the weekend of 12th-13th September. So, we’re putting out the call for sponsors to help support the event. So, if you know a company who might be willing to offer financial or in kind assistance to help support a group of enthusiastic people passionate about technology, let us know!

StixCampNewstead – Paul Fenwick on ‘Hacking other peoples’ brains’

Paul Fenwick, a consummate and hilarious presenter at past BarCampMelbourne events, lived up to his reputation and had the audience in stitches with his talk on ‘Hacking other peoples’ brains’. The entire premise of his talk is that as geeks, we need to translate inter human communications to some form of protocol – like TCP for Humanz 🙂

Using The Sims as an example, he explained how to get better outcomes when communicating with people, we need to understand how they think and feel – what their ‘status bars’ are and how people are motiviated. As Paul explains – happy people are more likely to give us what we want. This is why people are more likely to say ‘yes’ when you buy then a coffee or bring them chocolate 🙂 A lot of the content in Paul’s presentation boils down to common sense – such as trying to create a win-win situation – if you are helping people fulfill their goals and desires, then they are more likely to assist you in return.

A key point of the presentation was that people are more willing to help if they are made to feel that what they’re doing – and hence themselves – are important and valued – which is why recognition should never be overlooked. If this means telling their manager’s manager about what a great job they’ve done – then do it!

Paul recommended as a great tool for collaborative to do lists.

StixCampNewstead – Jodi Crisp’s talk on pervasive gaming

Jodi, who has recently completed her Masters in interactive gaming, started her discussion by exploring what pervasive gaming meant to different people. It was clear that while there several gamers (both hobbyists and hardcore) in the audience, there weren’t a lot of people with a lot of experience in this field. From the discussions it was also apparent that the phenomenon had a larger following in Europe and UK rather than in Australia. It is not currently clear whether this is a cultural issue – or driven by the physical environment. For instance, it is a lot easier to undertake pervasive gaming in a built up area as there are more people and locations to interact with.

Part of the discussion focussed on an emerging trend whereby the traditional boundary between ‘game play’ and ‘real life’ is blurring so that real life and in-world activities may be undertaken at the same time. A similar parallel is that of work and leisure time becoming more blended – this just takes it one step further.

One of the challenges Jodi mentioned preventing wider uptake of this hobby is reliability of technology – many games are GPS or mobile depdendent and if there are reception issues gameplay is inhibited.