I though that our trip to Playmatics was perhaps one of the most interesting yet. Nicholas's story of ascension to very real success in the gaming industry was incredibly inspiring. Again we find ourselves speaking with a young Liberal Arts graduate who somehow found the right mix of interest, intellect, gumption, luck, and community to catapult himself into a happy and successful new media career.
His presentation was very cut and dry and forthright. I appreciated him actually giving us his understanding of the emerging industry in cut and dry terms. His discussion of the necessity for work, sunk in and I was impressed by his real understanding of interactions and the sort of visceral ways that people react to being handled by unpleasant technological experiences.
I would be interested to take a gaming class to better understand interaction. Though it may not fit with my schedule. Perhaps the third semester. I really want to get a strong grasp of Interface and User Experience design! I do think that the nature of interactions is what really shapes technology. I was just checking out Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions and in it he talks with, Douglas Engelbart, the inventor of the mouse. Engelbart describes how he basically invented the mouse by recalling a doodle that he wrote while bored once in a meeting, and applying the frivolous doodle to a real solution selecting and maneuvering between multiple selection items on a computer screen. The intuitiveness of good and bad interactions will always be a powerful force in the ways that we think about and develop technology. Nicholas seemed to be very bent on driving this point home to us in the end of his presentation. Technology should aim to be an extension of us. It should make things easier.
An example: How long have I yearned to be able to type whatever I want in the url form and have it take me to a page. One of my first instincts as a first time browser in the 90's was to just type what I wanted to search in the URL field. Today, I can type "what color is the sky?" in this google chrome URL field, and a live web page (not an error one) will appear. I may never use Safari again.