August 22nd, 2007

SOP IV and Flash Forward

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I spend the last two days at State of Play IV held at Marina Mandarin. The turnout are mostly academics and not surprising a lot of lawyers. Incidentally, State of Play IV is probably one of the few event that I dont feel embarrass when playing Warcraft at the back of the room. Not especially when Doug Thomas introduced himself as a level 70 warlock at the beginning of his speech.

Being one of the early MUD implementor in Singapore, I find many of the discussion resonate with some of the issues we faced in the 90s. Surprisingly, a large portion of the time is allocated about education in virtual space. Not that I don’t believe in that (I learn a lot about management playing “God” in my MUD), learning is perhaps the last thing in the mind of many players.

There are also many interesting speakers that I really enjoyed (I might be tanking in Mechanar but I am always listening). Doug was really great and I wish I went up to speak to him. John Seely Brown is great thinker and his questions stumbled the panelist a few times. Charles Nesson presentation during lunch was excellent example of how people uses Secondlife for Education. Sadly, we have no equivalence of that in Singapore.

(For further review on SOP IV, please read TechnoKimchi who blog about the event in far greater details.)

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Speaking of Charles, he speak most of his time talking about his new Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society. I am not a huge fan of Poker (I am more of a bridge player) but I could understand some of the rationale about his new movement. Game of Skill like Bridge and Poker does teaches a lot of life skill, in strategy like negotiation tactics, feint and tells, in winning and losing.

The first time Jonathan Cohen told me about it, I asked “why not bridge?”. I kind of understand the reasons behind it; For one, Poker is much easier to learn and play unlike Bridge where you have spend quite a bit of time learning memorizing and bidding conventions. More interestingly, while Bridge is a non-debatable Game of Skill, Poker falls in this grey area between Game of Chance and Game of Skill and therefore more pivot to what is allowed and what is not in the debate of Internet Freedom. But I guess Charles, Lessig and others who is involved in GPSTS is more Poker player than bridge. :-)

Lastly, we have our Flash Forward party last night. We have over 100+ people turn up which was great. Sadly, party on a Tuesday night (esp. late at 9:30pm) kind of turn off many people so we have a lot less people then we could have. Nevertheless, it was fun. U-Zyn and gang from Gratisvibes made a great job compiling and DJ’ing a selection of Creative Commons music for the night. Also have a chance to meet many new friends, like Danny Kim from TechnoKimchi among many others.

The disappointment I have I thought we have Open Source Beer but I guess wrong. And sadly, being a family man of two kids, I have to leave pretty early at 11:30pm.

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