Unusually for a TED podcast, this one picks up after the presenter
has already begun their speech. It jumps straight into him talking about
his roots, where he grew up in Ireland. But don't worry, none of the
meat of the presentation is missing.
David got into computing through a roundabout route, as he talks about.
In school, the school had a grant from the government for specialised
computing equipment, and the installers left the programming manuals
lying around where anyone could just pick them up.
Much of the talk leads on in the same manner. A very humorous look
at the roots of videogaming. The presenter is constantly making wisecracks
at his own expense and that of the technology he worked with. He shows
some really simplistic ASCII art games, and starts to talk about how
you had to have a pretty good imagination to believe you were what the
games told you, you were.
Moving on more to the present day, gaming virtual worlds and non gaming
are mentioned. World of Warcraft and Project Entropia are mentioned
explicitly, and the keyy market of player to player item trading is
remarked and expanded upon as one of the key figures for the growth
in spending in this industry.
From 6:36 onwards, a video montage is played, showing the increase
in graphics capability in computer mediated environments from 1976 to
2006 - a single 30 year snapshot that shows 30 years of improvement,
and the interesting observation that progress has not occurred linearly.
It is an exponential curve that is still increasing - an S curve. Video
concludes at 9.06.
An interesting point about the video is it is not just showing graphics
increases, though that was its stated purpose. It clearly demonstrates
through the montage, the evolution of physics, AI, and general interactivity
on similar S curves.
As the presenter immediately states afterwards, graphics are improving,
but that's not the main focus. "Can a videogame make you cry?"
Emotional involvement, getting the player to bond with the game is the
real reason for the graphics, and the topic the presenter really cares
A student video is up next. A self-confessed videogame addict, discussing
how he became a partially digital being - how even the simplest 16 bit
console became more than an escape, it became a personal virtual reality.