Video game designer and visionary Will Wright, inventor of Sim City and The Sims, spoke spoke last night at the Mezzanine Bar in San Francisco, but not about his upcoming evolution game Spore. But he did have a geekgasm about science fiction, miniature worlds, and the future of the user/viewer/gamer experience. Plus he referenced Godzilla, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Phillip K. Dick during his 45 minute speech, complete with slides. So we weren't complaining. Check out some highlights in the gallery and the list below.
- Will is a huge fan of high dynamic range photography, as well as Olivo Barbieri's tilt-shift photography that makes everything look like miniature models. He said both style of photography take the real world and make them look like toys.
- He's also a huge proponent of expanding the experience of movies and television shows, pointing to the numerous Star Wars tie-ins like novels and toys, and his own endless slew of expansion packs for The Sims.
- The new Cylons were mentioned numerous times, and he specifically used Battlestar Galactica to show how new life with old properties can enrich the viewer experience and tell a new story at the same time.
- He pointed out how people have obsessed over Lost, mapping out the entire island and the deciphering of the blacklight text and drawings from inside the hatch. He compared the maps of both the hatch system and the island to maps from Treasure Island and The Land of Oz.
- He compared the castaways on Gilligan's Island to the seven deadly sins: Gilligan = Sloth, Ginger = Lust (and how), Mary Ann = Envy (hey, I lusted after her too!), The Professor = Pride, Mr. Howell = Greed, Mrs. Howell = Gluttony (what?), and The Skipper = Anger (we'd say gluttony).
- He distinctly remembers being 4 years old and having the crap scared out of him by Godzilla on television. He also went on to point out how Godzilla changed an extreme amount over the 24 movies (!) in the series, and how he went from fierce and terrifying to almost cute and cuddly. Son of Godzilla? Ouch.
- His main point was that "the best stories are inherently deconstructable and lead to the largest variety of play, and those are inherently generative and lead to story." In other words, let's break everything down, mix it up, and have infinite play with the cool things we love, and the stories will come out of it.
- He hope that one day we have a huge sandbox world of toys to play in, that would include movies, where the Borg could fight Star Destroyers and Cylon Basestars. That actually sounds like too many cooks spoiling the soup. When he started saying "Wouldn't it be cool if Harry Potter could meet Spider-Man?" we had to say "Uh, no."