Game On with Bing

Yesterday we went off to London courtesy of Electronic Arts, who had arranged an all expenses paid (perhaps my favourite three words) trip to the Game On exhibition at the Science Museum with free beer (perhaps my favourite two words) and a talk from Bing Gordon, EA's Chief Creative Officer.

Just before we boarded the magic bus

We set off at 10:30 prompt, bound for London. The M1 was kind to us, so we got to the big city in good time. I'd taken the big camera, so it was time to go off and take some snaps.

The Natural History Museum looking good

We piled into the tube and took a ride up to Oxford Street.

Oxford Circus

Fruit and Veg

Then, at 6:30 the doors opened and it was, quite literally, Game on.

EA had set up some gamer pods around the museum. That big shiny thing at the back is the wing of a Spitfire plane.

Bigging Up Bing

First up was the talk from Bing Gordon. Very interesting. Some good comments about life, followed by some more specific discussion of video games.

Health note: these are pulled from my recollections, if anyone who was there remembers differently then I apologise in advance.

From the life point of view:

  • Find out what you really enjoy doing and then try to get to do that as your day job.
  • Don't be afraid to fail.
  • Set yourself big goals (but make them testable so that you can decide when/whether you reach them)
  • Maximise your learning opportunities
  • Set very high standards and give everyone who fails to meet them a really hard time. There is nothing more demoralising than a boss who accepts poor quality work.

This is all good stuff. For me what was also interesting was that one of Bing's heroes is a chap called David Ogilvy. He was an advertising executive who ran some of the most successful campaigns of all time and went on to set up one of the largest Ad agencies in the world. I remember reading one of his books a long time ago (I've always found the advertising field fascinating) and I would advise you to take a look as well. Then the talk turned to games. More from Bing:

  • Games are becoming hobbies (people play them in the same way that they would build model railways, or go fishing)
  • Games are including things like searching, trading and community..
  • .. and search engines and other tools are starting to behave like games
  • By around 2012 we can look forward to movie level realism in games

There was a very good question and answer session at the end, and then the doors to the Game On exhibition were thrown open and it was time to get in there and start playing.

..but first a drink

Game On indeed

Not the kind of high score I'd take a picture of, but there you are

Jon Purdy gets back to basics

One of my all time favourites, Ridge Racer


Not sure quite what this is, but it looks fun.


I used to own quite a few of these....

Then, at 10:00 we all clambered onto the magic bus and headed back to Hull (I had a kind of bet with David Byrne from EA that all our students would turn up on time - and they did. Kudos guys).

Many thanks to the highway engineers who added around an hour to our journey back just because they wanted to play with their big Meccano near one of the bridges. I finally managed to hit the sack around 4:30 am, just as the birds were starting to sing. But it was a good trip.

Thanks to EA for setting it up and making us so welcome.