Mar 092012

New this year at Notacon, Chris Sanyk, along with members of the Cleveland Game Developers will be on hand to scratch an itch most of us have had for a long time: Making your own video game!

“A Game, Any Game”  starts with a kick off Chris Sanyk’s presentation entitled, “Game Maker: Crash Course”.  Afterwards, all are invited to a special area in the hackerspace area of Notacon 9 devoted to video game development.  You do not need to be a programmer to participate and, in fact, everyone including writers, artists, musicians and coders are encouraged to participate and collaborate on their own games.  “A Game, Any Game” space and mentoring will be open and available throughout Notacon.  Stop in for a few minutes or stay most of the con, the choice is yours!

We spoke with Chris recently about his presentation and workshop.  Below are his responses.

Who do you feel would benefit most from your presentation?
(For Game Maker Crash Course): People who want to participate in A Game Any Game, but have no previous programming experience and are looking for a tool to use. People interested in making videogames and learning how to do it.

(For A Game, Any Game):Creative types. Artists, designers, music and sound people, programmers. People who like working quickly on small projects alone or with a team.

What one concept or viewpoint would you like Notacon participants to walk away with?
GMCC: Anyone can learn some basic skills and concepts and make a videogame.
AGAG: Making things is the most fun you can possibly have, and doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Making things in groups and then talking to them is even more fun.

When did you become interested in hacker culture and hacker conferences?
I’m not sure when I became aware of hacker culture, specifically, but the films Cloak and Dagger and Wargames influenced me a great deal. I was part of hacker culture before I knew what it was. I read Steven Levy’s book, Hackers, at some point during the 90’s, but even before that a lot of what he codified as “The Hacker Ethic” was a major part of my value system. I attended a public school special education program for “gifted” children, where I acquired many of those values, such as: self-paced, self-directed learning, questioning and resisting authority, problem and puzzle solving skills, figuring out how things work, making things, using computers, and so on. I was withdrawn and antisocial for a long time before I learned there were other people out there (real people, not just unknown people in cyberspace) who I could meet in person, and who I had these things in common with, a common culture, a real community. I love that we’ve found ways to express this culture and create events for ourselves to promote and advance our values and ourselves.

What other passions do you have, besides those covered in your presentation?
Pugs! Intellectual freedom of all kinds, freedom of expression and belief, privacy issues, especially, as well as copyright reform as it affects intellectual freedom issues. Corporate reform. Environmental sustainability. Human rights. Space exploration and colonization. AI and robotics. The singularity. Urban folklore, modern and ancient myths, the occult, cryptozoology. Science, math, logic, philosophy. Role-playing games. Writing. Sexuality.

What excites you most about Notacon 9?
Interesting people! Seeing them again and meeting for the first time. Learning new things. Presentations and Talks.

Any final thoughts or statements you’d like to share with the community.
Free yourself of your ego if you haven’t already. Be good to each other. Be respectful in disagreement, civil in conflict resolution. Hackers can make the world a much better place than it is, and should strive to do so. Make sure the world can understand this, clearly and without guidance. Find someone who wants to learn, and teach them what you know. Have fun.

You can’t see Chris’ presentation unless you’re at Notacon 9! Register now!

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