I’ll be on the following panels at Loncon3. Do feel free to come along!
Diggy Diggy Hole! Minecraft and Gaming Communities
Thursday 13:30 – 15:00, London Suite 2 (ExCeL)
Minecraft was the surprise smash hit of 2011, and continues to be a huge part of gaming culture, however one of the most interesting things about it are the communities that have grown up around them. Webcasters like The Yogscast are now incredibly popular, with more people watching their daily shows than many television programmes. At the same time, huge communities have sprung up around these groups, as well as the games themselves. How important are these games and communities to the future of gaming?
The Deeper the Roots, the Stronger the Tree (moderating)
Friday 10:00 – 11:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)
The roots of modern science fiction and fantasy are often associated with authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, T.H. White, H.G. Wells, and Mary Shelley. But plenty of 19th- and early 20th-century authors with minimal or no fantastical or sfnal content have inspired and continue to inspire modern genre writing, including but not limited to Alexandre Dumas, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, and Georgette Heyer. What is the on-going appeal of such authors, their styles, and their worlds? What is it about them that lends itself to genrefication?
Settling the Alien World
Friday 12:00 – 13:30, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)
Here are three star systems, each with a planet potentially habitable by humans. One is Mars-like — probably lifeless, and needs warming and water before we can live there (or we need to adapt ourselves). One is Earth-like, with similar biochemistry even (score one for panspermia theory), but so far as we can tell, no sentient organisms. And one is Earth-like but with early industrial cities. What narratives do we imagine for humans arriving in each system? How might humans be shaped by the life and landscapes they encounter? And how might questions of contact, colonisation or cohabitation be tackled in each scenario?
Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Next Generation
Friday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL)
Alongside the much-discussed golden age of animated cinema, we’re living in a golden age of animated TV. Shows such as Gravity Falls, Venture Brothers, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Adventure Time, andAvatar: The Last Airbender can be as clever, funny, politically challenging and emotionally sophisticated as any live-action show. This panel will discuss when and why the best of these shows work so well — as well as the constraints they still face, and whether some of them fall short of their ideals.