Fri 10/5 3:00 PM: The Normality Field: Why Isn’t It the Future Yet?
Special note! John and I will be on this panel together. Watch me talk circles around him!
In 1993, William Gibson said “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” But even in the rich, future-dense regions (like Southern California), we didn’t feel like it was the future in 1993, and usually we still don’t. We’ve absorbed technologies that older SF writers expected to take decades to generations longer for us to achieve. Why hasn’t the fact that we’re living in an SFnal world penetrated our cultural consciousness? And what would happen if it did?
Sat 10/6 1:00 PM: Character Attributes in RPGs
Characters in role-playing games are defined partly by what they do (skills) and partly by what they are (attributes). But how many attributes are optimal? Three (Mind, Body, Soul in Big Eyes Small Mouth), four (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Health in GURPS), six (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma in Dungeons & Dragons), nine (three Physical, three Social, and three Mental in Vampire: The Masquerade)? Then there’s Pendragon, in which, in addition to physical attributes, your sins and virtues are part of your character sheet. How do attribute choices affect character development and game play? If you’re designing a role-playing system, what should you consider when you develop the attribute section?
Sat 10/6 2:00 PM: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom
Human brains are less uniform than we used to think. It has been posited that people learn best in different modalities: visual, auditory, tactile-kinesthetic, spatial, musical… In addition, the spectrum of neurodiversity autism, Asperger’s, sensory integration issues, and beyond) presents a challenge for educators. How can a teacher effectively educate a group containing a variety of brain types and learning styles?
Sat 10/6 7:00 PM: Iron Hack
Impromptu collaborative storytelling. Going for shock value. With Patricia C. Wrede!
Sat 10/6 8:00 PM: ConChord Concerts
I won’t actually have anything to do with this concert but I will be at it and so should you. Heather Dale!
Sun 10/7 11:00 AM: Sympathy for the Devil: Villains we Enjoy
NB: I am moderating this panel.
Often the villain is the most interesting character in a story. What is it we like so much about the charismatic bad guys, from Gully Foyle to Lucius Malfoy to Loki?
Sun 10/7 1:00 PM: Do the Old Doctors Need a Facelift?
NB: I am moderating this panel too. I WILL BE DRUNK WITH POWER
New audiences brought into Doctor Who fandom by the 9th, 10th, and 11th Doctors, who had decent production values, simply can’t get past the horrible SFX and colorization of what many consider to be classic Doctor Who episodes. Should we upgrade them for new audiences or leave them intact?