Friday, September 14, 2007

wired nextfest 07 sneak peek: part 1

The other reason I flew out to L.A. this week was the offer to see the future a little before everyone else. I even got to play before those 10,000 school children stormed the L.A. Convention Center.Instead of pummeling you with my entire report, I'll break it down into two more manageable parts. Think of it like splitting the Oreo in half. Well, it's probably more like a Hydrox. With that in mind, let's begin.Kickass Kung-fu gave me the biggest workout I've had in years. Well, except that one time Steve and I played in a pickup basketball game near Davis Sq. The man who invented full court basketball obviously never tried running up and down a court for thirty minutes straight. Is that you, Dr. Naismith?I rest my case.

Anyway, it basically involves punching and kicking air to fend off virtual attackers. I think I even saw them give the school children a 2x4 for a more potent swing. I was getting Streets of Rage flashbacks. If you can sneak a massive lead pipe in, you'll be all set. Oh, and they even included a Mortal Kombat uppercut. Nice touch.

The founder I spoke with, Ari, even thoughtfully listened to my suggestions -- fatalities and projectiles (there's nothing more embarrassing than trying to do a Hadouken and have nothing happen). I'd even settle for animalities.

He also took the above photo for me. Fortunately for me, he didn't capture my attempt at a Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku. I learned my lesson.

The other lesson I learned was even more obvious: Robots -- especially samurai robots -- are not to be trifled with. I've seen that Tom Cruise samurai movie; if human samurai could do that much damage to a gatling gun wielding army, imagine the destruction samurai robots would cause. They'd be unstoppable and anachronistic.

Sure enough, there was a samurai robot in attendance. Behold Kiyomori:

It walks and sits, eh? Cool, but why did you give it a samurai sword and body armor? Kiyomori wouldn't be walking around with a katana unless they were training it how to use it -- or it already knew.

We need to find Miles Dyson. Now.