So, we’re changing resident speakers in May when Christos reaches the end of his six month tenure as resident speaker. I’d like to give some background on this choice, but first a few words from the man himself.
When Jake approached me late last year and asked me to be the resident speaker at VideoBrains, I couldn’t say no – it was the sort of position I’d treasure, because it allowed me to feel like I was a consistent voice at an event full of a variety of speakers.
Over the course of the last several months, I’ve done resident talks on love, chores, my life, my passions, and the response from the regulars and new attendees has always been nothing short of wonderful. I’ve been moved to near tears multiple times by the loving reception I’ve been given.
I’m also not the only one – the great thing about VideoBrains is how accessible it is for new speakers. I came in with experience, but people who have never given a talk before have stood up and made us laugh, think, and cry. I myself had the proud moment of watching a student I’d encouraged to pitch a talk deliver it to the VideoBrains audience, and that moment was a powerful demonstration of what reaching out to the community’s unheard voices can do.
VideoBrains has grown while I’ve been speaking here, and as we’ve gone from event to event, one thing became clear to Jake and I – the position of resident speaker couldn’t be a permanent thing. So, in May, I will be giving my final talk as resident speaker of VideoBrains, and will return to pitching talks normally.
We’re both looking forward to the new resident speaker’s work – they were carefully discussed, and come with the strong recommendations of both Jake and myself, and I wish them all the best. I’ve seen them talk myself, and I can testify to the power of their work.
So, thank you, VideoBrains. You’ve made me a very happy individual, and I look forward to guilt-tripping Jake into giving me a half-hour slot in May to give my position a full-on finale. If I get given fifteen minutes, please submit many long emails on my behalf on his heartless but responsible timekeeping.
See you at the next one!
-Internet Superstar Christos “Failnaut” Reid
In all honesty, I thought about whether or not I should or even could replace Christos at the end of his six month run. We get around 500% more pitches now then for the first couple of events and my needs as an organiser have changed – instead of six individual talks, wouldn’t it be better to give six different people a chance to share their views?
The solution was a project that was going to use these six months to create something really interesting, to take risks. It was also important that whatever I choose to do moving forwards, they had to be from an entirely different background to Christos – it feels reductive to distill him to just a stereotype because I’ve found him to be one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I’ve ever met at times, but the next person couldn’t be a twenty something male games developer because god knows I get enough of those pitches already.
So, I had a very strong idea of what I wanted, and I started making quiet enquiries, when one name started to pop up again and again, often in reverent tones. I don’t believe in fate, but shortly after announcing I was accepting pitches for the Nottingham VideoBrains, they popped up directly into my inbox. In typical Jake fashion I bluntly explained the situation, and we met up to discuss a project that might work. We’re both equally excited to be bringing this to you guys, so without further drama, I’ll let our incoming resident speaker Hannah Nicklin explain:
“I am totally excited to get the chance to develop a series of talks as part of Video Brains. I’m interested in doing something new and interesting for me, as well as for the VB audience, and have a really exciting starting point in mind: a psychogeography of games. Psychogeography is a really chewy word for how our environments make us feel; how they effect us. I’m interested in how where we come from affects what we make – so what I’m going to do is spend time with great people who make games walking in a place that is where they live, work, or is important to them. We’ll walk, chat, take photos and video, and each month I’ll make a new talk in response to that interview – that might be a piece of spoken word, a performance of some kind, or just a guide to what we talked about, or something I haven’t thought of yet. Each month’s talk will respond entirely to the experience of walking with game designers. I’m really excited about it!”
You can also support the process – which will be around 4 days a month via my Patreon https://www.patreon.com/hannahnicklin where you’ll be able to see all of the interview details and more photos and video and audio and lots of stuff
Hannah’s also written a blog about her “appointment” of sorts, which you should glance over here because it’s great stuff. I have taken the liberty of pulling a few sentences on what she’s planning for here, upsetting making the formatting of the quotes a little confusing.
As it’s not just a one off talk, but 6 months as resident speaker, I have the opportunity to try out something a bit inventive. So I’m picking a theme of my own! Starting in June I’m going to do a monthly series of talks on the psychogeography of games.
If you’ve not come across it before, psychogeography (which my autocorrect has learnt 3 different spellings of, well done me.) is a really chewy word for how our environments make us feel; how they effect us. I’m interested in how where we come from affects what we make – so what I’m going to do is spend time with great people who make games walking in a place that is where they live, work, or is otherwise important to them.
Each month I’ll make a new performance/talk/thing in response to that experience. Each month’s thing will respond entirely to the experience of walking with game designers.
– Hannah Nicklin
There’s more information on Hannah on our About Us page, but her piece Where Games Break is beautiful and worth your time. Hannah will be talking at VideoBrains starting with our all day event in June, and talks will run through to December so I hope you’ll join me in giving her a warm welcome to the VideoBrains community, and showing your appreciation for Christos as we come to the end of his run (and the 15 minute talk he has planning for May. 15 minutes.)