Gary is well-known to the VW (Virtual World) community; as developer/creator of both the ABC and Bigpond Islands in Second Life (Bigpond Island is the most visited location in Second Life) he has the street cred to capture the ear of the VW devotee.
If you then look at his digital media background (ground-breaking work at the BBC inter alia) you begin to realise just why the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) got him onboard to guide the Laboratory of Advanced Media Production (LAMP) initiative. He’s also the head honcho at The Project Factory (one of those ‘I would kill my own mother to work there’ sort of places). The man’s no fule, as Nigel Molesworth would say.
Gary recently presented at the Trilateral KANZ Broadband Summit in Seoul — Korea, Australia and New Zealand — and spoke about the opportunity for co-development and cross-training between the three countries (and, I would suggest, within the larger Asia-Pacific region in time).
Gary suggests that it is the bricolage nature of today’s ‘amateur’ digital creatives that threatens to undermine and overthrow the ‘professional’ creative from their throne (and job). He argues persuasively, with slides [smile*], that in a hard-wired and wi-fi’d broadband world creativity can extend and inform itself both within and across borders.
He goes on to present examples from various LAMP projects, including projects that have found their way into the ‘real’ creative community, informing such entities as ABC TV here in Australia.
Gary is someone to watch and follow (as I assuredly do). Not only does he have a brain that could power a city the size of Sydney for a month, but he also is a genuinely nice bloke: self-effacing, humble and eager to engage in conversation with those who show genuine, informed interest (but naturally and quite understandably not the ‘tyre kickers’). He also has a very deep understanding of the various virtual worlds that includes but does not stop at Second Life (which is my failing — so far I have only investigated Second Life, although my research is pulling me into Habbo Hotel; a presentation to the Habbo management team is in the design-finalization stage.
* a reference to one of my all-time fav movies, "Addams Family Values" when Debbie Jellinsky has the family tied up to electric chairs and prior to ‘throwing the switch’ offers to educate them (in the manner of all the best evil mastermind criminals) as to her motives and her underlying psychology:
I don’t wanna hurt anybody. I don’t enjoy hurting anybody. I don’t like guns, or bombs, or electric chairs. But sometimes people just won’t listen. And so I have to use persuasion – and slides.