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Next Night 1.0

posted in College, Events on November 29th, 2006

So I didn’t find any time to blog about the Next Night last night, mostly because I didn’t feel comfortable pulling out my laptop while everyone was listening but let me tell you that it itched in my fingers … so without furder ado, I’ll write up a short re-cap of yesterday’s events:

FYI: Next Night 1.0 was about Gamevertising and Advergames, putting ads into games and creating games to increase brand awareness and get people to buy your products.

The evening started out with us (Jack, me) being a bit late, thanks to the horrible public transport service currently offered. We missed the first half of the first keynote but managed to catch the second half. It was interesting, but didn’t rock.

Then came a duo of speakers who really knew how to cater to this audience - MediaMonks. Those guys were cocky, in a great way. They showcase’d some of their projects and the way they approached projects. Most of the people I talked to agreed that their presentation was without a doubt the best one. Not just because of their interesting presentation style, involving two very different people (one a media strategist, the other a creative technologist) who didn’t see eye to eye on some issues and mocked each other in a respectful way, but also because of the time they took to answer our questions in a very honest way.

I took some time to read up on them before I went to the event and from what I gather, their company must be one of the best you could work for, if you’re looking for a great team of highly creative, highly energetic minds.

The last speaker was a guy from the University of Amsterdam, a true researcher who discussed how bad it would be to put advertising into games like World of Warcraft. You could tell by the way he was talking that he was a true addict, trying to protect “his precious”. I disliked the fact that he couldn’t really stay objective. Like, he “sanctioned” advertising for games like FIFA ‘07, because of the added realism, but bashed advertising in games like Battlefield 2142.

He, on the other hand, liked the sort of viral marketing Microsoft used for marketing Halo 2 (ILoveBees) and appreciated that Rockstar Entertainment created loads of spoofs for their GTA series of games. I’m just baffled as to why he decided not to talk about Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. A modern-day game using modern day advertisement for products like Wrigley’s chewing gum, Axe body spray, powered by Massive Inc.’ in-game advertising technique. Other than that, he also forgot to mention older games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, 3 and similar games which actually live on in-game advertising to add a new layer of realism to the game.

Summarizing, the first Next Night, if you ask me, was a total success. It’s not yet a high-octane event, but if they continue like this, they will be.
The best thing about Generation Next? It’s a kind of fraternity and no one even knew.

When I started out in college, I decided not to join any fraternity, because I didn’t see the added value of it. I also didn’t want to go thru various introductory rites like drinking blood from a chicken or running around naked. Generation Next on the other hand is different, they don’t have that kind of crap, you don’t have to pay any fees and it’s not obligatory to get drunk every Wedneday through Friday. What you do get, however, is a great community of creative and very motivated people as well as valuable business contacts with the people you’ll be either working for or with in the years to come.

Congrats to the Generation Next team for setting up an awesome event. If you guys are looking to start a “street team” in my college, I’ll gladly help out!