Friday, March 26, 2010

Guild Hall Talk: Walking the Tight Rope Edition

Some time last year Joseph Olin asked me to speak on a panel at SMU's Guild Hall Game Business Law Summit. I do not do a lot of speaking any more because it stopped being fun when things I said started to be parsed and posted out of context. I can cause enough damage to myself among the people in the room, so there is really no need to create a forum for the spread out of context hyperbole to a bunch of strangers. But the date for the conference was so far away and Guild Hall does good work and I probably could not have been accepted to SMU Law School had I applied, so I accepted. Much to my chagrin, as the date approached I saw the list of speakers and found I was not a speaker, but a moderator. This meant I could not just show up and speak, I had to prepare. Then I saw I was moderating Paul Raines and Christian Svensson. Two very smart guys who could each cause serious damage to my career if I pissed them off - not unlikely. It was as if Joseph had suggested this composition for his own amusement. The panel would either be a delightful show of me squirming while I tried to keep the running commentary in my head from leaking through my lips or a grand example of public self immolation.

At about seven o'clock the night before the speech I emailed another speaker and suggested we get together. He thought this was a great idea and suggested Wednesday. I wondered why he was spending so much time in Dallas. I explained I would not be there until Thursday and we should have breakfast that morning.

He said he would be gone. Then I looked at the schedule and realized he was speaking the same day as I was and I was supposed to be on a plane 5 hours ago. I quickly and violently purged my system of every foul word I had ever heard and create a few of my own - a phenomenal vocabulary building opportunity for my son - and jumped on line to book a red eye flight. Fortunately I was able to leave L.A. shortly after midnight and arrive in Dallas, and my hotel room by 5 a.m. Since the talk did not start until 9, I had plenty of time for coffee some Red Bull and an energy drink with a warning label on the side.

Here is the talk:

While there, I also participated in a panel discussion on game financing. We talked about venture, alternative finance and bunch of other stuff. This one was the next day, and apparently the exercise of such careful control the day before proved to be too exhausting to maintain through a panel discussion. That being said, I did not attack fellow panel members and only made two attacks on audience members. If you have another spare hour and twenty-five minutes, enjoy.

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