Fri 16 Oct 2009
After SIEGE in Atlanta, I jetted straight down to Brazil for the 2009 edition of SBGames in Rio. While I’ve been to South American before (Argentina and Uruguay), this was my first visit to Brazil. In summary, WOW! Rio is truly a vibrant and amazing city. This was definitely one of my more memorable/exciting work trips.
The conference itself was more academically oriented, with paper presentation and juried content, etc. Sadly, the vast majority of it was presented in Portuguese… The overall vibe was quite positive, with everyone working together to push games, and the industry, forward in Brazil. That said, there is some naivety in terms of their aspirations to compete with Western games (ie, “we’re gonna make the next Halo killer”). Whereas, they should be looking more so towards South Korea for inspiration…
Amongst much activities and work and fun, three stories stood out for me. One was my crazy last day, trying to get in as much touristing without missing my flight home.
The second story was getting thrown through a window during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sparring. I normally train in Judo, but since I was in Brazil, I figured I’d try the local specialty. Wow, it is tough. Anyway, I did an attack and the opponent countered by flipping me over. We just so happened to be at the end of room next to the window, and my foot busted straight through the window. I landed on my back and all the glass came crashing down on me. Luckily, I was not badly hurt. We swept up the mess and kept fighting.
The third story was mistaking the deputy minister of culture for being my translator on a panel. I told him to “go sit at the end of the table so you don’t bother anyone” and then proceeded to ask him a hundred questions about what everyone else was saying. It wasn’t until the moderator asked him a question, and he said “OK, my turn” did I realize that he was the deputy minister!!! No worries, we’re best of friends now.
OK, here’s a mix of conference and touristy shots from the trip.
The left-side view outside my hotel window: Copacabana beach.
The right-side view outside my hotel: Cristo Redentor far off in the distance, a favela to the right.
The strip of beach directly across the street from the hotel.
The (in)famous Copacabana Palace
The Judo dojo on the main strip.
A red hot Cristo at night.
On my way up to Sugar Loaf.
On the lower summit of Sugar Loaf, overlooking the inner bay.
Don’t feed the little wild monkeys!
Cable car to the Sugar Loaf peak.
On my way to the peak.
Jungle walk-way action down the backside of Sugar Loaf.
SBGames opening papers fast-forward preview session.
Glen Entis delivers the opening keynote in the gymnasium.
The most complex and poorly designed program ever!
Student projects showcase.
Some augmented reality action.
The expo area.
Opening night reception and art showcase.
Some local game art.
…and invited pieces.
Deputy minister of culture, Alfredo Manevy gets a demo of the Zeebo console.
Jairo Margatho hoists Overplay’s award for Avalon.
Andre Carius de Oliveira and the Donsoft team collect the best overall game award for Capoeira Legends.
Deputy minister of culture Alfredo Manevy is recognized for his efforts to support and foster the game industry.
Samus looks on as everyone parties.
Gabe Ahn (Sony), Luiz Gama (O2Games), Roger Sanoli (TaxiLABS), Iko (Ubisoft) and Rodrigo Scharnberg at Jobi for late night drinks.
Franciele Pessin discusses workforce stats at Hoplon, the largest game company in Brazil with 100+ staff.
Cristian Ariss Acuna discusses the education situation in Peru. Anibal Menezes covers Argentina.
Dante Anderson (Kuma Games) and Alejandro Luna (Sabarasa) partying a Club 00 till 6am!
Iko at the beach. Dude, nice socks.
The beach filling up.
Some cool graffiti near the surf shops.
A jam packed Ipanema beach.
The well known Post 9.
Fresh coconut to drink.
On my way up to see Jesus.
View from Corcovado…
View from Corcovado… Largest soccer stadium in the world.
View from Corcovado… Escalator to the heavens ;)
View from Corcovado…
View from Corcovado… Sugar Loaf in the distance.
View from Corcovado…
Zoom from top-left of previous photo… What the heck is that?!? Bat cave? Secret Bond lab?