Panel suggestions for KansasFest 2013

July 1st, 2013 2:48 PM
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KansasFest is only a month away, and submissions for sessions are still being accepted. I know from past experience that I am happiest when I am able to contribute to an event. For example, this past March's PAX East was my favorite of the four I've attended, courtesy the opportunity to moderate the panel "Will Win/Should Win". I enjoyed being on stage and sharing it with such talented gaming critics as Susan Arendt, Jesse Cox, Charles Battersby, and Will Brierly.

But that wasn't my first rodeo, nor my first panel. Although I've been presenting at KansasFest almost every year for the past decade, lately I've cottoned to the panel format, as it allows multiple voices to be heard and engaged with. I moderated one panel at KansasFest 2010 and in the following years assembled panels for other attendees to moderate:

This was a blast. Let's do it again!

I would like to resume the role of panel moderator at KansasFest 2013, but I've not yet given much thought as to what an appropriate topic might be. Ideally, it would be something timely (as in the 2010 and 2012 examples, above) or which plays to the panelists' strengths (as in 2011, when Bob Bishop and Steve Weyhrich were guest speakers).

What issue is facing Apple II users, either within the Apple II community or in the larger Apple realm, today? What products, be they GS/OS, Mac OS X, Kickstarter, or Juiced.GS, warrant debate? Who has an expertise or opinionated personality that we can exploit with some time in the spotlight?

Let me hear your suggestions!

What to present at KansasFest

April 7th, 2011 11:58 AM
Filed under Happenings;

KansasFest 2011, having recently opened for registration, has now put out the first call for sessions. Besides the camaraderie that can be found only in the company of Apple II users, the sessions are perhaps my favorite part of KansasFest. They appeal to all interests, from Apple II to iOS and hardware to software, and all experience levels, from journeyman to artisan.

I attended three KansasFests before being promoted to dinner banquet emcee, but it was six KansasFests before I gave my first session. In 2004 and 2005, I reviewed my favorite Apple II games in a pair of sessions that I barely recall. Bruce Baker continued that tradition in 2006 through 2009, focusing primarily on his favorite Softdisk titles and letting me off the hook. I was again just an audience member for 2006 through 2008, with the exception of a self-running showing of a chapter from BBS: The Documentary in 2007 and, to fill a gap in the 2008 session schedule, a brief and impromptu tour of the social media site Facebook, which I had joined five months earlier.

Then, in 2009, KansasFest started becoming very busy for me! I kicked off a new series called "Classic Gaming Inspirations", which looked at modern-day titles that capture the feel or spirit of original Apple II titles. I also compiled and showed the segments of the television show Dancing with the Stars in which Apple II inventor Steve Wozniak competed.

Deciding that two sessions wasn't enough, in 2010, I cranked up my commitment to an unprecedented five sessions:

If I follow the 2x+1 formula that represents my increase in sessions from 2009 to 2010, then I'll be giving an exhausting 11 sessions in 2011. I'm determined to go the opposite direction and ease up on my contributions, making room for other attendees to participate and allowing myself time to enjoy more of KansasFest.

Apple's Growing Divide Between Users and Programmers

'The brain power there caused the room to tilt a bit!'
said Kirk Mitchell of this KansasFest 2010 panel.

To that end, I've thus far committed to only two sessions: a behind-the-scenes look at the Open Apple podcast with my co-host Mike Maginnis, and a sequel to last year's banquet activity of the live-action text adventure game Action Castle. My tradition of offering a gaming session will again die, I hope to again be picked up by someone who's been similarly inspired.

But I would like to offer a third session: another panel, akin to last year's "Apple's Growing Divide Between Users and Programmers". The Apple II community has some genuine experts in their fields, and the opportunity to tap that collective wisdom shouldn't be overlooked. All I need is a topic that is relevant and of interest, but without being too controversial — we don't want to leave the room with any hard feelings, after all.

What sessions or panel topics would you recommend for KansasFest 2011?