I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Friday, April 18, 2014

DOOM and MYST 20 Years Later: After the Event

Found a video that Cyan shared.  Thank God someone put something useful together!


Well, first things first: I think I've finally finished shaking.  It is safe to assume at the outset of this post that this event went extremely well in many ways.

It rocked.

I will not provide a transcript or anything because you should be able to see the recording somewhere.  I think.  I looked myself and didn't find anything, but maybe they'll post it on FB or Twitter.  If you do find the video and are wanting to locate me in the crowd I'm the chick in the second row almost directly in front of Rand.  I should be easy to spot given the paucity of female presence.  At one point Frank Lantz (Director of NYU Game Center), who had taken on the role of moderator at this point. even requested a question from a woman to offset the male-dominated forum.  I had no questions to ask and even if I had I would have left the floor to those more knowledgeable than I.

I have to admit to you that it was all very weird.  Not the guest speakers but the audience.  My brethren.  I have mentioned before that I went to the annual Egyptology conference a couple weeks ago.  That was a weird experience and the first time I had ever gone to a large conference/convention.  Imagine droves of Egyptologists conglomerated together debating over nuances of ancient Egyptian grammar and laughing hysterically at lame jokes and puns.  It was weird.  I mentioned this to my adviser and he told me a story how at one point he felt similarly (although his story was legitimately weird) and his colleague reminded him: "These are our people."  Dear God, he's right!  I'm stuck now haha!!

This is what I was remembering while standing among those of us waiting to stampede the doors for a seat.  I've never been to Mysterium, nor any other game/other convention before.  The closest I ever came was chaperoning the over-night Anime Club sleepover at the library where I used to work.  So it was really bizarre hearing loads of people geeking out, discussing with great enthusiasm computery things.  I was looking about, feeling quite out of place because I have no Myst friends here and I didn't know what to say to anyone else; I'm quite shy when I go places like this by myself, and it definitely answered my question about whether I'd ever go to a Myst convention.  But while lurching about in the line and looking around, sometimes in sheer horror at my deep immersion in nerdiness, I remembered, "Briana, these are your people!"  I tried not to find it all weird after that, but it's a work in progress.  Maybe if I do go to Mysterium in the future someone will hold my hand.  I'm so used to being nerdy all by myself so when I am around others like me I become a little frightened haha.

I did take notes during the event, but they are concerned with art historical matters that I won't bore you with here, especially since I still have to think about them (I was intrigued by concepts of three-dimensionality in interactivity).  So I'll just give you pictures!!!  Sorry if they are blurrier than you would like; mixture of lighting and iPhone camera.  Too bad!

Rand displays his microphone
John Romero and Rand Miller
Confession!  I never played Doom, but I feel like I should now because this guy was so awesome.  I took a zoomed-in picture of him because I have a friend who I know would think he's hot.

John Romero
Frank Lantz, John Romero, and Rand Miller
OMG and now for the moment of giddiness and glee!

Me and Rand!
When all was over and everyone had clapped and then made a bee line to meet these two cool dudes, I got so nervous!  Because I intended to get a picture and autograph!  But I was terrified because I never met anyone famous before.  I met President Obama before he was a U.S. senator, but that's all.  And this is far more important!  I was shaking so much when I went up to him because I was a afraid of him both because of his celebrity and because he's so tall!  I never knew he would be tall.  I was wearing 4-inch heels, which put me at 5'10" (~178 cm) and he was still towering over me.

I had been panicking over what to say because I was flustered before the event even started, so I opened with saying Riven was my favorite and then I told him about crimault who you all know has been playing the Myst games for the first time and posting videos on YouTube of his gameplay.

So content with not being a complete dummy, I asked for a photo with him and commissioned some girl to take it, as you see it above.  My angle could have been better, but who cares because I got my picture with Rand Miller!

I also asked him to sign my first-edition copy of Myst: the Book of Atrus:

But guys, I was pathetic: shaking and blushing with eyelashes fluttering.  I become so girly when I'm nervous--so embarrassing.  But he is such a kind, patient man!  Wow!  I would say "I could die now," but since Obduction is upcoming I will have to wait.


Le Ted said...


First-time reader who just wanted to say thanks for a great summary and some quality snapshots. I've been looking for news about this event since it was announced and I'm very glad to hear it went off so well.

You can also play the original Doom in your browser: http://www.kongregate.com/games/mike_id/doom-1

Thanks again!

Briana Jackson said...

Oh excellent, thanks for the link! I'm glad you and others enjoyed my post, but I do feel terribly now for not writing about what they said. I saw some people recording with their phones, so I do hope they pop up on the internet, or hopefully a NYU Game Center student will do up an article. A lot of what they said was for an esoteric audience (those who understand the components of building games) which does not include me, so I am really a poor source in that regard. I will keep looking and if I find really useful links I will update this post as well as post them on the Cyan Forums.

I can say that they were both in some ways inspired by DnD...funny how that game can lead to two entirely different results!

Darke Adventures said...

As always Briana a great and entertaining piece - so, you met the great man himself - how lucky are you? (envy envy envy, no not really, only joking ;-) ). Looks like you had a great time there, cut my teeth on Doom many years ago and have played all the instalments over the years but nothing (and I mean nothing) beats Myst and Riven, having got myself an iPad mini I am now playing Riven on that wherever I am - simply great. love reading your blog and as Rand says "Keep Exploring".
Kind regards

Briana Jackson said...

JD, thank you as always for your generous remarks! When my phone was eligible for an upgrade I went with iPhone only because I wanted the Myst and Riven apps haha! Oh the things we Myst fans do...

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