Jason (jcreed) wrote,

Went the the Building Virtual Worlds show, the last one that Randy Pausch is going to be participating. For all y'all non-CMU people, "BVW" is a class in which kids are made to make little virtual reality video games or demos or what have you in randomly chosen groups on a very tight schedule --- every student winds up working on 5 projects for like only two weeks each, in a totally different group of about four or five people each time. Despite (or perhaps in part because of) these constraints, the results are actually pretty impressive. In the past they suffered from really primitive-looking software, but I was pleasantly surprised how good the demos looked this year. The Lemmings one was my favorite; they got the original music, and during the calibration phase it displayed cute old-skool video game in-jokes like "reticulating splines". It's the little touches that matter!

There was a "let's do this with a randomly-chosen audience member" bit at one point --- the only conditions were that you had to be under six feet and not wear glasses, so I was 0 for 2. As it happened the item thrown into the audience to randomly select the person to participate came right at me, and my reflexes got the better of me, despite me knowing that I couldn't do it. So I noticed a ten-year-old kid a few rows in front of me and tossed it to him.

After that they awarded the newly-created "Randy Pausch Award" (created in honor of his impending departure from his departmental and BVW-al responsibilities)... to Randy Pausch. Somehow it seems only appropriate given his legendary, uh, how you say, robust self-esteem.

Anyway, it was a good show. My hat is off to everyone involved.
Tags: bvw, randy effin' pausch
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