Prospective students at Haas hear a lot about how the school is highly student-driven, and that there are numerous opportunities to get involved even from day-one. I can now testify first-hand that this is absolutely true.
DMEC & >play
One of the most exciting clubs at Haas is the Digital Media and Entertainment club, which brings together people with passion to technology and specifically its impact on the consumer world through digital media, such as TV & cinema, computer games, web applications, the living room and even your car.
Each year, the club organizes the >play conference, which brings together industry experts from all the areas mentioned above and more, to create an unforgettable annual event. The event provides a unique opportunity to meet both the newest startups in the Media and Entertainment sphere, as well as the latest innovations from the well established players in this market. The main attractions of the event are traditionally its great keynote speakers, the expo that demonstrates the hottest new technologies and the panels who bring in industry leaders to hold fascinating discussions about the latest trends. This year, the >play conference takes place on November 15th.
When I applied to Haas, I knew I wanted to take an active part in the DMEC activities, I just didn't realize how fast this would happen. Even before arriving at haas, the >play committee published a message in the new admits Google group, inviting first year students to volunteer in helping organizing the event. Truth is, I assumed that we will get mainly administrative or logistical tasks. Nevertheless, I've expressed my interest in helping with the panels. Only a weeks after arriving to Haas, we had a first meeting with the second year student who is responsible for the panels this year, and he told us about opportunities of getting involved with existing panels. However, he strongly encouraged us to come up with ideas for new panels and suggested a few topics that we can follow up on.
Making it happen
One of the topics suggested was a Gaming Panel. I've long ago marked the gaming industry as one of the most exciting and innovative ones, and looked for ways to getting involved in it, and this was a great opportunity to do so while also helping >play becoming even better. I joined forces with several classmates, and with the help of many students from both years we gradually started forming the list of participants for our newborn panel.
New business models in gaming
The main theme of the >play conference this year is Disruption, so we examined several ideas for our panel that could fit this theme. We eventually came up with a list of companies who are redefining the ways in which games are delivered to customers - from live online game servers through episodic gaming to user-engagement games, the panel started to include an amazing list of people, and they were all extremely responsive and excited to take part in >play.
I proudly present the >play 2008 gaming panel: