What do you learn when you get the entire internet together in one room? In this panel, the cofounders of ROFLCon (Tim Hwang and Christina Xu) will share what they’ve learned from cramming the internet’s celebrities, content creators, and community organizers into the same space as their fans and the academics that study it all. We will give you the condensed, Cliff Notes version of what guests like moot, Mahir Cagri, Ben Huh, Tron Guy, and Autotune the News have revealed about the currents at work underneath the internet universe.
Beyond merely sharing some moments and the usual pictures of funny cats, we’re also going to focus in a bit on the even more amusing backstage of putting something like this on. What have we learned? How are we thinking about events around internet culture now? And how/why did we get Leeroy Jenkins to do our conference security?
This panel will also be taking a step back to grapple with some of the questions that have emerged as the most important in our dealings with the internet at ROFLCon: what happens when internet culture becomes big business? What counts as an “internet culture”? What are the ethics of operating in this evolving ecosystem?
Once, as depicted in classic teen comedies from the 80's, nerds were outcasts -- a special brand of too-smart-for-their-own-good, role-playing, glasses-donning, weak-armed, thin-voiced boys and girls. They were picked on and mocked.
Then, suddenly, it became cool to be a nerd. Geek chic proliferates, with Ashton Kutcher sporting a buttoned-up plaid shirt, Kirsten Dunst in heavy black glasses; nerd core music, the stylings of Deerhoof and Modest Mouse, is on the radio; hot girls who in a prior generation would have never given a nerd the time of day profess to love formerly geek-only pursuits like videogames and esoteric kung fu movies.
How do nerds respond to the co-optation of their once-exclusive domain? Is it sweet revenge to have the jocks that used to beat us up now playing Crackdown with us? Do we welcome the cheerleaders and the stoners with open arms or are they the elements that grief the ecosystem? And where do we go from here?
This panel cheerfully and irreverently examines the impact that mainstreaming has had on "gamer culture", which is at the forefront of this sort of gentrification, traces theories of how and why it happened, and makes totally unfounded but nevertheless visionary claims about the future. Audience participation greatly encouraged.
Being geek is “in” today but how do companies and marketers talk to these currently-hip-but-not-hipsters and become part of the pop culture landscape themselves? Representatives from the pillars of geekdom: anime, comics, videogames and films share how they use social marketing to reach and win over the smart and the skeptical and reap the benefits of nerd word of mouth.
11th–15th March 2011