SXSW Sunday Day: Rock N Romp and Screenburn

420600247_63424c914c_m.jpgOnly having managed a day pass for Monday, I had to get creative with my participation in this year’s SXSW Interactive. I decided to hit Austin Rock N Romp, relocated to Mohawk from the usual Ruta Maya, with my two kids. Page Maguire, who organizes Rock N Romp and also writes for Austinist, has a recap on her blog. Neal Pollack, who read from his new book Alternadad, elaborated on the audience participation of my eldest.

It’s tough to come up with music that’ll work in a live situation for both kids and adults. I think Jonathan and Thor sounded great. They might’ve been a little loud for the kids though. It was a small room. If they’d been outside (damn weather), it would’ve worked great. It was very cool that Thor let the kids come up and check out the vibes and his set. We left before Black Before Red as the kids had had enough, but I checked them out on MySpace and really liked them.

417914981_6a4db24ce8_m.jpgWe walked down to the Convention Center from Mohawk to check out Screenburn and the Interactive Playpen. The kids were impressed with the massive amount of Legos and built a few small things. Screenburn was packed with mostly 18-25 year old guys (not surprisingly). There were computer games and games for every console. Seagate and Ubisoft were prominently featured as was Killer, some kind of uber network card. They were handing out necklaces with ridiculously large Ks. Guitar Hero 2 had a large presence with a setup in the trunk of an elaborately decorated Yaris. My son did manage to get his first chance at a Wii, playing Rayman Raving Rabbids. It was hosted by the GameCamp people who are affiliated with ACC and the gaming industry here in town. They also had one of those projectors and screens where the objects on the screen react to the silhouettes of the people standing between the screen and the projector. So, for instance, falling jewels alter their path when they hit the shadow of your head or your hand as if you were part of the projection. My daughter was fascinated with that one.

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