Pecha Kucha: The Future of the Games Business

Last week I was asked (at the last minute. Seems I was “on the list” but not top of that list) to participate in a session to close out a videogames marketing conference in San Francisco. The conference, called MI6 (not to be confused with the British secret agent thing) is something I’ve spoken at a bunch of times over the years, and it’s always been a crowd you can have a bit of a laugh with. The concept? Describe the games industry five years from now, the business models that will dominate, and then put your own business into that context.

Easy, right? Well…here’s the catch. We had to do it “Pecha Kucha” style. Not familiar with that? Here’s the Wikipedia description:

Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [pet͡ɕa ku͍̥t͡ɕa]chit-chat) isa presentation methodology to organize the presentation order of an event, such as in a Pecha Kucha Night.

Pecha Kucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), as a way to attract people to Super Deluxe, their experimental event space in Roppongi. Pecha Kucha Night events consist of around a dozen presentations, each presenter having 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds. Each presenter has just 6 minutes 40 seconds to explain their ideas before the next presenter takes the stage. Conceived as a venue through which young designers could meet, show their work, exchange ideas, and network, the format keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and entertaining.

In 2004 PKN began running in a few cities in Europe, and has since become a worldwide phenomenon, now running in more than 260 cities in almost every corner of the globe.

So, 20 slides, 20 seconds each, no script, and no control over when the slides transition. Go.

It’s kinda difficult to convey the presentation without video or voiceover, but here’s my deck in PDF form. I had the auspicious honor of being the last presentation of the session, which was in turn the very last session of the event. So I had to keep it light and energetic, lest anyone, y’know. Fall asleep.

In retrospect, it’s probably the closest thing I’ve ever done that’s more like doing stand-up than a conventional presentation. There were five of us participating, and all of us had to balance hard information and keen predictive abilities with laughs.

People seemed to have a good time, I think. Plus, I always have the luxury of falling back on the accent and the fact that American audiences seem to enjoy hearing naughty words spoken with an English dialect.

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