As our lives have become a seemingly endless series of work meetings on Zoom and FaceTime or WhatsApp catch-ups with friends, we’re all getting a bit sick of seeing people’s faces enclosed in a cold, almost lifeless, digital frame.
A tech worker from New York had a different idea for his tech conference, which he announced, in all seriousness, on April Fools' Day. The free conference is called Deserted Island DevOps and is happening on Thursday, entirely inside Animal Crossing, the Nintendo Switch hit game released in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speakers are doing their talks on an island in Animal Crossing specifically built for the conference, and attendees can follow along in the game, on Twitch, or Zoom, as a fallback option.
Other than the unusual, and incredibly colorful and fun setting, the conference is very much like any other conference. The speakers’ avatars are standing behind a podium, their slides are being displayed next to them, and attendees sit in the audience. Crucially, the conference isn't about Animal Crossing, it's kind of a standard software development type conference. It just happens to be happening inside a video game.
The organizer, Austin Parker, said earlier this week that more than 1,000 people registered to virtually attend it.
Judging from the enthusiasm both speakers and attendees are showing, it seems like the idea was a success.
Ultimately, this is just another tech conference, but hosting it on Animal Crossing, as opposed to having people speak in front of their webcams in their home offices is a genius idea.