At the San Francisco Game Developers Conference in February, renowned inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil delivered a thought-provoking keynote address on what's in store for the gaming industry in the next 20 years. Playing largely to the concept of Moore's Law--which dictates that technological capacities will grow exponentially as costs decline--Kurzweil urged game makers to develop their software to maintain pace with hardware. He also spoke at length about immortality and how humans are on the path to becoming cyborgs, as futurists are wont to do.
That's all fine and well, but what about those 15 years after the next 20? Such was the topic of Bruce Sterling's keynote address on the second day of the Austin Game Developers Conference. A science-fiction writer and futurist by trade, Sterling has been credited as one of the originators of the cyberpunk genre, thanks to his Mirrorshades anthology, first published in 1986. Over the course of his career, Sterling has been honored with a pair of Hugo Awards--one of science fiction's premier honors--one for Bicycle Repairman and the other for Taklamakan.