It’s kind of like that feeling on Christmas or maybe your birthday when you got a gift you weren’t expecting, that’s what I had last night at the annual ‘Celebration of Excellence’ event for the TV Academy’s Interactive Media Peer Group (IMPG). I was recognized with the “Lucy Hood Digerati Award” for exceptional contribution the group (and presumably the industry, since much of what I think earned me this award actually predated the founding of the IMPG, e.g. the programs I created in the 1990’s at the American Film Institute.)
It was a great feeling when I was a kid, and it feels pretty good now, especially coming (literally) from my peers. As I said to the group, I used to call the Enhanced Television Workshop, launched in 1997, the “Why Bother?” program, because that’s what most people in Hollywood said to me when I described what we had in mind – a creative sandbox that would allow talented storytellers to meet technologists, designers, and programmers who could help them bring audiences into their stories. We attracted a lot of brilliant people – I once called them ‘interactivists’ – many of whom are my colleagues in the IMPG to this day. As I looked out at the crowd last night, the answer to that “Why Bother?” question was obvious. That’s why we bothered.
BTW, for you history buffs, I wrote a blog post about the origins of the IMPG a few years ago.