2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

The Old Masters vs. Photoshop

#sxsw #OldMasters

Do traditional arts forms inform gaming and new media art? John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, stated: "It is not about the old and the new. It is about what is good." How do today’s game developers draw from the old to create the new to makes things interesting? Are there connections between classical art, literature and video games? Will using timeless methods to design complex characters, worlds and gameplay experiences change the way games are consumed? Or, is something completely new happening in the arts? This panel will address these issues, as well as issues regarding whether getting a traditional arts or literature background helps or hurts compared to those who just focus on the digital arts.



Chris Solarski


Solarski Studio

I'm an artist game designer and author of 'Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design' (Watson Guptill 2012).

I've given talks on classical art and video game design at various international events and institutions including the Smithsonian Museum's The Art of Video Games exhibition, UCLA Game Lab, NYU Game Center, and FMX Stuttgart.

I've started developing my own video games under SOLARSKI STUDIO, with the aim of exploring new forms of player interaction and creating more expressive and varied emotional experiences in games. I also lecture at SAE in Zurich, Switzerland.


Paul Toprac

Assoc Dir for Game Dev & Sr Lecturer

The University of Texas at Austin

Paul Toprac is currently the Associate Director of Game Development at UT and Senior Lecturer. Paul was a Graduate Committee Chair and Lecturer at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, a graduate school game development program. Paul has more than the twenty five years of experience in the software industry, in roles ranging from CEO to product manager to consultant, including the role of Executive Director of the Austin Technology Council. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, a Master of Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from The University of Texas at Austin.


Richard Garriott de Cayeux

Founder/Creative Dir

Portalarium Inc

Richard Garriott is a key figure in two industries, computer games and commercial spaceflight. In games he has founded 3 noteworthy companies (Origin, Destination and Portalarium), he created the Ultima series and Ultima Online among many other products. He is a hall of fame inductee and lifetime achievement awardee, along with many other game industry awards. In commercial space he is a principal of or co-founded companies such as The X Prize, Space Adventures, Planetary Power and Planetary Resources. His companies have flown every private citizen who has traveled to space on their own, and he himself has flown to the International Space Station. His work in and on commercial space has earned him induction into the environmental hall of fame, the HAM radio hall of fame and he has received many other accolades for his space industry work.
Richard continues to be very active in both arenas.


Sheldon Pacotti


The University of Texas at Austin

Sheldon Pacotti is a game writer and indie game developer whose credits include Deus Ex, America’s Army, and Cell: emergence. The video game Deus Ex won a Quantum Leap award from Gamasutra for being the video game that has "advanced game storytelling in the largest way." His noninteractive writing has appeared in The Bridge, Foxtail, Bellowing Ark, and Salon.com. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife, two kids, three dogs, six cats, eight bunnies, and uncountable fish.

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