I applied for, and received an invitation to 'An Evening with Will Wright and Friends', held in Mezzanine, a swanky club in San Francisco's SOMA district on Thursday evening. I didn't know what exactly to expect, but I knew two things: 1) It wasn't going to be about Spore, and 2) It was Will Freaking Wright. How did I know Spore wasn't on the offering? 'Cause we're all kind of Spore'd out, aren't we?
I was right about the lack of Spore, but was pleasantly surprised and gratified to hear Will speak on a variety of topics -- James Bond, cosmonauts, Gilligan's Island as the predecessor of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comics, Godzilla, Care Bears, Lost, Walt Disney, Battlestar Galactica, Spiderman, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance -- before finally wrapping it all up with the observation that the stories that resonate with us are deconstructible; we can reduce them to components, and using those components, build our own stories.
Finally, accepting questions from the audience, I asked him what advice he'd give NASA as they create their MMO. His friends never showed up, but man, Will Wright is always worth a listen. He knows his stuff so well and is such a wonderful speaker ... check out the video I shot after the break, and you'll see what I mean.