David-Michel Davies Interview

The Webby Awards

How does The Webby Awards for 2017 (21st Annual) compare to past years?
One of the constants about each edition of The Webby Awards is that it reflects what is happening on the Internet, and these days, the world. This year there is a tremendous amount of work responding to events taking place throughout the globe - Brexit, the election of US President Donald Trump and events unfolding on the ground in the Middle East. I suspect these themes will be pretty present at our show on May 15th.

Could you tell us a little bit about your thoughts on how game developers are creating more and more realistic games, graphics, characters, and overall experiences?
In a nutshell, I think we are seeing more games that are part of or react to our real world (as opposed to being a world unto themselves). The biggest example of this in 2016 is of course, Pokemon Go. I realize the hype around it has subsided a bit since the summer, but it does represent a real sea change (imo) in networked gaming and a sign of what’s in store in the future. First, it is a real-life demonstration of how big the appetite is for great interactive and networked games. Second, it is also a reminder that big games that require real time and investment can really pay off.

What are your thoughts on the latest developments in VR?
VR has incredible potential for the gaming industry, not just in how we are playing games, but also the way in which we interact with and engage with one another within the game. With the rich graphics and vivid imagery we’ve become accustomed to, gaming is a perfect platform for introducing and testing new VR functionalities and features, especially those that go beyond the typical headset or goggle experience. I expect we’ll see many new applications of VR technology as it becomes not only more sophisticated, but also more widely used.

Where do you see the future of gaming in the next few years?
Overtime I think we’ll feel more like we are in the game rather than controlling people or characters of the game. The line between what is real and what is virtual will blur to a point where there is no longer a line.

How about the future of the web?
What’s most interesting to me is that these two worlds - of gaming and the Internet - are really merging. Once digital information is overlayed on the real world through something besides little phone screens, with glasses or contact lenses or some sort of augmented vision, everything becomes a game, or at least, these worlds collide. It is not hard to imagine a reality where you are walking down the street, looking at pop-up ads and reviews for Concrete shakes as you pass by Shake Shack while also wearing a virtual disguise and casing the burger joint-now-bank in a real-world spy chase.

David-Michel Davies Headshot

I also heard that you recently started the #WebbyPodcast
Could you tell us a little about that?
Ah, thanks for noticing! We are super excited about it. The inspiration is pretty simple: one of our traditions at The Webbys is winners only get to give a 5-word speech. It’s makes for a great show, super fast paced, witty, and all the things you want at an Internet award show, but the downside is while we got to hear Internet inventor Vint Cerf say “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” or Prince say “Everything you think is true,” we never get to hear what Vint thinks we’ll see in the future or what Prince thinks “is true!”

So our new podcast is a chance to have those conversations. We were fortunate to interview Vint for our pilot episode. We talked a lot about how he invented TCP/IP! Other early guests include Gimlet Media’s Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, Crisis Text Line and founder Nancy Lublin and Refinery29 co-founder Piera Gelardi. And because our signature 5-Word Speeches are such a hit at the annual Webby Awards ceremony every year, we decided to use the podcast as a means to bring our listeners the Internet in more than five words.

You can listen and subscribe on iTunes and anywhere you else you get your podcasts.