Just submitted this one to Ohio Linux Fest - even if I don't get accepted, I think it'll be a fun one to work on and then find a venue for.

Level-up with Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: turn your life into a data-driven video game with FOSS

Ever look around and think there must be something better than just going along with life, untracked and unaccounted for? I mean, where's your scoreboard? Where's your triumphant level-up sound after you complete a quest? Where the heck are those dang quests, anyway - and aren't there supposed to be golden coins hanging in midair for you to jump into? Why isn't your life as cool as a video game? When do you get your sword?

You recognize this. You want MOAR.

"Mel, if my life were like Angry Birds," I hear you say, "my fitness level would skyrocket." "Yes," I nod. "Analyzing the differences between repeated attempts at various task setups with unpredictable results governed by defined rulesets would certainly get you in better shape - oh, and there's a (FOSS) app for that."

It's not all about arcade games and pumping iron, either. How about RPGs like World of Warcraft - can quests, leveling-up, and building character attributes help you learn a foreign language? Or even Farmville - how can gifts, guests, and cute baby animals speed along your personal software development?

The answer is YES, good reader - and this quantifiedself-inspired talk will show you how you can do it all with FOSS, using everything from the arduino to identi.ca to the R programming language. Complete with live code demos and audience involvement in real-time quest completion, and possibly even a level-up in the middle of the talk.

Join us and take your first step into a MOAR EPIC, FOSS-driven life.

I also rewrote my usual bio for the occasion.

Mel Chua is a hacker - of hardware, software, and FOSS communities, at various points in time - who studiously avoided video game addition for over a decade. Instead, she spent her time as a member of Red Hat’s Community Leadership team teaching professors how to teach open source. These were happy, productive days... a simpler time, a simpler life.

Unfortunately, Mel started working on her PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue this year, trying to figure out what effect FOSS participation has on students. This started her on data-tracking and led her down the dark, dark path to doom once she realized that scoreboards were way more entertaining when sound effects (POW!) and elaborate titles (LEVEL 198 STORMBRINGER, GUARDIAN of VALID W3C XML and KEEPER of the SACRED PYTHON MODULE) were involved.

The story continues...