As promised, here are my slides from the 2011 Ohio LinuxFest. Many thanks to the organizers for inviting me to speak, and for putting together (as always) a most excellent event!

The talk was a nonlinear narrative; start with the Main Talk, then whenever you hit a slide that says "Let’s Play A Game," branch out to one of the other talks I’ve uploaded with the olf-2011 tag. I've put all the slide decks below in the order of first appearance during my presentation. Everything is Creative Commons BY-SA, so feel free to remix and share.

Level-up Main Talk

View more presentations from Mel Chua
Possible branches when it's time to play a game:

Talk abstract

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 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.

Speaker bio

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.