The excitement over the release of the tickets for TEDxExeter 2014 showed just how important the event is to many people. We’re planning a short series of stories from speakers and attendees – their own unique perspectives on the previous events. Shortly after the first ever TEDxExeter in 2012, Jeanie Honey wrote about the thrills and spills of being an organiser. Andy Robertson spoke at that event about sustainable perspectives on video games. Here’s his story.
The invitation to talk at TEDx is a strange one. Prestige, celebrity, kudos and possibly fortune await those whose “idea worth spreading” breaks out into the larger TED orbit. Equally though it’s a lot of work to talk to a few hundred people for 10 minutes or so without being paid.
I’d do it again in a flash.
More than the ups and downs of public speaking, online reception and resulting connections, ideas and projects, it was pivotal at a personal level. You see, TEDx events have built into them the idea that ideas worth spreading come with people attached. A TEDx talk is a personal thing to do, a bearing not only of your best idea but the best of your self in public.
This slowly dawned on me during the four weeks or so I spent writing, rehearsing, self filming and testing my talk on friends. What started as some novel ideas about video-games – my intentional category mistake of talking about them as if they meant something — had to be brought down to land in me as a person.
Having a reason to do this, and slowly realising it was too late to back out now, meant that I spent time working out what it was I really thought about the video-games I wrote about on a daily basis.
It’s here I found not only what I really wanted to say, but what I wanted to pursue after I’d said it. There was a collision in me; video-games and theology and community and creativity. The result was my 10 minute talk about how we might sustain grown-up talk about video-games, but not only that. I also knew myself a little better.
This is why I’d do it again. This is the opportunity offered to TEDx speakers and this is what makes TEDx such an engaging event not just ideas worth spreading, but the people that come with them.
Andy Robertson is now a freelance family gaming expert for the BBC and runs Family Gamer TV YouTube channel.