Scroll down the page for the Live blogs of the talks.

Videos about Gaming

Alan Smith on

We should be fascinated by numbers says Alan Smith in his challenging and amusing TEDxExeter talk. And TED must agree as it has selected his as one of the few TEDx talks that are featured on We are delighted that, as a result it will reach a much larger, global audience. The statistics (yes) show that this is a rare honour. Fewer than 1 per cent of TEDx talks feature on TED, and Alan’s is the 8th TEDxExeter talk to be chosen.

In his talk Alan Smith, who is data visualisation editor at The Financial Times, uses statistics to illustrate the massive difference between perception and reality in many areas of life. “Statistics are most wonderful when they surprise us,” he says. “They are about us as a group … the science of us, and that’s why we should be fascinated by numbers.”

Amusingly he demonstrates that the National Statistician and Jeremy Paxman are just as likely not to know what’s really going on in their neighbourhood as anyone else. He also busts the myth that some people are good at numbers, while others aren’t.

“I am thrilled that this talk has been selected for,” said Alan Smith. “It’s increasingly hard to avoid statistics in modern life – so we need to learn to love them for what they are: surprising, revealing and the key to answering so many important questions.”

TEDxExeter organiser and licensee Claire Kennedy adds: “We are delighted that an eighth TEDxExeter talk has been selected for We already know from our own website stats that we have visitors from around the world; now these talks will be seen by an even greater global audience.

“Alan presents numbers in ways that we can all understand – even those who have thought themselves bad at numbers since maths lessons at school. Not only does he challenge prejudices and misunderstanding, he also makes you laugh. It is great news that Alan’s ideas will now reach people all around the world through”

Live blogs about Gaming

Andy Robertson talk

Andy Robertson BWAs well as writing about video games, ‘Geek Dad Gamer’ gets local artists and singer-songwriters to respond in unusual ways to games. He showed a video of Rebecca Mayes singing about Halo 4. Rebecca was going to sing live to us, but unfortunately has a bug today.

Video games are not just entertainment, excitement, adrenalin and a bit of violence thrown in. They also want to engage our hearts. We invest millions on technology and delivering game experiences, and in them can be found cutting-edge ways of being human. To be a games player is to be a creator. Games provide a way in to participating in the stories and owning them, while films keep us in touch with naivety and false hope.

Talk about games has become just marks out of 10 for graphics, sound and game experience, a boring and unsustainable approach. It’s time to talk in a different, more sustainable and human way about games.

We spend a lot of time keeping the wrong games out of the hands of the wrong people, rather than getting the right games into the hands of the right people.

Play a game in a family or community, and all sorts of surprising responses pop up. It opens a door to talking about dealing with violence, and choosing non-violence. The presence of dark games, like some of the difficult stories in the Bible, helps us engage with difficult subjects of darkness, violence and loss. We need to develop a priesthood of gamers.

PS. Andy has provided some links for people who want to find out more…

Firstly the community site he runs who produce the unusual reviews he was talking about:

Secondly the live theatre performance of our reviews he included in the talk: