South by Southwest’s Interactive Festival is a must-attend annual event for digital professionals (and wannabes) from around the country. It serves as the jumping off point for many startups and is a great place to discover what’s next in media, mobile and the web. In short, it is to techies what indie rock festivals are to hipsters. I was there with you guys in mind. Here are 5 things from SXSW that you should be aware of:
MIKE TYSON’S MAIN EVENT
Main Event was released to iOS at the end of March and quickly rocketed to over 1 million downloads. The highly-addictive (and free!) game has a storyline similar to Punch-Out – you start out as a scrappy underdog and fight your way up to take on Mike Tyson. Think you can beat the champ?
We were fortunate to catch up with Iron Mike inside a makeshift boxing ring surrounded by autograph-hungry fans at South by Southwest. Watch the video below for his sales pitch, or just download the game here.
Peel is a nifty technology that turns your favorite Apple product (iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch) into the only remote control you need. Not only does it display a flashy mosaic of what’s on grouped by category, it has a recommendation engine that tells you what you’d probably want to watch based off of your viewing history. This is a massive upgrade over the standard cable programming guide we’ve all become accustomed to. Thanks to Peel, I discovered a new show (Out of the Wild) that taught me that watching Survivorman and Man vs Wild doesn’t mean I’m actually ready to survive anywhere.
TapCity is a free iPhone game that plays like a hybrid of Foursquare and Monopoly. In it, you build and defend your own virtual city that is comprised of your favorite REAL local places. The game board is a Google Maps interface and the pieces of the game are the people and places around you. Since the game just launched, being an early player means you can scoop up all of the key hotspots in your area! For example, if you’re in Chicago and check into any of the tourist traps on north Michigan avenue, I will be “earning” off of that action. I’ll then use that income to buy up more real estate, vandalize your buildings, and improve security on my properties.
If you were a Civilization or Command & Conquer nerd back in the day, TapCity is a real-world game that incorporates many of the elements that got you hooked on those games. Plus, playing TapCity means you’re getting out of the house, so that’s good.
I asked TapCity Co-Founder and CEO Dave Bisceglia why TSJ readers should download his game, and here’s what he had to say:
If you want to compete with your buddies, claim ownership of your favorite real-world places, and take over your town… TapCity is your game. Download it for FREE on the App Store.
The team from LifeKraze was one of the few at SXSW that stood out without leveraging hot chicks (see below). They were the dudes wearing headbands and always looked amped up about their product. While most people aren’t looking for another social network to join, LifeKraze is one that facilitates you getting off your ass. Here’s how CEO Ben Wagner described it:
“LifeKraze is an online community where people encourage each other to be active offline. Drawing the incentives model of reward programs, the prolonged relational interactions of social networks, and a general dedication to living like it counts, LifeKraze provides a unique environment for motivation and inspired achievement.”
So if you’re an active person that thinks too many people waste their time building their virtual popularity while never really doing anything, LifeKraze is for you.
Regardless of the pitch – scientific matching, high success rates, free browsing, cougars, free cougar profiles – all dating websites seem to have the same approach. HowAboutWe goes at it a bit differently. Instead of a HotOrNot-like photo browsing experience or stressing over the perfect profile wit, HowAboutWe focuses on proposing and accepting unique date ideas.
Go to a burlesque show.
Watch dogs in the park while eating hot dogs and playing the tambourine.
Bike to the aquarium.
Spend an entire Sunday at a bar watching playoff basketball and hockey.
You get it.
To skip past the awkward back and forth of getting to the date, give HowAboutWe a try!
Huge thanks to Pepsi Max for the hookup at their Big Boi show. If half of Outkast puts on a show that good, I can’t imagine what it’d be like to see Big Boi + Andre 3000 on the same stage.