Adam’s Commencement Address to Sarah Lawrence College’s Class of 2012

Adam’s Commencement Keynote Address to the graduating class of Sarah Lawrence College on Friday, May 18, 2012. He is introduced by Sarah Lawrence College President Karen Lawrence. The full transcript of Adam’s speech can be found here.

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15 thoughts on “Adam’s Commencement Address to Sarah Lawrence College’s Class of 2012

  1. LtSquigs just replied to your comment:

    Cept for where the part where PC gaming has been greatly reduced. Games on the PC are mostly ports of console games, at least from the large developers. There are still a lot of smaller companies producing for the PC, due to its low barrier, but consoles have almost certainly become the dominate gaming platform. So if that doesn’t count as “dying” or in the process of being greatly reduced I don’t know what is.

    I see your reasoning, but I think it focuses too much on the technical aspects of consoles vs non-consoles and not on the other major advantages of consoles. 
    (It occurs to me after writing this wall of text that I should clarify exactly what I mean by console. I mean any sort of platform that is closed on hardware and software. That is the user can not customize the hardware, and the software is not open to end users)
    (It also occurs to me that we may be arguing on the same side, and you just are using a different definition of console than I am, if so then don’t bother with this wall of text)
    One of the major advantages of consoles is that they are stable platforms. When I say stable, I don’t mean in the terms we are normally used to like crashing and bugs, but in the software engineering meaning of the word. Consoles don’t change very often and when they do they tend to change very little and in a backwards compatible way. That and they are generally well supported by the maker of the console (the recent PSN debacle being a rare exception). As a result the engine you use to make your first game can be used to make all your other games with requiring very infrequent change. This not only cuts down on coding costs, but cuts down on the most time consuming and costly portion of coding: debugging. This is because when you are using an engine that you used to develop your earlier games and hasn’t changed much, you can be fairly confident about the reliable of the engine. (If you don’t think stability can be a major factor in companies deciding to develop for a platform, take a look at Linux. It is one of the reasons you don’t see many companies developing for that platform, and arguable is a reason why open source works so well on it)
    As a result of this the cost of developing something on a console is cheaper than that of a comparable PC.
    You also have to consider piracy. Sure people would love to sweep it under the rug and say that you can still make money on the PC, but it’s not about how much money you can make as a business it’s about how much risk you are willing to take. It’s impossible to deny that the gap in piracy rates between PC and Consoles is very large, with piracy on the PC being a large problem. As a developer it would be an incredibly big risk to develop only on a PC and not on a console. Not that it’s impossible for that developer to make money by only developing on the PC, it’s just a much larger risk. So even if you intend to develop something for the PC it lowers the risk of losing profit by also developing that game for a console, which thanks to engines like Unreal is fairly easy to do. 
    There’s also the issue of distribution channels and such. The PC has gotten better with the introduction of Steam, but there are still problems. If you are developing a PC game, who do you develop it for? What Graphics cards do you support? What Audio cards? Every thing you have to support adds to the development time and even more importantly it adds to testing time (a major cost and time sink in development), and in order to reach the broadest audience possible you need to support a whole heck of a lot of things (at least if you want to reach as broad an audience as a console can reach). With a console you have a very straightforward delivery system (either the downloadable market or a printed game) and you only have to worry about the end user having one type of machine, the console you are developing for. It’s also helpful that consoles are more appealing to a consumer as opposed to a fancy Gaming Rig or a custom built HTPC, after all building a PC or buying a custom PC is scary for a lot of people. On the other hand buying a console that you know you can just send in for a warranty if it fails is less scary.
    I’m not saying that PC gaming will go away, in fact I’m sure it will always exist even in a reduced form if it needs to. However, I certainly can’t see why console gaming would go away anytime soon. At least if we consider consoles as simply closed systems.

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  2. The last couple minutes were my favorite. Remembering that you have many chances to both fail and succeed is rather freeing.

  3. Excellent an inspiring speech. I’m in my mid-thirties but according to Adam there’s still hope for me… 😀

  4. If Adam posted this video why is the blurb of text written in the 3rd person for?

    Convention.

  5. Need more Adam and Jamie on Adam and Jamie’s Tested, like this. I like to think of it as Adam, Jamie, Will and Norm’s Tested but that’s a bit long winded.

  6. Need more Adam and Jamie on Adam and Jamie’s Tested, like this. I like to think of it as Adam, Jamie, Will and Norm’s Tested but that’s a bit long winded.

    Adam and Jamie’s Tested with Will and Norm? 😉

    Very inspiring speech. Made me feel not so horrible about almost being done with my education.

  7. I really liked this. Needed to hear it as well. I’m about the transfer schools and I feel that pressure of making decisions. It was nice hearing his little thing at the end about taking it slow and being a late bloomer.

  8. In all honesty, I love listening to Adam talk about this kind of stuff. As someone I admire so much, every time he talks about something, like when he said he felt too unspecialized at the age of 20, and I go “hey, that’s how I feel!” I immediately feel better about everything. Adam, if you read this, you inspire me, as a human being, every day, to never give up!

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