Under one of the biggest storms that had struck Athens the past few years, the CodingJar team set out for the grounds of DigitalExpo.
The mission: Interview mr Piitidis regarding his work as a lead developer for Nvidia, and also enjoy what was said to be an exposition of digital media.
Excited, if a bit concerned about the rain, the team met up outside the grounds, and we promptly got in after we passed the ticket inspection. The event was going to be staged in a massive old warehouse in Peristeri, and the intensity of the storm had raised a few concerns, but the people seemed to have gathered from near and far, so without any further ado we went in
The event certainly knew how to present itself well. Their lobby was set in a way that would split people and "urge" them to the four larger areas used to house the various panels.
We had ample time to spare, so we decided to walk around the grounds, see what DigitalExpo was all about before we made contact with mr Piitidis.
The first area was blasting loud electronic music, touching on the new retro wave, which I personally like, but generally speaking it was not a place conversation was easy to be had. Aside from that, we walked around what seemed to be an area for artists to exhibit their comics and drawn art. In the far back there were a rather talented group of free runners, displaying their skills in various acrobatics and flips and stuff. Obviously sponsored by Red Bull, that much was not a surprise.
Despite our initial confussion to see artists and parkour acrobats in a Digital Expo, we were pleased to see that as we doubled back to re-enter the main area, we saw many computers alligned, set up with old retro games.
The group that had this side of the show, were a team focused on old school games. I am talking way back, like Atari, Comodore, DOS games etc. Teoh sat to enjoy one of the games as it was cleverly situated next to the resting area of this sector. Unfortunately the music was a bit too loud for old us, so we decided to go visit other areas as well, and we did not linger that much
Here there were small shops of various artists and cosplayers selling their merchandise ranging from amulets and stickers to t-shirts and figurines. Further back there were tables set and multiple people were playing Magic the Gathering and in the meantime a small narrow strip was full of small booths with developers of interactive games, greek produced video games, VR technitians and app creators, and in the end close to the exit/entrance what seems to be a booth held by a private university that displayed engines working and a go-cart they probably created
Unfortunately that part had the biggest issues as due to the heavy rain some leakage had made a few booths empty, as there was no way anyone could showcase their stuff with a puddle of water behind them
This was my personal favorite due to the game/app sector of it. I talked with a few developers there, and was thrilled to see a lot of them put effort into well made, if simple, interactive games. One particular group called Another Circus had developed a few interesting games as well as an interactive application to teach the Odyssey to kids
At this point we decided to go look for mr Piitidis just to double check on the appointment time. We found him giving out a speech on the Third sector of our stop in the event.
In the far back of an open area, Mr Piitidis was giving a lecture on a new lighting technolodgy Nvidia had made that was going to revolutionize lighting in video games and applications.
We wont spoil the entirety of the presentation but we were very intrigued by it.
The rest of this sector was given to the major publishers. Some tournament must have been held in the other side across the stage where the presentation was held, judging by the numerous lined pc's and people gathered there. The rest of the area was given to major publishers like Sony, to showcase their latest video games or graphic cards.
We managed to catch mr Piitidis in between presentations and managed to schedule time and place of the interview.
With that out of the way, we went to the last sector of the event.
This sector was mostly a VIP exclusive area with what seemed to be restricted employees only area and another stage for presentations. We did not linger too much there, as the presentation seemed to be given by a company showcasing their community outreach program and how social media helped them achieve that. Interesting stuff, but not for us.
Taking place in the Third Sector in an empty booth, we sat down with mr Piitidis to discuss his work, projects and career. View the interview of this very interesting and accomplished man bellow: