South by Southwest is almost a month of interactive, film and music shows, held annually in Austin, Texas. The festival is known for emerging music, launches of innovative tech startups, professional development sessions, and A-list keynotes, as well as for daytime drinking by attendees. This year, South by Southwest is adding two new conferences SXSW Eco, with a focus on green technology and sustainability, and SXSW Edu, focusing on innovation in learning and educating.
In previous years, SXSW Interactive has included a strong gaming element, both with game-related technology on display and with sessions focused on game development and distribution. In 2011, South by Southwest’s Interactive festival included the first Independent Propeller Awards, for excellence in independent games.
I also covered the gaming awards for Hardcore Droid, an interesting return for me after covering the independent game awards for Indie Game Mag on my last SxSW trip.