If you’ve been busy watching the country go through some disturbing news cycles recently or you were just doped up on turkey fat over Thanksgiving, you could be forgiven for losing track of some recent South by Southwest Interactive announcements.
As more time passes from a “GamerGate”-related PR crisis in October, the festival appears to be bearing down on its regular year-round work of programming the March fest and handling that business as the new year approaches.
Here’s what’s new:The very entertaining author and digital truth teller Baratunde Thurston, who was a SXSW Interactive keynote in 2012 and currently works as a supervising producer on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” is being inducted into the SXSW Hall of Fame. It’ll happen at the SXSW Interactive Awards on March 15. If you haven’t read Thurston’s book, “How To Be Black,” go check it out. It’s brilliant and hilarious.SXSW’s $10,000 Community Fund Grants were announced and for 2016, the winners are Austin’s music nonprofit Swan Songs; Skillpoint Alliance’s POWERUp Velocity Prep program in STEM; Seattle-based Reel Grrls for filmmaking; The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, an advocacy group for aquifer protection; and an Austin group that helps orphans, The Miracle Foundation.The 10 honorees for the 2016 Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards were also announced and they include Austin-based journalist and entrepreneur Kara Andrade of HablaCentro.com, a network of citizen information websites in Latin America.Gaming researcher and overall amazing thinking Jane McGonigal, who was a SXSW Interactive keynote in 2008, will be a keynote at SXSWedu on March 9, discussing “How to Think (and Learn) Like a Futurist).” On Wednesday, Dec. 16, gaming legend Warren Spector will speak at a SXSW Gaming Community Meetup at Capital Factory. It takes place at 7 p.m. and requires a free registration on Eventbrite.Hosts for the 2016 Gaming Awards, which take place after SXSW Interactive but during SXSW Gaming (concurrent with SXSW Music weekend), were announced: Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico and Séan “Jacksepticeye” William McLoughlin. The event is on March 19.