A brief overview of Defcon

I figure I would cover some stuff about Defcon quickly while I had the chance. Overall, we had a sizable crew presence this year which was surprising. The events overall were a mixed bag with some hits and big misses. However, for me this was a rather important Defcon as originally I had no plans on going until I was convinced otherwise as it was the first time that I would be going with a budget that wasn't shoestring and there were a few things I wanted to do while I had the chance.

First off, let's talk about the theme. While Edward Snowden's decision to leak sensitive information was shortly before last year's event, this year was the first one to reflect the ramifications of those leaks. The end result is that the bright and vibrant theme from last year is gone, changed to a darker tone with some aspects based off of the film 'They Live' and other aspects have a zombified influence. Overall, it was somewhat appropriate, but it did go a bit over the top.

As for the events, they were a mixed bag. The dcdarknet, which I had planned on participating in, was not ran very well in my mind and the badge aspect of the game was completely mishandled, which when I take into effect the problematic missions once again returning I feel this should not have been a black badge event. However, there some good ideas seen with a crypto/security village introduced and an expansion of other villages. The biggest draw that I had were the music acts, with The Orb pumping out a great set despite having visible headphone issues early on. Overall, mixed bag, but the good outweighed the bad.

Then there was Blake and cisc0ninja's speech. Overall the speech went without any major issues and when compared to other speeches that we viewed, was far stronger than the majority. Given the fact that Blake worked tirelessly on it, he deserves huge props for its quality. Overall, it was consistently high quality work like this which was why we had Blake become our public face in the first place and once again he showed why he has been a major part of our group.

At the same time though, we have come to a bit of a realization that for our crew, Defcon has changed into something that doesn't mesh with us very much. The fact of the matter is that a large portion of our crew is more introverted by nature so they don't enjoy it. In addition, the large growth of the event also shows us that the Defcons of old which were much more intimate and were a reflection of the culture that we grew up with is gone for good at this point. While I enjoyed this Defcon and Blake has given four presentations there now, I feel it is getting more difficult to justify having a continued presence as a group. As for me, I wouldn't mind going again, but I need to be able to justify it which most likely would mean getting more involved in some way.