AXSChat Podcast

AXSChat Podcast with Bruno Osório, CEO of Adamastor Studio in Portugal

May 05, 2022 Antonio Santos, Debra Ruh, Neil Milliken talk with Bruno Osório, CEO of Adamastor Studio
AXSChat Podcast
AXSChat Podcast with Bruno Osório, CEO of Adamastor Studio in Portugal
Show Notes Transcript

Bruno Osório is the CEO of Adamastor Studio, a game development studio based in Portugal. He was born with cerebral palsy, which forces him to use a wheelchair to move. Is life objective is to be an inspirational icon for new companies and entrepreneurs, showing that, despite all the difficulties, it's always possible to make things happen. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, and his goal was always to create a business.
 
"I believe I'm able to change the world and be successful!"
Bruno Osório

Since childhood, Bruno's relationship with video games has always been an umbilical one. With video games, he could kick a ball and become whatever he wanted! Video games are one of his greatest passions, not only for entertainment but mainly because it was with them that he accepted my physical condition. He pretty much owes everything that he is today to video games! Therefore, the creation of Adamastor Studio is a way for him to thank the industry for everything it has done for him.

This is a draft transcript produced live at the event and corrected for spelling and basic errors. It is not a commercial transcript and will need to be checked if you wish to publish it. AXSCHAT Bruno Osorio

NEIL:

Hello and welcome to Axschat. I'm delighted that we are joined today by Bruno Osorio and Hugo Sanchez from Adamastor Studio. Great to have you with us guys, really interested to hear your story. So Bruno, first off, we were just talking off air about why you named your studio Adamastor. So maybe you want to start by introducing yourselves and then telling us a little bit about the background?

BRUNO:

Yeah, my English is terrible. I'm sorry for that but Hugo and Antonio can help me, for you understand me, right? Thank you, very much.

NEIL:

Okay.

BRUNO:

[Bruno in Portuguese]

HUGO:

So, Bruno is thanking you all, Debra, Neil, Antonio for the invitation, it is a pleasure to be here, yeah and he can start answering.

BRUNO:

Well, I have Cerebral Palsy, I was born with Cerebral Palsy. [Bruno speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Okay so Bruno told us that he has Cerebral Palsy since he was born and throughout his life, especially during his younger years, the games were what enabled him to accept the condition that he was in and they were like the trigger for him to be accepted as how he is and embrace life with the courage that he has and that he show us every day.

BRUNO:

Thank you.

HUGO:

Yeah, no problem and your English is not terrible.

BRUNO:

More or less.

HUGO:

It's not and it's improving which is amazing and Debra already saw that.

DEBRA:

Improving quickly, congratulations.

BRUNO:

Thank you very much.

DEBRA:

And since I have butted in, let me just I make a comment that I remember Bruno, my son is 33, just telling my age but I remember when he was a kid and he was always playing video games, which he still does by the way and I remember teasing well it's not as if you are going to become a gamer or they are not jobs, oh, there are actually lots of jobs in the gaming industry. So, I think it's really cool how you applied gaming to help society understand who you are.

BRUNO:

Yeah.

DEBRA:

But how can we apply that in today's world? I mean I know you're all about gaming and artificial intelligence and avatars, but it seems like those are very valuable skills now.

BRUNO:

Yeah [Bruno speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Yeah, awareness.

BRUNO:

[Speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Yeah, it was an interesting question and Bruno will now answer it.

BRUNO:

[Bruno speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Okay, so, Bruno, since he was playing games, since he was very young, he could portray himself to those games and he could achieve things that were not possible in the real life, such as playing football, jumping, running and he felt that that was such a powerful weapon. It worked kind of as a therapy for him not to feel like he was lesser than the other people because in this virtual world he was just equal to everybody else. So he wanted to give back that feeling that he have, while growing up and that was one of the main reasons that led him to create a gaming studio.

BRUNO:

Yeah. Thank you, very much.

NEIL:

Excellent. And I also have had those discussions about whether or not the games industry is a viable industry with people when I have been looking at jobs in the past and now what we can clearly see is that it is bigger than the music and movie industry combined.

BRUNO:

Yeah.

NEIL:

And what we are seeing is the convergence of all the technologies that underpin gaming coming into supporting the Metaverse and how we represent ourselves and all of the sort of 3D rendering and stuff like this is super important for what people are considering to be the next big thing in terms of how we interact with each other, how we collaborate. So I think that this absolutely, it's really important to understand that from play, we get serious things and also very much understand why you were so motivated to you know to do stuff in gaming because it allowed you to do things that you could not do in the physical world and I think that that has actually long been the case you know. We think about the Metaverse being new. But second life was around for a very long time. And is still around. And there are millions of dollars’ worth of transactions going on daily you know, to the point where that actually the Linden coins, you know are a very viable virtual currency, so before you know bit coin, before you know the Metaverse, we already had this proto Metaverse in second life and some of the people that were most engaged in that were you know from our community of people with disabilities. So, I think that clearly you know we, as a community know a lot and invest a lot in this space. So what are the things that you are looking at now as sort of the really key factors for sort . immersive gaming and where are the bits where you're not only investing your time but you’re thinking on how you can make that inclusive?

BRUNO:

[Bruno speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Exactly, yes. [Hugo speaks in Portuguese to Bruno]

BRUNO:

[Bruno Speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Okay so let me see if I get everything, Bruno is glad you bring up the immersiveness of the gaming world and he wants to talk a little bit about how the current projects that we are having are focused on that, on bringing the reality to the gaming world, especially the Metaverses that are appearing everywhere right now because it's a hot topic and Bruno also wants to thank Dinesh War, that he mentioned his name because he is one of our partners and he is one of the people that really wants to create innovation for this world and to bring this to embrace this normalisation for everyone. And Bruno also talked how gaming consoles and everything are creating more and more powerful devices, so that we can really bring this reality to the gaming, because that is what people are looking for and it's very hard to find very good technologies nowadays that bring a sense of real avatars and real cities to the virtual world and Bruno thanked a lot for his team because his team is doing an amazing job with that and within creating this everything that portrays reality as it is. Yeah. And I think it was about that.

ANTONIO:

So, Bruno, looking at the work that you are doing and trying to make games more accessible, what are the challenges that you are facing today? You know? Where do you see that you need to improve could be in the systems that you use? So Bruno, considering [Antonio speaks in Portuguese] BRUNO: [Answers in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Okay yeah, so Bruno is telling that currently the company is embracing a new project, a project related to gaming, especially hardware but he cannot speak much more about it right now, maybe in a couple of weeks and Bruno told us that he only has 20% mobility on his right side. So he grew up playing games, playing console games but there are some kind of games that are not accessible for everyone because they require some kind of combos and lots of buttons being pressed at the same time and for instance, he cannot do that so he developed a new passion related to gaming which is watching other people playing the games that he cannot play but he feels that the gaming industry should be about portraying emotions to people and he feels that there is still a lack, there is still something missing, because people like Bruno with disabilities cannot feel the whole spectrum of emotions that they were supposed to feel when playing a game because they are not able to play, they can feel part of the emotions by watching other people play but Bruno thinks that we should work on that area and turn games more accessible to everyone.

NEIL:

Yeah. So it's a really good point and I am going to disappear in a moment because real life is catching up with me as well. But I think it's an area which I know is being actively being worked on in games accessibility, you know, combination key presses and mapping keys and settings is an area of innovation, and we know that the studios that are investing in accessibility are giving players the options to be able to do that. What we are not seeing is that becoming something that is sort of universal. It's not everywhere yet, so your ability to participate is still limited and I fully hear you that the that also restricts your ability to be fully emotionally invested in certain games as well, so the sooner we can enable those settings that allow you to participate fully the sooner you get to emotionally participate as well as just in terms of answer.

BRUNO:

I would like to pose one point in this topic. Sorry about my English but I speak in Portuguese. [Bruno speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

So, Bruno is telling us that when we talk about accessibility, he does not fully understand the concepts how it's being sold nowadays because being, a product being accessible, it should be for everyone and not just for people with disabilities which is most of the time we see companies doing. It's an accessible product. But it's only for people with disabilities and it should be for everyone and right now Bruno is focusing at the Adamastor Studio to bring products that are accessible for everyone, whether they have some kind of disability or whether they don't have any kind of disability because that is how inclusive the product should be.

DEBRA:

So, he is designing for everybody? That is so weird. Really? Okay. I just think it's so important that Bruno be at the table because I agree with what Bruno is saying, we are creating like controllers for people specifically for people with disabilities. I think Bruno is right, I think we need to get a lot smarter. By the way, we appreciate those, we appreciate that they are doing that. We do, we really appreciate it, but we should actually design for humans, and we should design and that is one thing I love about what you are doing at your studio is that you're thinking about it from all the different senses. And once, I don't consider myself a gamer, but I know I'm a gamer and I'm in social media and I think social media is nothing but game. But gaming the social media platforms. But I just think that you know there are so many things about gaming that we could apply to the Metaverse going forward and that is why boy, when we heard about what you were doing. I just got so excited. But I also wanted to ask you sort of a different question and I wanted to talk a little bit about identity, even though Bruno, you've already answered it in some ways. You said that the gaming allowed you to explore who else Bruno could be if you do not have Cerebral Palsy in physical life but what I wonder and worry about is I know that Bruno, when you were talking about in the future you are going to create an avatar of me, I'm like how exciting but I do want to be an older avatar because I'm an older women. So, the digital twin thing, sometimes I worry about will people not be willing to be who they are but instead they are always going to want to be their avatar? I actually know somebody that has some pretty significant mental health issues and she is a major gamer but she doesn't and I love her so much but she does not really participate in what we think is real society very much, she just wants to be in her game, her Princess Warrior and so, but maybe I don't need to worry about that. So that is one question I have?

BRUNO:

[Answers in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Yeah, I can translate to you. BRUNO: [Answers in Portuguese] Yeah okay. So Bruno is telling that we need to think about the target audience because it depends whether you're doing a product for teenagers and younger populations that they are still forming their identity, so most of the times they will want to be people they are still aren't. So, we should let them be free to choose to be whatever they are and portray who they are not in the virtual world. But becoming adults, most people, if they are good with themselves, they will want to be who they are in real life on the virtual life as well, but we should always be free, we should always let them be free to choose whatever they want to be. And accept everyone as they are, and Bruno told us that regarding his own image that the wheelchair in real life gives him a charming personality and a cuteness that most people cannot even achieve. So he is really comfortable with being in a wheelchair and with his image as a whole and that is something that he had to learn throughout the years.

DEBRA:

Well, that is so powerful. And I know that we are almost out of time, but this is probably a question I want to ask of everybody from Portugal today, since we have three people from Portugal. But I am curious how Bruno is accepted as an entrepreneur with a disability running an amazing global company in Portugal and other countries. I know that here in the States, when I learned about Bruno, I can't stop talking about him. I am just so impressed with the way he thinks, and he should be at the top of all these conversations and so, but I was just curious is this something that is accepted and appreciated like we see in some countries?

HUGO:

[Translates for Bruno] BRUNO: [Answers in Portuguese]

DEBRA:

We are thanking you, Hugo. It's hard to translate. It's very exhausting, so we all thank you. We appreciate you.

BRUNO:

[Answers in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Okay. So Bruno is telling us that in the Portuguese reality there is still a long path to go because things are not very easy for people with disability in Portugal. It's not that easy and when Bruno was born, Bruno parents had to open their own association to take care and for treatment for people with Cerebral Palsy because there weren't anything like that when he was born, we were still missing that but Bruno is telling that all the challenges that he has been facing due to living here in Portugal always were beneficial for him because they made him grow as a person but he keeps on feeling that here in Portugal he needs to do more than the others, just to be at the same level as everybody else, so there is still a long way to go and Bruno is trying to change that and to bring that change to Portugal because he is kind of the face of this.

BRUNO:

Yeah. [Speaks in Portuguese]

HUGO:

So Bruno wants to thank his investor Pedro Antonis because he was always supportive of him and he gave him the strength to believe that this disability that Bruno has can be a strength rather than some kind of weakness and Bruno felt that being in a wheel chair it opened quite a few doors at the beginning of the company for him but then he realised that he really needed to show that he is up to the tasks that people were giving him and he is telling us that the fuel for his strength is that he is a dreamer. And while we can dream, we can achieve and one of his, one of the people that Bruno looks up to is the President of a soccer team here at Porto. And the President once told a quote that it stuck to Bruno's mind is that the impossible, it only takes a little bit longer than the possible to be achieved so there is nothing impossible and Bruno is feeling bad every day and in every project that he commits to.

DEBRA:

Yeah. I know that Antonio has another question and I have to jump so I just want to say, thank you to My Clear Text that keeps us captioned and Bruno we are so impressed with you. Hugo thank you for translating and thank you to the audience. But I am going to jump, and Antonio is going to close up.

BRUNO:

Okay.

HUGO:

Okay thank you, Debra.

ANTONIO:

So, Bruno, in Portugal we have regulations on accessibility for many years. But sometimes we have examples of years ago, they were changing and doing improvements on the Portuguese Parliament, and they forgot to make the Portuguese Assembly accessible for people in a wheelchair you know? I also follow Acetones and Start up events and I almost never see a focus on accessibility or disability or even trying to make sure that there is a discussion that is able to bring people with disabilities to those events and to encourage them as entrepreneurs. If I listen to radio or if I am watching on television, I never see a debate where people with disabilities have some kind of presence. So how can we change this, Bruno?

BRUNO:

[Answers in Portuguese]

HUGO:

Okay yeah. So lots of things being said. Bruno told us that it's a strong question and he told us his opinion about it that the most important topic that he wants to bring up regarding this on why we are still having that, why we are still having some trouble bringing the people with disability to the table, it's because, in his opinion 48 years ago, we were still under dictatorship and that was very oppressive to everyone, especially to women and to people with disabilities but thankfully that whole thing was surpassed and now in Portugal women have the same right as men as they should of course but most people, especially minorities, people with some kind of disability Bruno thinks that they may be accommodated to their current situation like in some sort of way being oppressed because it's a cultural thing and it's very important to trigger the curiosity of people, to educate them because if you're being educated for people that think that this is normal and Bruno does not agree that this situation should be normal but if everyone thinks that that is normal and nobody can do anything about it, well then people won't stand up for themselves and do something about it. So the main point here is that we should educate people and we are still growing as a country because in Portugal, ten years ago, nobody would even dream that right now we would have people with disabilities in the Parliament, people with disabilities with would be entrepreneurs and being high ranked in some public companies, so we had this rapid growth but we are still in a very low level right now, everything resumes to education. And if you allow me, on a personal note I think that one’s companies realise that there are so many people with disabilities and they can, this could be beneficial for them, if they are starting to be part of their target audience they will benefit from this because I was with Bruno a week or two ago and we went to a shop here in Porto and it's the most accessible shopping that I have ever seen, at least in Portugal and I was there with Bruno like two hours and in those two hours I saw four people in a wheelchair in that shopping and people were buying things, people were eating, people were doing all the things that people are supposed to do in a shopping. So, the other shopping that are not accessibility to wheelchairs, for instance they won't have these people spending their money there because they are not part of their target audience, so we need to educate them really on how many people with disabilities are and that they are just the same as us.

ANTONIO:

Yes. So Hugo, Bruno, thank you so much for joining us today. I think this is the first time that I am closing Axschat with three Portuguese names on the panel, so I am really happy for we are able to make it. So, we look forward to having that conversation on Twitter. We have a very strong community from different parts of the world that joins every Tuesday at 8pm, London/Dublin and Lisbon. So, it should be a great conversation and I think it would be a great opportunity for people to know your work and for you to know other people who are also very engaging and very committed to make the world progress. So, thank you so much.

BRUNO:

Thank you so much.

HUGO:

Thank you for the invitation.