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GDC Detox...

Ah, the aftermath of GDC...

It doesn’t matter whether I am at E3 (the former extravaganza variant) or GDC, after a week of all game all the time, I invariably feel like I need a detox.  For that one week I revert to and revel in the remnants of my college self.  Caffeine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, spending every moment available either in “class” or playing games.  Staying up way too late if I’m lucky enough to swing an invite to a party or two.

 

Despite the two day sensory overload hangover that follows, I always come out of these things invigorated.  Getting to see the truly stellar heights the new technology is pushing us towards, talking to other professionals to learn new tricks and techniques, and to very occasionally come up with something new of my own to pass along.  I get to demo the new and nifty (and I’m one of those annoying people who can invariably find the *one* bug in the demo that requires a hard-reboot) and ogle the shiny shiny tech that is being paraded around.  I admit it, in my heart and soul I am an uber-geek, as thrilled by an 8-core processor as some ladies are by a new Wedgewood china pattern.

 

This year seemed more subdued than last.  As someone more on the fringes, I would attribute this to the impending rebirth of E3.  GDC has always been a more serious conference, all about the lessons and learning and exposure than about the flashy media blitz.  But when E3 suffered it’s catastrophic reboot, all that shiny seemed to pour into GDC.  People love the shiny, it’s FUN to allow yourself the brief suspension of disbelief that goes with booth-babes and sparkly tchotchkies (if anyone knows if there is a *correct* common spelling for that word, I would be grateful if you’d let me know).  It needs it’s own place though, and GDC really wasn’t a good fit for it.  Now that E3 is back on it’s new and re-envisioned track, it seems the Media Blitz is preparing to retake it’s own event, maybe with a little more reason, but hopefully a bit of the spectacle will remain.

 

So now I have my marching orders for the next year.  My standards have been reset, I have an idea of what is coming up and what the buzz is about in my own particular areas of specialty.  I got to meet some new people, pick up on some new contracts, hook back up with some old friends and hand out a whole a**-load of business cards in the process.  I didn’t quite pick up enough tchotchkies to placate my kids for the time off, but the pictures I got and the stories I was able to tell them about the things that went into some of their favorite games seem to have made up the material lack this time around.  After all, that's what GDC is about, the information, the learning process, the stories and deconstructions.  After a week of sucking down more information than the mind can handle, it's time to let the caffiene wear off and all that data percolate for a while.  Give it 6 months, and you're going to start seeing all that emerge in peoples new game designs, art and code.

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