2 min read

Where have the rockstars gone?

This year I noticed a dearth of superstars on the floor this year, it seems that fewer and fewer of the industry greats are attending GDC as attendees, rather than showing up to give a lecture or make an announcement.

This train of thought started because my son (7y) asked if I could get him an autograph from “the guy who made Spore” at the GDC this year.  (Should be you be trolling this underbelly of the blogs sometime, Mr. Wright, know that I am stalking you on behalf of my kids :D )

 In my household, the “rockstars” are the game makers, I encourage my kids to be fans of these people I work with and alongside because, truthfully, I think they deserve it more than the newest slushy-pop-star creation.  So this missive from my number-one beta tester was probably to be expected. 

And it started me thinking… I have to wonder if They miss this event, these original minds of the industry.  GDC used to be a smallish industry event, a couple groups of people getting together to share ideas, to teach each other new and nifty ways to handle the challenges that came with designing and executing videogames. 

It was already turning into a major event when I first started attending back in….  1990 (probably dating myself there a bit) and now…  WHOOF…

As an event, it’s fabulous.  You get to meet all kinds of cool people, and only rarely do you bump into someone truly anti-social.  But I am seeing fewer and fewer of the old-school guys and gals out in public anymore.  You used to be able to run into the greats totally at random on the expo floor, or in the halls after the lectures. 

They were always friendly (if occasionally harried).  They don’t seem to attend as much anymore, outside of popping in for an announcement of something new fabulous, or giving a keynote.  I suppose, on the one hand, there might not be much here for them anymore.  People operating on that rarified level probably don’t get much time off to check out the GDC anymore.


Still, it takes a little something away from the whole show, knowing that those bright points of light are missing.


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