March 25th, 2009

The second day of GDC has come and gone — as, practically, has the third — and it’s time to take the 20 minutes I have before the next big important thing begins to scarf down this burrito and reflect on yesterday.

The Creation of a Kids’ Virtual World – Real Data, led by the heads of RideMakerz, proved slightly interesting, if only to hear about how they target their audience, which is apparently seven years old, male, and bears the collective name of “Zak.” The world seems a bit frustrating from a female perspective — it’s all about building and racing cars — but when you think about how many girl-oriented kids’ virtual worlds there are, it’s hard to stay peeved.

As a Terra Nova-ite who’s recently focused a lot more on social networks than virtual worlds, I definitely enjoyed the Social Technologies and Virtual Worlds: Best Practices panel. Apparently the moderator hoped to have us attendees Twitter commentary during the presentation, the feed of which would appear up on the big screens. Unfortunately, since the WiFi is so crap here, that plan was foiled. Some interesting ideas that came up: thinking of profiles as avatar proxies and considering implementing status feeds in MMOs. The whole thing linked in perfectly with my “social networks are the new virtual worlds” theory. Hopefully I’ll sneak in the time to finally write that post over at Terra Nova soon!

Yesterday also marked the beginning of the onslaught of GDC parties. It’s not like they’re exclusive or anything — at least, not most of them. You show up at the door, flash your badge, and enter the land of free booze. Last night I stayed put at the social gaming party, sponsored by Zynga, and actually had a lovely time meeting people and enjoying the open bar. When Scott and I were ready to go, we randomly got ushered into a pre-paid stretch limo, which drove us all the way home. Hey, why not?

I’ve never been in one of those things before, the limo that is; we went to our senior proms in Scott’s mom’s SUV. Sure, it was nice, but it was also kind of nauseating. So much open space, so little opportunity to face forward. And blah, San Francisco has so many hills. Maybe that was the vodka and Red Bull in my tummy talking. Tonight: a heck of a lot more parties. All I really want is to go to sleep…

Tags: events

One Response to “GDC09 day two: Zak, profiles as avatars, and a limo”

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