April 1st, 2009

I kicked off last Thursday with lunch with regular meal pal Gerard Jones and Margaret Robertson, who had spoken at the conference the day before about creating stories for games that didn’t waste time and money. On my way back to Moscone, I couldn’t help but think about how different I felt walking around GDC this year, as compared to my previous experience in 2007 — how much more confident, relaxed, established in the mainstream media. That sense of having progressed and grown… well, I dug it.

After lunch I sat in on the Noby Noby Boy talk. I hadn’t expect much — bright colors and amusingly delayed laughs thanks to Japanese interpreters — but Takahashi ended up saying some cool stuff about consumption and play. In contrast to games that “users” sit, glassy-eyed, and just gobble up while rushing toward a goal, he wanted to create an experience with no obvious end — one full of atypical creativity that defied the existing popular models. Of course, what really interested me juxtaposition of consuming with the image of the boy’s stretchy, endless body. Also, I really want the Noby Noby scarf Takahashi’s grandma wears.

The rest of the day unfolded in a jumble of partial sessions (Why do these schedule all the cool ones at once?), including an LGBT round table, the experimental gameplay sessions, and Daniel James’ “Free to Play, Pay for Stuff.” Unfortunately my interest in web game business models isn’t technical enough for me to have gotten much out of the talk, but I could still appreciate the excellent combination that is James’ British accent and his perpetual pin stripe suit. Oh, and his wingtip shoes. Hearts.

One more observation: while out and about at GDC, I felt like there were more women around than in 07. Yet, sitting in lecture halls for big presentations, each time I looked out over the crowd all I saw were seas of men — most wearing black. Here and there the occasional female hairdo popped up. In moments like that, I’m proud to be a redhead. Not only do we get away with being “sassy,” but we sure stand out.

Tags: events

2 Responses to “GDC09 day four: LGBT, a pinstripe suit, and Noby Noby consumption”

  1. Corvus Says:

    I had the same impression of the increase in female attendees. I could be wrong, but it felt like the general population is beginning to reflect the overall CA gender balance, which has been remarkably even for the last several years.

  2. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    There were definitely some sessions where I was the only woman though — or close to it. Both the Sex SIG and the virtual goods round tables had me and one other female face.

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