April 2nd, 2009

Ah, the bittersweet end of GDC. All those people you like are headed back to their respective cities. The onslaught of cool sessions is wrapping up. But hey, soon you’ll get to sleep the sleep of someone who’s been on her feet fourteen hours a day. Needless to say, in the week that’s passed since GDC actually ended, I’ve gotten post-conference sick — the kind of sick where your body says, “You thought you were going to get away with that?”

Anyways, back on Friday I started the day with the Sex SIG meeting. While it was great to chat in person with the creators of some of the games I’ve had my eye on for a while, it was also a bit depressing. Everyone struggled with questions like “How do we get sex games recognized by the video games community and the mainstream?” There was also the overhanging issue: as a sex game developer, is it worth going all political and possibly jeopardizing your business? No easy answers.

From there I headed to the critics’ rant, one of best sessions I attended — and certainly the most ballsy. Writer after writer called out what they thought was wrong with the industry, from words that should be banned from games journalism (like all adverbs), to the nastiness of reader response, to the importance of talking constructively about race. Then there was Heather Chaplin, who informed the audience that the reason games weren’t getting recognized as a valid art form was because game developers were still little boys producing juvenile titles who needed to “be men.” Damn is she right, but damn is she going to receive hate mail for that one.

After that the day sort of puttered out. The Dating Game danced around the curious but largely unimportant question of why people don’t play video games on dates. Meanwhile Chaim Gingold talked about the human faculties involved in play. While he and his slides always prove colorful, the presentation itself turned out just as nebulous as its subject implies.

From there it was back home to contemplate how nice it was to be able to take a half-an-hour bus ride to reach my comfy bed instead of flying across the country. I heart you, San Francisco — and you too, everyone I met this year at GDC!

See also:
GDC09 Day Four
GDC09 Day Three
GDC09 Day Two
GDC09 Day One

Tags: events

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