As I gather together notes, scribbles and recordings from Austin GDC, I am a little floored as to how much information was put out this weekend. Charts. Graphs. More charts.
I understand that in any industry, there will be numbers. And in many cases ignoring those numbers will get you into a lot of trouble as a company.
But let's just say that I am glad to be in the position I am in. I am a volunteer writer, blogger and podcaster. I could get paid, I imagine, as in salary. And I probably will get paid one day, as in pay-check. But as I met with more dev's from more companies that I can shake a stick at (two from Nexon ALONE! ) I am actually pretty darn happy being able to float between worlds, to wander between marketing, community management and customer service. I am able to get glimpses into all these worlds, and I all have to do now is ask. Some is due to me knowing people, but most is due to ablegamers.com. Thanks to them.
But it's all very serious business. Emphasis on business. Manufacturing fun is very rigid sometimes, and I can see why. Video games are making more than movies, now. But I'm kind of glad that I am able to avoid any loyalties, that I can say what I want, and do what I want. And you know what? People are OK with it, it seems. Maybe sometimes the very serious community managers and tech-people need a good laugh, or need someone to say something they cannot. Who knows? Either way, I'll say what I want.
But, I have to thank everyone from the convention, and everyone that has been so nice to me before that. They have accepted my half-sentences and rough descriptions with a nod and a smile, and it's a wonder they can come back with such solid answers when confronted with me.
The seriousness is paying off, it seems. I am telling you honestly that if you are a jaded gamer and need a shot in the arm, go to one of these developers conferences. Not only will you see what I have been talking about all along (how the rest of the world is blowing the US away in gaming in some ways) but you will see glimpses into the soon-to-be-amazing future (those US companies learning from the situation andramping it up ten-fold.) There were so many instances of "Oh, that is COOL" that I lost count. Granted, me and Leala were there to present the sometimes-very-serious topic of disabled gamers and access to the developers, and yes some of them were about as fun as a rock, but so many of them looked at the issues I presented and seemed to go to work problem solving immediately; I could almost see the gears tick.
It was exciting and reassuring to see such a (sometimes) very serious and jaded community take to these issues with excitement in many cases, compassion in many and with good old fashioned smarts in others.
Now, I need to do some laid-back gaming. We have stopped editing for the night, the dogs are getting sleepy and I want to go harvest some grain in some world or another.