GDC sure has changed

April 06, 2009

I kinda remember my first GDC, 1990 or 1991. It was in San Jose and at a little hotel next to the freeway. There wasn't an Expo and there weren't nearly as many people attending. I went to a few sessions, and then I went home to plan the next days schedule and go over what I had learned. I thought I was getting the full experience. I went there to learn and I did!

I was reading some random GDC blogs from this year, I didn't attend and I'll detail why later in this post, and I came across this quote in one long posting:

In my 10 years of going to GDC, I've had these objectives, and I'm sure others have as well. They include:

* Go to as many parties as possible
* Get as much swag as possible
* Have as many meetings as possible
* Get photographed with as many game luminaries as possible

And as I've ticked off these accomplishments, I don't feel the need to repeat or surpass them. It was really great to go to 11 parties in one night...

So really, this persons goal for 10 years was to go to parties? To get swag? Meetings OK there's a reason to go... and then to get her picture taken?

While it can be said that I am not a big party goer, I tend to talk to people I know and work the room as little as possible. But I thought GDC was about the sessions and making new contacts as well as reviving old ones.

Have I missed the boat? Has the E3 party vibe taken over GDC? For E3, I think this persons goals fit in perfectly, but at GDC? No.

I did not attend this year because I refuse to spend my own money on a ticket. If a company wants to pay, or if GDC hands me a Press Pass, great... but I can't see spending that much of my own money. I'm sure I'm missing out on some great sessions, but... how many of the "Go to as many parties as possible" crowd can one developer take?

Your comments?