GDC 2010: Day Two

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Day Two of the Game Developers Conference was nothing but seminars, just like Day One. I’m reeeally tempted to end my article here because writing about seminars I’ve never attended is pretty boring, but I’m told that if I don’t meet my minimum word count, I’ll be fired.

…Hey, wait. If I’m fired, does that mean…I won’t have to write about seminars anymore?

It does? Score! I’m ending my article right now!

Dang, the ankle bracelets still aren’t deactivated. I guess that means I have to write another article for this website. *Sigh*

Photo by Raimond Spekking
This is how most people get stuck writing for GameCola.

Two summits that were held in the morning were the iPhone Summit and the Casual Games Summit. It’s interesting that the two would be separated, seeing as they both seem to focus on what developers would consider “untapped” market groups. For example, the iPhone Summit had a seminar on the success of the Diner Dash series (the original game was on the iPhone’s Top 100 Paid Games List for over nine months), which surprised people because over 90% of the people who bought the game are female, a non-standard target audience. The Casual Games Summit had a few seminars on Facebook/MySpace/social network games in general, which also focused on selling games to non-standard target audiences.

So the target audience for games is expanding. Apparently, the world of gaming is now becoming more socially acceptable, just like the world of comics. Is this good or bad for gaming? It means more games in the world, which is good. On the other hand, even my mom has become a casual gamer, which is definitely not good, because she refuses to let anyone else use the computer when she’s playing ICT Slots: Texas Tea. My younger sister, who is a teenager and therefore can’t go five minutes without using AIM, constantly complains about this whenever I visit.

Other summits were the AI Summit and the Serious Games Summit, which focused on more technical aspects of developing videogames. Unfortunately, due to poor planning, the people from the Serious Games Summit wound up in the same room as the people from the Casual Games Summit, and a fight broke out over whether New Super Mario Bros. Wii is better than Modern Warfare 2. Over fifty people were hospitalized, and one person had to undergo immediate surgery in the Trauma Center, because a Wii-mote was shoved up his nose.

396px-Chiot_montagne_des_pyrenees
Critics agree: puppies are cute.

The other summits included the Independent Games Summit, GDC Mobile/Handheld Lecture and IGDA Education Summit, which I can’t tell you about because I’m allergic to research they were so fascinating I can’t describe them in one paragraph. There were also more seminars being directly sponsored by GDC, such as Building a Blockbuster Franchise starring Geoff Keighley and friends, Mythbusting with the Chief Operating Officer of Electronic Arts, and the Intel Game Performance Workshop (Presented by Intel), which was run by (surprise!) guys from Intel and showed off all their new computers and graphics tools.

It was all very fascinating, and on Day Three, the summits end and the conference will move onto other things, like demos of upcoming games. We’re going to hear from the audio team behind Final Fantasy XIII, the AI team behind BioShock 2, and my mom will give a speech entitled “Where Did I Go Wrong?—My Son Is Twenty-Four, And He Still Writes About Videogames.” Should be interesting!

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About the Contributor

Michael Gray is a staff writer for GameCola, who focuses on adventure games, videos and writing videogame walkthroughs.

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