It’s been a fairly breathless few weeks. Elies, George, Tim, Lyall, Chris and I finished prototyping Fabulous Beasts on a Friday, and by Sunday I was showing the game to friends in San Francisco at Game Developer’s Conference. GDC was extraordinary – I’ve come back with a handful of exciting opportunities to develop the game, plus brilliant feedback, input and support from a wonderful group of peers.
I’ve been to (and organised) a lot of conferences, and I think for me GDC is one of the most important. Not just for the amazing talks and great parties and stimulating conversations, but because it’s a place where decisions actually get made. Talking about how you think things ought to be is great and all, but there comes a point where you just want to, well, do them.
I think what it’s possible to find at GDC is a kind of old-fashioned capitalism – it’s possible to walk into a room with an idea, and come out with a deal.
I know that I’m very, very privileged to be one of the people who can walk into one of those rooms, and that most of the rooms where these exchanges are occurring are peopled entirely by men with a limited view of what games and society can be. Many expressions of game culture are still militarised and tech-obsessed. I hope that these things will continue to change and evolve at GDC, and I want to be part of that solution.
It is still worth noting that there at places like GDC you can find ways of making culture that have nothing to do with “the arts”, or funding applications, or strategies, or clients.
Having spent a long time trying to beat my ideas into a particular shape, using other people’s language and rhetoric, it’s joyous and inspiring to do things more straightforwardly. We worked hard at making an idea into a prototype, we shared that with people, and we are having an open dialogue about its flaws, merits and potential value.