Two weeks ago I ventured out to San Francisco for the 2013 Game Developers Conference. I’d been looking forward to it for quite some time, because it was not only my first time attending the conference, but my first time attending a game industry event of any kind. I’ve followed the industry and dreamed of being a part of it for years. It was surreal to finally be there: seeing the signs, playing unreleased games, and meeting people with the same passion for video games that I have.
I attended the conference with an expo pass, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend any of the panels, lectures, or seminars. I wish I could have, but I found the conference a learning experience all the same. Whether I was sitting next to some executives chatting about the future of the industry in Chipotle or chatting with Full Sail alumni outside of a bar, I was always absorbing new info about the gaming world. My focus was on exploring the expo hall and the career pavilion. I went full kid-in-candy-store on the booths, playing all kinds of games (Guacamelee and Super Space____ were the standouts for me) and ogling new tech on display (especially the Playstation 4 controller).
Of course, I tried to do as much networking as I could, as well. The Full Sail alumni party was great for that, as I got to officially meet some fellow students I’ve talked to on Twitter. I also talked to a number of recruiters and community managers throughout the career pavilion, got some great advice from them, and passed out some business cards and resumes. Hopefully I have a few job prospects after graduation because of it! Perhaps not as significant, but even more fun, was meeting some members of the gaming press whose work I’ve followed.
All in all, I couldn’t be more glad that I made the trip out to GDC. The learning, networking, and excitement were all well worth the trip, but what means the most to me about it is something else. It’s the sense of connection and community with the gaming industry that I’ve never had before.