F*** me, I’m exhausted.
It’s not a bad kind of exhaustion by any means. Well, maybe just a little, and only because my back is killing me in the way that backs only kill you when you’ve been on your feet and moving for damn-I-don’t-even-remember-when-I-last-sat-down. For every business card I have given away I have received five more, and for every frantic run from appointment to appointment I’ve made a friend. But at the end of a grueling week at the Game Developer’s Conference my body is telling me a need a solid meal that doesn’t include a Clif bar or alcohol and a long, deep, uninterrupted sleep.
It’s the end of a week that felt like much longer. I have recordings and notes and assets to shuffle through and transcribe, and mountains of words to write. And, of course, lots to think about.
One of the best things about GDC is that it’s companies, developers, press, and students of game design flocking to the Mecca that is the Moscone Center for one week to immerse as a community in the things we love to do. With all of us together there is an untold amount of information and advice saturating the air at any given moment. Demos are played, press conferences are had, panels are given. Everyone is relaxed for the most part, which erased my initial fears upon landing in San Francisco that my performance at this conference would fall flat. Sure, I may not have been writing ten posts a day on it — as one person there is only so much I can do, and interviews and previews were calling my name — but as I look at what I’ve collected during my stay I realize that I am walking away with a lot more than what I will sharing with you all over the next few days (or weeks, as embargoes go).
The atmosphere was positively thrumming with a feeling of… how do I put it? Things were fun, of course. I enjoyed the company of some of the industry’s best and brightest, and a score of entertaining and thoughtful people that made me feel right at home among them. The thing about the game industry is that it’s so dynamic. There is always change, always improvement, always moving and shifting as each person does their part to weave the tapestry that has become this sphere of work, this medium of unending possibilities. And as fluid as the industry is, so are its people — accommodating, constructive, creating new things and new ways to show them off, coming up with new things to say and new ways to think, and ever remaining warm and inviting.
At least, this is my experience. As someone who hasn’t been doing this for very long I don’t necessarily feel that way. The thing about these industry-only conferences in that we are all here for the same reason — it may not be all fun and games but regardless of what work we all do, we are all on the same page.
I could say more, but it would ruin the magic, and the men and women behind the curtain might get mad at me. So you all will have to be satisfied knowing that while I was absent from the site this week, I was having fun, and picking up some valuable pearls of wisdom along the way. It applies to what we do here, but to everywhere as well: Don’t do something if you don’t love it. And if you love it, you must give it all you’ve got.