I'm a science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction writer by trade, but aside from writing, video games are my biggest passion. I also write over at Gamer Limit.
The first console my brothers and I ever got was an SNES for Christmas one year. Since then, we've owned an N64, Playstation, PS2, and an Xbox 360. I got a Gameboy Color one year for Christmas, but my brothers are more into handheld gaming than me. Every time they upgrade to the latest system I get their hand-me-downs. That's how I obtained my GBA and my two DS's. Handheld gaming for some reason doesn't interest me even though I know there are great games out there. The first console I've ever been the exclusive owner of is my PS3. The first games I ever played were Super Mario World, F-Zero, 7th Saga (which I've written about), and Out of This World.
My favorite genres are RPGs (Western or Japanese), FPS, action/adventure, and RTS (even though I suck at them).
Iím going to GDC this month, and to be honest, Iím really nervous. Itís my first GDC. Hell, itís my first big convention. I mean, Iíve wandered around Comic Con down in San Diego a couple of times, but that was always just for fun, and I either had a friend or my fiancťe with me. This time, Iím heading up to San Francisco by myself for the full week.
So hereís where you come in, Dtoidóawesome people that you are. Give me your advice! Give me tips! Help me figure out how I should prepare, what I should bring, who I could meet up with, and what parties sound the coolest. Help me plan for my first GDC.
So hereís my dilemma. Ostensibly, Iím a ďmember of the press.Ē Whatever that means. Iím not a journalist, thatís for damn sure. Iím a writer. Iíll admit that. But Iím not really going to GDC for the ďjournalism angleĒ Ė the whole writing news posts, crafting previews based on the games at the expo, that sort of thing.
Iím going mainly for the panels, the talks, the bootcamps, and the networking. For me, writing about games isnít as exciting as writing for games. As a novelist and storyteller by trade, Iíd love the chance to get my foot in the door and work with games. The thought of penning a story and helping shape an interactive experience is enough to make me feel a bit giddy. So thatís why Iím going to GDCóto learn more about game design, narrative design, and meet some awesome people.
So what do I do there? Am I obligated to write articles even though thatís not my real focus? But what about if that can help me get a jobówriting timely articles, demonstrating my writing abilities, etc.?
Okay so thereís that, but letís take a step back. How do you even prepare for a big convention like PAX or GDC? I mean what are you expected to take with you into the convention center? My laptop? Pad of paper and some writing sticks? Business cards are a given. How am I supposed to dress? I imagine fairly casual and with comfortable shoes because Iíll be doing a literal shit-ton of walking. (Yes. Thatís an official unit of measurement. Bigger than a crap-ton).
And what about the times in between the panels Iím attending? What do I do then? Because Iím going to this thing by myself, I have this (possibly irrational) fear that Iíll end up just sitting by myself whenever Iím not at one of the scheduled panels.
This fear extends to the after parties. Thereís a bunch of them, but Iíve never been one for big parties and going to barsóespecially if Iím by myself. I realize I just have to take the plunge and go for itóthatís where all the serious (slightly tipsy) networking friend-making happens. The question is: which party do I go to? Iím staying outside the city at my grandmaís place to save money, so my options are limited. BART only runs so late after all. If Iím limited to one party, which one should it be? That Destructoid GDC Hangover Party sounds like a good bet. Itís got Dtoidís approval after all.
There ya go, Dtoid! Themís all my anxieties about this upcoming trip laid bare. Help me out. Shower me with adviceóserious or not. Iíll take whatever I can get! Help me not make a complete ass of myself (for the wrong reasons) at GDC 2013! And let me who else is going to be there. I want to meet as many of you fine, fine specimens of humanity as possible.