Right before I went to Denver, I went to the Triangle Games Conference. It was a great two days, I met a ton of creative people and heard about a lot of interesting projects. This meeting-strangers thing is getting a lot easier, by the way, but I’m still not particularly good at it. I thought that once I got over my nervousness about walking up to strangers and introducing myself, that would mean I was good at smalltalk. Um, no. See, if it goes well, you’ve just struck up a conversation… and now how do you disengage? What if I say goodbye, and then run into the person again a minute later at the next panel? And there’s another level of awkward from vaguely recognizing someone from another local game dev event… What if I say hello and they don’t remember me? What if we do the acquaintance nod and then I don’t remember their name?
Yeah, I can turn hello into awkward in milliseconds. (And that’s without the bizarre attraction-avoidance of being a girl at a game event.) I’m surprised no one came after me to revoke my press pass for such a stunning failure to network.
I went to a couple sessions on media and games, and got into a few impromptu discussions on marketing indie games. At one point, an indie developer and I were nodding and chatting about the difficulties of getting information from game studio to game journalist, when I realized we were on completely different wavelength. He was bemoaning the impossibility of marketing a game without skilled writers to compose a press release and a list of journalists to receive the press release, money to advertise the game, and so forth. And I thought we were talking about how I often try to find out more about a game or an indie game company, only to discover their web presence is a MySpace page from 2006 or a domain name with the game’s logo and the words coming soon.
There was a truly fascinating discussion on augmented reality, which will have to be its own post, because I have so much to say there. It makes me so excited that the cyberpunk future is now, which is good, because I’ve been sorely disappointed on the moon colony front.
Oh! And I went to a lecture by Phaedra Boinodiris of WomenGamers.com, which was interesting in it’s own right but personally pretty exciting because WomenGamers hosted my very first gaming article, ok, not the first piece I’d ever written, but the first that was read by someone other than my parents and my boyfriend.
There was also some kind of discussion over giving game companies special tax breaks in North Carolina, and Bev Perdue stopped by, which meant some news crews stopped by, but I wasn’t really following that part. In fact, I started to feel sensory overload from all the conversations and information flying at me. I had to hide out in the press room for a little while to blog and make some mental room, and that led to a quiet chat with a couple other games journalists (the kind who aren’t also waitresses), and that was one of the nicest parts of the conference for me.