I really am still amazed that I went to GDC. Me.
We don't have to unpack everything behind why I feel that way, but it is safe to say it was an incredible experience full of old doors closing and new ones opening.
I met a lot of really fun people and worked on a team again during the IGDA Foundation training sessions in preparation for next year's GDC event and Virtual Exchange Program. I have missed having a consistent team a lot as I have been doing consulting work solo for a while now.
I am so grateful for the history lesson about the IGDA Foundation and the team building exercises we did. Not to mention the opportunity to stand up in front of a room and talk about the history of San Francisco. They gave me so many opportunities for growth in such a short time.
On Thursday we had a well attended alumni picnic in Yerba Beuna. It was so awesome to meet these cool people in person.
I Also got to meet Ricardo from Team Gainz Productions and IGDA Foundation Velociteer from 2021 in person and play our first round of "We're not really strangers" which was absolutely a highlight of my week.
At the conference itself I went to a lot of great talks and have a long list of things to catch on the GDC vault with my discord Vault watch group (like a book club but with GDC videos) we pick a video and talk about it each week. Pictured is a great slide from Kellen Malone and Pablo Schwilden Diaz's talk on how to release 15 skins a month without losing your mind.
I attended my first ever speed networking session and made a friend to play Stardew Valley with. There were so many powerful moments where I felt seen and held in ways I haven't before or in ages.
I am left noodling on the concept of whole person time instead of just face time. Time where you feel each other in space and how that kind of experience meets different needs and objectives than what we can accomplish online.
I look forward to attending again next year and preparing to bring more of myself, more to play with, and more constructive ideas about accessibility and DEI in the industry.
If I could do something better or differently next year it would be sleep more, right?
If we traded contact information, I will reach out so soon, the week took more out of me than I expect but in the most joyous possible way.