The 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC) ended recently, and boy do we wish we could have been there. Thousands of the leading thinkers in game design came together in San Francisco, California to discuss everything from the latest tech to best practices in storytelling. The conference is almost 30 years old now, and for the last few years it’s had something it certainly didn’t have in the 80’s: Twitter! Now everyone can enjoy the great conversations of GDC without needing a ticket and a hotel room. The downside: reading all these tweets makes us even sadder we couldn’t go ourselves.
Here are some of our favorite tweets from GDC.
1. Promoting Social Justice in Games
— Games for Change (@G4C) March 22, 2014
Many retweeted Polygon’s recent article describing a rousing speech by BioWare developer Manveer Heir. The panel, titled “Misogyny, Racism, and Homophobia: Where Do Video Games Stand?” passionately laid out many of the problems in the game field today, and the responsibilities held by creators. Polygon quoted Heir, “I am confident that we will stand somewhere far better tomorrow as long as you, right here, are willing to be an agent of change.” Good stuff.
2. Standing Up for Easy Mode
Uh, no. Playing games on easy mode — a mode the developers included to accommodate players — is not 'doing it wrong.' #GDC2014
— A Mere Kris Ligman (@KrisLigman) March 20, 2014
It’s not always easy to tell a speaker when you disagree, especially when you’re in a packed convention hall and the Q&A line is a mile long. Twitter is the perfect way to let the world know when you agree or disagree, and in this case I’m glad Kris Ligman of Gamasutra spoke up. Easy mode is totally legit! Never let someone else tell you that your style of gaming isn’t as valid as their own.
3. Connecting With Colleagues
I am so overwhelmingly happy seeing everybody again that I can't really deal with it. #GDC
— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) March 17, 2014
These are the tweets that really make us wish we were there in person. Conventions give passionate people a place to come together and feed off of each other’s energies in ways that is truly inspiring and joyous. This tweet by Rami Ismail of indie game studio Vlambeer articulates those feelings perfectly.
4. Sticking With It
"They could exclude me all they wanted, but they couldn't stop me from making games." #1reasontobe
— Nathan Grayson (@Vahn16) March 21, 2014
The hashtag #1ReasonWhy began trending on social media as an opportunity for women in the games industry to speak out about their negative experiences with misogyny. The content of these tweets ranged from daily microagressions to full-blown assaults, and they were discouraging to say the least.
To counter #1ReasonWhy, Rhianna Pratchett created the tag #1ReasonToBe, giving women in games the chance to talk about the positive aspects of their careers and all the stuff that makes them stick with it despite their negative experiences. GDC hosted a #1ReasonToBe panel featuring some amazing speeches by women game developers. It was moving and inspiring, and you should read more about it here, here, and here.
5. Loving Animal Crossing’s Diversity
"When there are women in a variety of roles, you get a wider range of ideas." Animal Crossing: New Leaf co-director Aya Kyogoku
— Laura Hudson (@laura_hudson) March 19, 2014
Speaking of women in the games industry, Laura Hudson captured this excellent quote from Animal Crossing’s Aya Kyogoku, who was speaking at the panel “How to Turn a New Leaf at the Animal Crossing” with fellow dev Katsuya Eguchi. We love Animal Crossing because of its inclusivity and popularity with all ages. You can read more about the panel in Hudson’s article for Wired.com.
6. Playing a new way at alt.ctrl.gdc
ROFLPillar was so magical, guys. You play the game by rolling in this rainbow sack. FREAKING MAGIC!… http://t.co/5D3YAzdatN
— Christina Pham (@microcake) March 22, 2014
The ALT.CTRL.GDC exhibit was all about interaction and proved to its audience through creative controller design that there are more ways of playing games than we can even imagine. ROFLPillar is a two-player game in which competitors lie in sleeping bags with their heads in a small tent with a screen. They wiggle their bodies to control their caterpillar avatars. So cool. Check out these sweet photos on engadget for more.
7. Looking forward to next year!
#GDC14 NOW: Thank you for coming to GDC 2014! We hope everyone learned something valuable and enjoyed themselves!! See you next year, GDC…
— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) March 21, 2014
Can’t wait for GDC 2015! Hopefully next year we’ll be meeting face to face.
What were some of your favorite GDC tweets? Link them in the comments!