When the grog is fresh and gamers are a plenty!
To some of us, gaming is just a hobby, something that we do to relax, unwind, and have fun. However, what if…we wanted to turn it into our 9-5? There isn’t a doorway that leads straight into our dream careers, though we wish that there were.
Over time, this hobby grew into a deep appreciation. Like most things we grow deeply attached to, we learn to master it; we desire to be apart of it. We have seen this in examples of LARP groups, Dungeons and Dragons fellowships, and all conventions known to man. So what about gamers? Sure there are events like E3, PAX Prime/East, and E for All, but these are geared more to the consumer industry then to say…a bright-eyed overly enthusiastic game developer who has been recreating arcade classics since they hit college, or even a passionate artist who found their love for drawing by playing Final Fantasy VII. These people exist and I have discovered where they should go to find what they are looking for: the International Game Developers Association or IGDA.
The IGDA is a professional society for game developers. It is an organization like this that brings about conventions like GDC. Which is for the dedicated masses who are serious about constructing games for a living, the focal point of their gaming year. But like so many who cannot make the pilgrimage to the promised land that is GDC; there are places that allow them to congregate, communicate, and network throughout the year.
Through some good fortune given to me by the game developer gods, I was given a rare opportunity. These do not come around very often, and only fools do not take them when they are offered; I am no such fool. On January 13, 2010, I went to the Boston Post Mortem. Do not be alarmed if you don’t know what this is. Until just recently I was blissfully unaware it even existed. Now with newfound knowledge I bring its existence to the light in hopes that those who are serious about games will make their way to an IGDA chapter near them. Boston Post Mortem the chapter located in, you guessed it-Boston.
I walked in expecting to be overwhelmed by gamer professionals. Needless to say I was not disappointed. However it was all very informal which made the experience more comfortable. There was no pressure to have to talk to people, to have to exchange cards. If you wanted to go in balls-to-the-wall then go for it, then no one would stop you.
Sure, there was a lot of networking going on during the open floor, and after the main talk of the evening, given by Jeff Goodsill of Tencent Boston about “Planning for success in the Chinese Game Market.” However, I didn’t just see potential contacts in this room; I saw people who enjoyed a good light-hearted atmosphere to talk about their love of games and their craft relating to their love.
So just as a preemptive strike for those of you in the Boston Area who are interested in the Boston Post Mortem here are some things to know.
-It isn’t always a catered event, so be prepared to pay for your grog and meat.
-Also be sure to have any and all things business related with you, like business cards, samples of your work (if you an artist)
-Being you is a big bonus. There is no point in being something that you’re not
-Lastly, Listen, Observe and have a good time. ☺
If you are interested in Boston Post Mortem, you can visit their website at http://www.bostonpostmortem.org/. It lists their schedule of activities, directions and all the companies affiliated with their chapter. If you aren’t from the Boston area but are looking to get involved in something like this, look for local IGDA chapters in your area. They are in fact worldwide, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find. Good luck ☺