This week’s question was brought on by GDC, which just so happened to be on this past week. It stands for the Game Developer’s Convention, but does the press have any place there?
My initial thought was no. It’s the Game DEVELOPERS Convention and people of the press aren’t game developers. But as I thought more about it, I changed my mind. Now that gaming is more widely known, there needs to be at least some press there to cover GDC. Since E3’s status has been down-graded during the recent years, companies have been unveiling major industry news at GDC. GDC now is as much for the gamers as it is for the game developers.
With that said, I still believe that developers should get first priority at GDC. I’m glad that they switched it to invite-only this year. This definitely cuts down on the number of looky-loos on the convention floor. In a nutshell, yes press has a place at GDC, as long as all the developers who want to go get first pick of the seats for panels and what not.
Jenni: I definitely agree with Louise. The press does have a place at GDC, what with gaming becoming mainstream. But members of the press shouldn’t get precedence over other game developers. This conference is all about them, and I’ve always thought of GDC being a more formal and business-like event.
That being said, I think press attendance should be limited. The Independent Games Festival, Game Developers Choice Awards, Game Design Challenge, keynote speakers, expo and company announcements should be open to the press. But the events that cater specifically to developers, like the tutorials, roundtables, lectures, summits, networking parties/events and workshops, should be just for developers.
Ishaan: As a big supporter of the effort to bring the development and journalism sides of the industry closer to each other, I’m going to have to say, yes, the press has every right to be at GDC. It’s the one event where the press gets a chance to take a look at what goes on behind the scenes of game development and gain some insight into the minds of developers without having to worry about the consumer.
A more informed games press means better and fairer coverage. Everyone wins.
Spencer: When E3 shrank more key announcements were made at GDC and publishers started demoing games behind the scenes. GDC started to become a press event then because it was another place where game journalists could gather. The difference between GDC and E3 is it’s less run by PR. You can explore the show freely and if you’re brave enough to speak with developers you might even discover upcoming projects. Also, having the press at the show gives developers a chance to grill them at the Meet the Gaming Press panel.