This is probably the worst possible time to update this thing — the last third of my index finger on my left hand is purple and swollen from basketball fun today — but I can’t very well go over two weeks without updating, now can I?

Quite late to the party, I realize, but GDC was excellent as always. It’s by far my favorite industry event; I’ve obviously never been as a developer (though I felt much less guilty about that this year, since it’s now as educationally relevant to my job as it is informative), but it’s one of the few events simply focused on games and the people and artistry behind them — not just the hype cycle that springs up around so many other events. I went to quite a few very memorable panels, from the fantastically hilarious “All About Noby Noby Boy” to the panel that everyone should have been at, “Games Have Feelings Too!” E. Daniel Arey (Big Red Button Entertainment) did an admirable, inspiring job of summing up the whole “games as art” discussion, and basically came to the conclusion that yes, duh, games are art, so stop wondering about it and start participating in it. It would really do us a world of good as an industry to just start walking the walk in that regard; if we’re confident and commanding in our art form, I think we’d have a lot more respect from those who would otherwise question it. Mostly, I just love talking about games, and being a part of an entire event set up for just that purpose is exhilarating and fascinating.

(Note: I just Googled “Games Have Feelings Too” to get the name of the speaker, and my Twitter feed is the first result. Madness!)

The other thing GDC is amazing for? Networking.

Quick “How I got my 1UP job” story: Two years ago, a Chicago friend of mine alerted me to this blog post by Andrew Pfister, looking for a Reviews Intern. I had been interning at GamesRadar, but it was unpaid and only a few days a week, and my savings were running out. I had moved out here with nothing but that foot in the door (at least, I thought it was), and was on the verge of taking a crappy retail job just to stay out here. But I applied for the gig, with a few writing samples and the crossing of many fingers. A week or two later, GDC rolled around, and I made sure I wasn’t working those days so that I could attend. I happened to spot Andrew in the free lunch line, and waited until he was sitting down to eat to confront him. I introduced myself, told him who I was and that I had applied to be his intern, and a month later I was hired. I still had to interview and give writing samples and all that, but I really think that putting a face with an application helped me stand out (and I found out recently that I was the only person they interviewed — yay!). In summary: ruin people’s lunches, and you’ll get a job.

This year, I attended the 1UP meetup, and met some pretty fantastic folks trying to get into the industry themselves. I don’t think my advice of “just move out here and make it happen” was the most financially sound, but it worked for me — in time — so it’s really all I can offer. I can’t imagine they’re reading this, but thanks so much to everyone who attended the meetup or stopped me to say hello this year, it means a ton (and I hope you all keep my abreast of your careers).

Dammit, I actually had so much more to say for this one, but I’ve been typing with my bad finger and it’s kind of killing me (and if it turns out to be broken, I will feel like an ass for typing with it). I’m still working on my “Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it” for Facebook, which I’ll be sure to crosspost here, but since I’m seeing Mirah tomorrow tonight, I’ll leave you with this.

More as soon as this shit is healed, no two week gap! I promise!

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 7:53 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. fingers are the devil’s toes…i’ll let you mull that over.

  2. This sadly off topic from actual post, but Basketbrawl is one of my favorite sports games ever. 🙂

  3. Hey Nick,

    Wouldn’t you say your move to SF can be compared to the “moving out to Hollywood to be a star” syndrome during the early part of the 20th century?

  4. As someone who wants to walk in the footsteps of a Suttner (beard is halfway there), I was wondering if you had been to college or had a degree by the point you were applying for the internship?

    You might have already heard it but, if not, give A Life Well Watsted’s EGM episode ( a listen. It’s the best send off the magazine was given. I teared up a bit at the end. It’s too bad the 1UP Show/CO-OP guys didn’t have a similiar video tribute.

    Glad you are enjoying life again after the frantic weeks of unemployment. Please feel free to slip any God of War 3 co-op details in the blog.


  5. Thanks for the link to Mirah, I listened to the music on myspace and enjoyed it. Now I need to seek out more. I hope you keep the music recommendations coming.

    I wish I could have made it to GDC myself. I’m trying to find a way into the gaming industry as a programmer and know that GDC would be a great place to network. Especially since it’s the place for indie game developers to really show off and learn.

  6. I’m trying to get into the industry as well. I’m a previews editor at right now, but it’s more like freelance work. That’s the only real writing experience I have at the moment. I suppose I should start sending out samples or something!

  7. The whole ‘move out here’ advice is rad, but like you, I’m a foreigner. 🙂 I don’t know how you managed to swindle your way into living and working in the States, but going from Canada to the States for longer than a 3 month period requires an obnoxious amount of paperwork that is more than likely to be rejected.

    It’s such a hassle that it’s become a seemingly barricade. Any advice for fellow foreigners? 😉

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