One thing I won’t miss about San Francisco at all is getting lost, wandering around at 8 PM with a dead phone before eventually calling a cab and crying when I finally got to my hotel room (look, it was a long day, ok?). One thing I will miss about GDC is, well, everything else. Okay, besides food prices—granted, maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but damn, the Frisco is expensive.
Let me back up a bit. For those who may not know, I was a scholarship recipient of the very first year of I Need Diverse Games scholars for All Access Passes to GDC 2016. Thanks to Tanya DePass and the wonderful people on the advisory board, I was able to get a pass to represent myself in San Francisco.
As a writer and game designer, a lot of my core interests in GDC was the narrative and design side of things. Planning for GDC, I had looked at plenty of talks and shoved them all into my schedule; from one on Life Is Strange and real-world issues (of course I went to that one) to “Don’t Fear the Queer” and the Rez 15-year postmortem. And networking, of course, but that didn’t go nearly as well as I would have hoped or liked. That’s another story entirely, of course.
The first day was one of the most tiring, hectic, confusing days of my life, but also without a doubt one of the best. Despite having to deal with a fear of flying and getting to my flight just as boarding had started, getting lost multiple times throughout the day, and dealing with incredibly exhaustion, it was one of the best days. I got to meet one of my favorite people, Riot Games’ Soha Kareem, and I hung out with her for a bit before my first of five talks for the day, “The Exposition Burden,” which was led by Jennifer Hepler (and was fantastic).