If you are familiar with this website, or me, you’ll know that I am a data junkie. I love stats, statistics, metadata, and pretty much any other metric that will allow me to qualify and quantify everything around me. This is part of the reason I started using Fourquare, as a way to track the amount of travel I typically undertake. Before now though, I had to tally all that data myself to get any use out of it. Now though, Foursquare has introduced Time Machine as a way to calculate and display all that wonderful information.
There was recently an article published on Kotaku.com, a video game website, written by Nathan Peters. It was a description of his experience as a contract employee in the video game industry; specifically in the QA department of Certain Affinity, a studio that worked on multiplayer aspects of Halo 4. The summary of the article is that if you’re looking to be involved in the video game industry you should never be a contract employee. In fact, it goes so far as state that “It’s time for gaming’s contractors to strike.” Never mind that this statement is immediately preceded by a sentence that starts with “I freelanced…” Yeah. In any case, you can read the entire article here.
So here’s another viewpoint.
I’ve been a freelancer in the video game industry for over ten years, primarily in special events and experience marketing. In that time, I have worked alongside some of the most talented and influential people in the industry, helped produce some of the most amazing shows the industry has ever seen, and launched some of the products and brands that have reshaped the modern video game experience. I don’t think I need to go into crazy detail here. (You can jump over to the Work section of this site and take a look if you’re interested.) In nearly all of these instances I was the same kind of contract worker described by Nathan. I have experienced a lot of the same frustrations that he describes, a lot of the same situations, the difficulties, the contributions, the promises, and so on. I believe there are a few fundamental differences in our attitudes towards those experiences, but these are attitudes that only develop over time.
So, I’m part of a group on LinkedIn called “AAA”, it’s for people who work in the video game industry. Someone posted recently asking about events, their discovery, producing, advice, and so on. I’ve decided to share some of my replies here so I can spruce them up with links, examples, etc.
Game Developers Conference.
Penny Arcade Expo.
These events are staples within the ever changing games industry. They provide a gathering place for industry folk and numerous enthusiasts to collaborate and celebrate our universal passion for games.
In addition to major industry events, more focused events are popping up everywhere such as:
My questions to you all are:
1) What is your role in the industry (or role you would like to play if you are starting out)?
2) What was the last event you attended (or would like to attend) and why?
3) How did you find out about that event?
4) Are there any tips/ sources/ tools you use to discover events?
There is certainly no shortage of industry events these days and although it’s nice to see them making a come back, the industry seems divided as ever. I often talk to folks about how the “middle class” of games are vanishing. The big studios/publishers are consolidating more and more while the indie developers are turning more and more to things like Kickstarter and mobile only and this is reflected and easily visible in the way the industry events are going.
Ok, so this is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. It’s going to be long and it’s going to be about a topic that is both generally universal and intensely personal. Music. Specifically, video game music, both original and inspired by, some of which will be included along the way. So feel free to fire up some of your favorite tunes, or jam on some of the ones here, grab a snack, and let’s jump in.
Uh oh, a short, recappish (I just invented that word), post. That means I’ve either been really busy or really lazy. In this case, it’s the former. I’ve been working my way down the East Coast since leaving MA, had a couple stops in North and South Carolina, on my way to Ft. Augustine, FL, where I currently am. What was originally supposed to be a prolonged stop here has switched to a much shorter stay.
One of the reasons I decided to come here was to help out a friend of the family who has become too sick to travel and look after her apartment. I volunteered to head on down and handle some maintenance on the apartment so it can be either sold or handed off to one of her kids. It was a good opportunity to get away from the cold, hit the road again, and take some time for myself to get a few of my affairs in order. Well, the work was not much an issue, nothing out of my league, but… though I was told there was a stable internet connection here, there most certainly is not. Now, I’m not without my means, but that is just one of those things that grinds me a bit. Before leaving I had prepped a bunch of work online that I could pick up anywhere, as long as I could get online. Well, that didn’t go as planned, so offer to somewhere new. Maybe time to start my westward trek. In the meantime, I’m certainly enjoying the weather here.
I’m sitting on so many drafts of posts it’s getting kind of silly. My phone is full of voice notes, my notebook full of scribbles and sketches, my brain full of ideas.
The truth is, I started writing this post exactly a week ago. I forget where I was at the time, all I know is that right now I’m laying in a bed in Hudson, MA, typing this out on my Kindle Fire (which I had to root and side-load the WordPress app onto, among other things), while eating a tiny sandwich. In the time between, I flew to Las Vegas, photographed an amazing model, drove to Los Angeles, photographed the same amazing model (and a bunch of other stuff), hung out with my brother, got invited to Palm Springs for New Years, and flew the redeye back into Boston.
I should probably be filling this post with all kinds of insights onto the valuable lessons I learned on this foray. Things like being amazed at how sometimes age has nothing to do with maturity (in both directions), that my brother and I continue to discover things in common (we both continually push ourselves, trying to find our own breaking points [neither of us have]), and that I might actually like Santa Monica despite it’s association with Los Angeles. Really though, I not in much of a recapping mood.
The quickest way to get over a woman is to climb on top of another. – Marc Mercury
Some things we don’t agree on.
My Tumblr pages have been keeping up lot of the regular day to day stuff. My current host hasn’t upgraded the PHP or MySQL on this webserver, so I can’t upgrade to WordPress 3.3 yet, which is driving me crazy since it has Tumblr integration. That is actually something I’m really looking forward to and is one more step in aggregating all the outlets named in the last post back here to //dropslash.
I’m, of course, working on a 2011 recap post. It has been a hell of a year, so expect that to be full of all kind of fun lists and anecdotes and recaps. There is still some writing to finish in the meantime. I’m also working on multiple photo sets, including the aforementioned Vegas and LA shoots. I’ve also been trying to keep up with the December Bohemea Photo Challenge. I’m a little behind because of travel, but I’m working on getting caught up and filling in the gaps. That gallery is below.
Project: BoChallenge – December
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157628242239117″]
Angel, angel, what have I done
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?
It’s 2:00AM on Saturday morning as I started writing this. I’m sitting on a few drafts of posts; Part 2 of Playing With Power (Part 1), Part 3 of The Eyes Of Disarray, (Part 1, Part 2) along with one of my infamous compilation posts covering a huge range of topics. Per usual, I’m writing and creating faster than I can draft so instead of firing out updates here on a regular, almost daily, basis, I tend to just collect them until I can sit down and get them all ready for posting. Ideas usually come to me hard and fast, followed by short stretches of intense inspiration, and if I don’t capitalize on the moment they all just get backlogged until I get that next wind.