We hit the ground at the "largest game convention in the world" late in the afternoon on Tuesday. The show had apparently been going on half-steam since Monday, but someone had forgotten to tell most of the world. Basically everything that happened here before Wednesday and/or Tuesday night can be summed up by two words: not much.
In the post-E3 landscape, few shows have garnered the buzz of GDC. With a focus on developers and press, minus the glam and glitz (and, sorry, guys, the consumer-centric atmosphere) that plagued E3, GDC would appear primed to deliver more of what was so hard to find at the louder, larger L.A.-based E3: actual information about games and the people who make them.
The slant towards what's "real" is apparent as soon as one walks in to the cavernous Moscone center. Booths and rooms are arrayed in a meaningful, easy-to-navigate manner, and, as Erin Hoffman described in last week's issue of The Escapist, a veritable army of fluorescent shirted, smart and knowledgeable helper people stands at the ready to get people like me (with no sense of direction) to places like the Esplanade, which is so easy to find about two hundred members of the press corps found it before I did.
But GDC has something else no post-E3 show has: a wealth of intelligent discourse on the state - and future - of the industry. For the next few days, we'll be sitting in on panel discussions, attending private meetings and hitting the hottest highlights of the GDC night life to drag down what we can about this maturing industry from the mouths of the people who are actually the developers themselves.
So yeah, that's another thing most other shows don't have. At last count everyone in the industry was here, and we're going to be rubbing elbows with them all week. Stay tuned.