Traveling to learn

My suitcase is barely unpacked from my design team meetings in Boston last week and I am preparing for a 2-week jaunt to San Francisco. EdGE and GameGurus have been selected as Stage 1 and Stage 2 finalists for the MacArthur DML Badge competition so we have a two-day workshop before the DML conference Mar 1-3. Then a few of us are heading on to GDC to see how the big kids play  🙂

Hopefully on Mar 1 we will hear our names announced as winners for the Badge Competition to create the Arcadia Badge Program. Even if we don’t win the award I think it will be a fabulous experience to work with the DML folks and the other finalists for 2 days. Our friends from Cornell Lab of Ornithology and ARIS were both selected as finalists, but we don’t know for sure who will be at the workshop. DML always have an innovative way of thinking of applications and this year they are doing an arranged-marriage-type think between Stage 1 (Content) winners and Stage 2 (Technical) winners. Fortunately we were winners at both so we are in a courtship with ourselves.

And then onto GDC. It feels important to me to understand the game industry at its core for us to move forward making popular games. What does it mean to be a popular game these days? Most purchased console game? Most downloaded app? And how about web platforms like Steam, that play many console and app games? And where is the industry taking us, or are designers taking the industry? All questions I never knew I’d be asking 5 years ago, and I’m sure are different from the questions I’ll be asking 6 months from now.

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