Saturday, March 28, 2009

GDC 2009: Men In Tights


Today was the last day of GDC. I'm already in the hotel room, but the last few lectures are still going. These 5 days went fast.. here is a quick report from me:

Men + Skirts = WTF ?
This year I saw even more men wearing a skirt at the convention (most being the workers/volunteers).
I don't think it's about being gay. I think it's some sort of fashion thing mixed with some fake Scottish heritage.. because most of those skirts resemble to a kilt.
I even saw a man wearing some sort of foulard around his legs.. much like women do on the beach when they want to cover their pink panties.
I don't know what to make of all this.. it's not right to judge people for their costumes, though I must admit that I'd much rather look at female legs than male ones.. ..but that's why I live in Tokyo instead.

Trix are for Kids
Some pay extra to go to the tutorials that are held on the first 2 days.
I initially went to the "Math and Physics for Programmers". That tutorial started pretty bad..
First of all, I don't see how one is going to spend upward $1400 to be taught linear algebra by some dude. Secondly, the guy that supposedly had experience teaching, was getting a bit lost on the basics and didn't really explain things in a way that is different from the other thousands other explanations that we all read in every single 3D graphics book.
Some lectures were interesting, like the one on Larrabee from Michael Abrash and Tom Forsyth. Some were not that good..
As a general rule, I prefer Siggraph to learn about graphics programming.
A lot of lectures were about using PS3's SPUs ..a lot of behind the scenes talks between those that are proficient on PS3 programming and want to see the Cell advance on next gen consoles and those that hope for Intel's Larrabee to take over.

The Lady and the Nerds
Of my first Siggraph in 1997, I still remember one lecture about virtual textures and volumetric/cloud rendering.
At the end of that lecture some Asian/American girl with long black hair stood up and started asking questions. She moved funny, sort of dancing and jumping as asking.. asking this like "how can we use these clouds for games ?".
In the following years, some woman's graphics programmer name started resounding in the game industry.. from the things she'd write on the web and from the rumors of people that got to work with her.. it seemed like that woman from that Siggraph.
It was her indeed and she's still around.. a big name in the industry and at GDC.. she's still acting weird and assaulting famous speakers after their talks (putting off those that may have genuine questions).
She's also the practical example of why I don't like game dev in the US: social engineering alone can get you pretty far !

Chit Chat
Small talk is everywhere, but I could never subscribe to the American flavor of small talk.
People sit on a round table eating and start talking to each other about anything.
I must admit that this is a good way to create business relationships, but it's also very fake in a sense.
For some reason I could never adapt.. people will either be all over you, or almost ignore you depending on the situation.
I personally prefer a more leveled approach... where we never were best buddies and we never will be 8)

The Italians
It's always good to meet other Italians at GDC. It's mostly guys like me.. a common culture and a common interest in living and working away from our country of origin 8)

Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are so mixed.. it's great to see so many people from so many different races coming together.. but at the same time it's like all those people have been assimilated into a unique framework.. like some sort of borg.
Somehow I don't feel that in Japan, perhaps because there it's easier to be a foreigner and one doesn't feel like he's losing his soul to some melting pot kind of system ...where men end up wearing skirts in an attempt to find a shred of individuality.

I guess this was an experience, too !

P.S. I'll add more pictures in the same album in the coming days !