If you've been keeping up with my LinkedIn posts, you'll know that this trip to GDC19 in San Francisco was more serendipitous than it may present itself; when your university tells you they'll pay for your travels, you don't really turn the opportunity down.
I have to say it's rather strange going to an industry conference as a student, not specifically looking for a job, or to show off an upcoming game. I was there solely to present a critique I had written of narrative design.
However being at the conference allowed me to meet incredible people, such as Tim Schafer (Double Fine Productions) and Lucas Pope (Papers Please). Others were students, looking for an 'in' with the games industry, developers, spruiking their creations, and service providers, evangelising the masses.
While I don't think I've been convinced to drop everything, jump ship, and pursue games development, the event was still very useful. Seeing so many people sharing their art and their passion for it, I can't help but be drawn into the narrative: a hero's journey, where a team in the trenches together build a game, and after months of development, celebrate its release.
My passion for making games is renewed. Without this conference I may never have gotten it back, and for that I am thankful.