Why I go to the Game Developers Conference Every Year

Since the NING network is going down, I’ve decided to move over a couple posts to this blog…


Originally written: Monday, March 3, 2008

This past week, I attended the Game Developers Conference for the fourth year in a row. How is it that a group of people can grow to love each other more every year with just a weeks worth of interaction?…I don’t know, but what I can say is that I’ve never felt more accepted and understood by any other group of people. I was sitting in church last Sunday wondering why has church has fallen short in many ways of what I’ve expected. The typical answer is that I’m the one with the problems and then I get brushed off soon after (which, of course, does not help). I’m left a bit isolated wondering, am i really the only person who feels this way? When I think about the past week, the people I’ve met, the people that I only get to see once a year, I wonder why this is more real and impactful to me than any church or church group I’ve been part of. Maybe I should stop being christian?…lol.

As far as church goes, I am often left feeling invisible, and people eventually stop trying b/c i’m not what they are use to and they just don’t know what to with me. To be quite honest, I often don’t know what to do with me. So, which side is the one that isn’t trying hard enough? I dont know, but it’s not fair to say that I’m the sole one who is not trying. By going every week, I am trying.

I realized this past week that there are groups of people who’ve got it right. Sometimes I feel as if the people who aren’t doing it for God are the ones who are doing the way God would want it to be done. Now, the cohesion and synergy of Game Developers Conference (GDC) Conference Associate (volunteer) program, has, in my opinion, not so much to do with the fact that we’re all into games (It’s a bit less tangible than that). We’re all drastically different types of people, some very introverted, some very extroverted, some are artists, musicians, programmers, designers, producers, students, businessmen, young and old, and of all sorts of nations. We are all united, however, for a common cause which is what I would say the aim of the church should be, uniting all types of people under the one spirit, that is over all, through all, and in all. One of the most observable differences is that the people who are GDC Conference Associates all pretty much love each other for who each person is and are almost expected to see and do things differently. It’s a challenge to make everyone feel included, but at GDC they’ve managed to make all 350 Conference Associates feel like they are a part of something good.

With GDC being such an overwhelmingly large and eventful week (16000 attendees), I still manage to have the most intimate conversations with people. Perhaps for each day of the conference, I talked about God and christianity with a new person, some believing, some not, and some searching. We shared about lives and loves and life experiences that I’m too young or too American to fathom. And these people, they seem to care about me more and more each year. Now you can say that it’s easy to care about someone for one week, but how I gain and grow each year from being part of GDC is more precious than what I get from going to church each week. Church is full of book knowledge, GDC is where I put things to practice. With that said….Maybe church should only meet once a year. Maybe then we’d actually value the time that we get to spend with each other.

I have a really broken sense of family. When it comes to family, Christianity is really all I’ve got in this world. When I find someone who is Christian or becomes Christian, it’s like i find a piece of myself, like I’ve found a long lost brother or sister, that I’m not here fighting all by myself anymore and I can stand a little taller and push even further. It makes me sad that the Church seems want to keep me subdued instead of really knowing and loving me. Those are the people who are suppose to care and take care of me. Am I not trying hard enough? I’m really trying…I promise. I just have such a hard time knowing what to do about it when no one’s there to help. Really, I just think I care a lot more about these things than most people do. Do I have a wall up?…of course! But it is by no means impenetrable. The CA program at GDC managed to break through each year effortlessly and all I had to be was be there.

In conclusion, I can only say that the only way to really understand what I am talking about is to become a conference associate at GDC and see for yourselves (or perhaps find a likeminded group). In the meantime, you’ll have to take my word that there’s something really wrong with the churches I’ve been to and something really right about the GDC conference associates program.

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