Week 792

What’s this? I’m blogging about my work on a weekly basis – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on.

Last week I was still in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference 2014. I started off with two days at the Independent Games Summit (including a fine talk by the maker of the awesome Threes), then one and a half days at the ‘full’ conference, before flying back home on Thursday. I also rewrote my article for KIJK and edited a set of short game reviews for nrc.next: Titanfall by Harry Hol, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes by Rogier Kahlmann and Oquonie by myself.

Early Tuesday evening, I attended a session called Driving the Future of Innovation at Sony Computer Entertainment, during which Sony unveiled Project Morpheus, a prototype of its PlayStation 4 VR helmet. On Thursday morning I was able to get some hands-on time with it, and walked away rather impressed. I wrote about it on the plane; the result was in NRC Handelsblad yesterday. I’ll write more about it soon, for Official PlayStation Magazine.

Later that night, my traveling companion David Nieborg and I visited the Castro Theater to watch Free to Play, Valve’s documentary about the professional games scene, specifically Dota 2 players entering the first The International tournament in 2011. The film mostly got me thinking about the power dynamics behind it. Who developed the game? Who organized the tournament? Who provided the prize money? Who made the film? Valve! I wonder whether there are many parallels here with how other sports became proper ‘sports’.

Wednesday morning, I had coffee with Faruk Ates, a longtime friend who’s now an entrepreneur in San Francisco. That afternoon, David and I interviewed veteran Dutch games developer Arjan Brussee about his career, which was fun.

At night I went to see the Independent Games Festival awards show, which I then wrote about; the article appeared in NRC Handelsblad on Thursday. Finally David and I met up with Sander van der Vegte at the Starlight Room, 21 stories high above the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. We drank Anchor Steams and peered down and amused ourselves with candid conversation.