Well, I've been missing in action ... or missing in conference for the past three days whilst attending the Game Connect: Asia Pacific conference 2009. I must say that being around the Game Developers made me realise just why the Australian Film Industry is in the pits. It was refreshing to be around lively, keen, approachable people for a change. The difference between the game developers and film folk is the enthusiasm for innovation, the collaborative spirit, and the lack of needing to ram down each others throat what should and should not be played amongst the Gaming community. Very different from film where you have a lot of people all attempting to convince the others what should and should not be supported or seen as cinema.
There were a few film people having a sniff around there, and you know what? They tended to be the most drudging when it came to question time. Having said that, I don't like leaping totally on my own kind and can only be inspired by the creative attitudes that I encountered during the conference. There were some ex-film folk who had made the dash across the border and into games, and they were terrific people to talk to.
I think there are many reasons for why there is such a noticeable difference between the two types of events. The first one that stood out was that usually when I attend a film event you mostly get filmmakers, you don't get a really broad range of people working in the industry and I think this makes it very difficult to flow ideas and exchange perspectives. The other has to do with the fact that Game Development is only about thirty years old, so there are less preconceived ideas on what the 'common' ground should be, everyone can input interesting suggestions and possibilities without stepping on another person's toes.
The other major factor was the relaxed nature of it - film events seem to be like walking amongst fashionable circling vultures, or unfashionable, depending on which side of the film fence you sit on. And you are more likely to get an ear full of another persons narrow minded opinion at a film event, whereas at a Gaming event, opinions are swapped, exchanged, shared and then it is time to move on to the actual implementation of potentials rather then questing for the ultimate victory of opinion which happens galore at film events.
The Gaming Industry is also more successful sales wise then film, bringing in 2 billion dollars a year to the Australian economy, I think film folk have a lot to learn from the attitudes employed in its culture and get off their trip which is stifling and unproductive.