I am back from Ion, which was certainly the most interesting and enriching conference I’ve been to this year. Highly recommended. I missed the keynote that made Erik unhappy, happily (I frankly tend to avoid keynotes these days), and met a solid handful of uniquely fascinating people I hope to one day recruit into my efforts for world domination. Peter & Cynthia did an absolutely fantastic job with the conference and I hope to make it out there again next year. There’s a lot of talk in the games industry on revitalizing that “classic GDC” feeling in conferences — GDC itself got way too large a long time ago, Austin GDC is alleged to be the “new GDC” — but for me, falling deeper and deeper in to the niche of online games, Ion/OGDC feels like the first spark of intense shared-stream heady thought exchange I’ve had in several years. The first GDC I attended gave me a feeling of “these are my people” so powerful that I exited the PhD program at UC Irvine and went to work for Taldren; I’m happy to say that I found that feeling again at Ion. It’s going to be an interesting next few years in this space.
I also slept this weekend, some. Coming out of the murk of the last month slowly, so tales of my adventures with Canadian Customs are forthcoming still. The important thing is that I’m finally settled in up here, and the birds are settled enough for Vasya to be doing her phone call recitations. It’s intensely amusing that she actually inserts herself into her phone calls now. She’s reciting an old phone call in Roman’s voice she heard years ago, but she puts in variations, including muffled discussions involving ‘Vasya’ and ‘Smeagol’, and then ends the whole recitation with the “ok, bye *click*” of a phone being set back in its handset. Parrots keep you focused on what’s important.