In the last session I attended at this year’s Gamer Camp Benjamin Rivers spoke about how the way we interact with games and with others while playing games has changed over the years. Similarly in looking back at this year’s Gamer Camp I think there has also been a dramatic (and awesome!) shift in the way the event has flowed and developed this year over last.
Having attended last year’s Gamer Camp I was like an impatient kid on Christmas Eve waiting for this year’s Gamer Camp to arrive and I definitely wasn’t let down. Starting from just an idea between Jamie Woo and Mark Rabo in fall 2009, this year’s Gamer Camp which occurred on Nov. 13 and 14 grew to become not only much bigger but also very different.
While keeping with the original format of Gamer Camp 1 on the first day I have to say that the addition of Day 2 was the most exciting. Set in the school of design at George Brown College the whole event was really opened up for attendees to explore and interact with the speakers and each other. Rather than a linear list of speakers, everyone in attendance was able to go from session to session or even not go at all having free reign to check out the classic game emulators, indy gaming cabinets or even just taking time out to interact with other game players and creators.
In the end I think this new format encouraged something that most people came to experience which was having an opportunity to just talk about games with fellow gamers and with the Toronto developer community.While gaming has become for the most part mainstream, having an opportunity to talk passionately about how we play and interact with games still doesn’t happen often enough.
Looking at how the weekend progressed you could definitely see that there were relationships formed and perhaps a sense of community being built. For myself I was able to meet some great people and had some great ideas started in my head with potential for projects to be created. Overall I think at the end of day two, people left exhausted but energized for more to come. For achieving this in just two years of existence in my opinion is pretty significant. To Mark, Jamie and everyone else involved in Gamer Camp this year congrats and thanks for the good times!
In a post I hope to have up sometime tomorrow I’ll take some time to look at some of the key learnings I took away this year. Stay tuned!