Mar 27, 2013
9:35 AM
Steve Says:
a screen grab of the game developers conference website advertising the expo dates for march 2013 in San Francisco, ca

GDC 2013

As you’re all aware by now, I quit my job in January and relocated to San Francisco. One heart breaking thing about this, is that in my attempt to live frugally while working indie, I’m not exactly able to splurge on things like the luxurious $1,475 all access pass at GDC. In fact, despite now living in San Francisco, I felt that even the $195 Expo Pass was a tough thing to justify. I’m trying to make my money cover the essentials, and well… sometimes that means eating macaroni and cheese and skipping out on conventions.


As time went on though I started trying to figure out if maybe there was a way I could get into the convention for free. A little bit of searching revealed that this would be a possibility! Well, I filled out that application form, and typed a good essay! I can be rather writing good when I want to! And there I sat, proud that I’d had this idea, and … wait … a response already?


“We regret to inform you that all volunteer positions for the 2013 Game Developers Conference are filled, and we don’t have room for you. We know this is not the news you hoped for, so we would like to take a moment to explain.

This does not mean we didn’t want you to join us nor that we thought you would do a less than good job. We just had so many excellent applicants and a limited number of spots to fill. Sadly, we had to turn away well over 1000 people we don’t have space for.”

Well phooey. Turns out I’m not the only one that had hopes for getting to GDC on the cheap. There went that idea.


Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I decided there’s still got to be a way in. And so I made an open offer on a couple of LinkedIn groups.


“I’m currently living in the San Francisco area and it occurred to me that I should volunteer over at GDC. Unfortunately they’ve already got more applicants than they can handle, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to put my name out here. I’ll be out of contact between march 13th and 18th, but If someone’s looking for some help feel free to get in touch with me. I’m currently available during the time that the convention is happening!”


And you know what? I got a reply! I got a couple of replies actually! I ended up following up with one of the people who generously contacted me, a Mr. Ron Jenkins over at Power A. With a few emails and a phone call exchanged we decided that I’d help out at them out over at GDC and in exchange I’d get my way into GDC with an Expo pass! Well… as it turns out, while the idea of volunteering seemed good to both parties at first… the reality is, is that booth representatives need a good amount of information at their disposal if they’re going to field questions on the fly… and understandably the folks over at PowerA were a little hesitant to let this unknown variable factor into their booth equation… and so they made the decision to rely on just their own staff.


But the good news? I’m at GDC right now courtesy of PowerA! I’ll let you know next week how it went.