Among the video game events, expos and conferences of March and April 2010: The Game Developers Conference and its spinoff event the Independent Games Festival take place in San Francisco, Penny Arcade's expo opens its east coast iteration in Boston, and Facebook gaming gets a major conference with Inside Social Apps.
Game Developers Conference
San Francisco, California, USA
One of the biggest North American video games events of the year, along with June's Electronic Entertainment Expo and, these days, Activision's Blizzcon and Penny Arcade's Expos. The GDC is an extremely wide-ranging umbrella conference which also incorporates a series of other video gaming and digital industry events around San Francisco, such as the Independent Games Festival, the Serious Games Summit, and a One Button Games showcase. PlayStation's new motion controllers are due to make an appearance, Nintendo is expected to make an announcement about new hardware or accessories, and there'll be talks from the people behind
Deus Ex 3,
Batman: Arkham Asylum,
Tickets: From $75 (€55) for a student ticket to $2,000 (€1,465) for an all-access pass bought on the door.
ScreenBurn and Screenburn Arcade at SXSW
Austin, Texas, USA
Part of the South by SouthWest (SXSW) festivals, the interactive strand brings together video game demonstrations and hands-on sessions with a game design competition and seminars. Screenburn itself runs for five days, but there is also the Screenburn Arcade which offers free entry and runs from Friday, March 12 to Sunday, March 14. Screenburn Arcade includes the heralded
Into The Pixel digital art exhibition, and presence from the Rock Band Network, concept artists Massive Black, Twisted Pixel (who made Xbox 360 hits
'Splosion Man and
The Maw), and even the Texas LEGO Users Group.
British Academy Video Games Awards
Thirty-nine of 2009's top games jostle for awards in 14 categories, while 10 of those titles face a public vote for the GAME Award. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the BAFTA website from 8:45pm GMT. The nominations are led by
Modern Warfare 2,
Batman: Arkham Asylum, and
Assassin's Creed II. There is also a public vote to decide the winner of the GAME Award, chosen by visitors to the BAFTA website and picked from
The Beatles: Rock Band,
GTA: Chinatown Wars,
Zelda: Spirit Tracks,
Street Fighter IV, or
Wii Sports Resort, in addition to the four front-runners.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
With the Penny Arcade Expo usually held in Washington on the west coast of the USA, and covering tabletop, console and PC gaming, PAX East launches as a companion event for the east coast. The three-day pass sold out in early February due to the popularity of the original PAXes and excitement surrounding upcoming games and hardware, the possibility of freebies, and several concerts planned. At the door, tickets cost $5 more than the online prices, but the event is expected to have sold out by then anyway.
Tickets: $30 (€22) per day
March 27-28, Christchurch, New Zealand
April 2-4, Wellington, New Zealand
The Armageddon Expos cover the realms of comics, TV, film, anime cartoons and gaming with these two family days out. This year, there will be screenings of the
Storm Riders animated films, guest appearances with actors from
Dr Who, Police Academy, Star Trek, Heroes, and anime and video game voice-over artists, British author Robert Rankin, a
Street Fighter IV video game tournament, and a video games area run by NZGamer.com. In addition, there will also be an organized pillow fight, ice-cream- and sweet & sour candy-eating contests, a competition to replicate
DragonBall Z's most famous special move, the Kamehameha.
Tickets: $8 NZD (€4/$5.5) for a one-day children / senior's pass, $45 NZD (€23/$32) for a family pass. VIP options available.
Triangle Games Conference
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
The Triangle Games Conference takes place in an area known as the Research Triangle in North Carolina, eastern USA. The Research Triangle Park is a business park home to the offices of such video gaming luminaries as Insomniac Games (the
Ratchet & Clank and
Resistance series), Ubisoft Red Storm (
Splinter Cell and
Rainbow Six series), Epic Games (the Unreal game development engine,
Gears of War), and Emergent Game Technologies (the Gamebryo engine). The two-day Triangle Games Conference is intended for students and professionals and last year featured talks that covered programming, design, media, business, and even serious applications for video games.
Game Design Expo
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Hosted by the Vancouver Film School, the Games Design Expo is intended to act as both conference and mixer for students and professionals alike with talks from industry insiders. Speakers for Saturday's presentation and panel schedule include staff from BioWare (
Mass Effect games), Obsidian (
Fallout: New Vegas), United Front (
ModNation Racers), and Blue Castle (
Dead Rising 2). Sunday's event is an open house for the Film School's game development course.
Inside Social Apps
San Francisco, California, USA
The first conference run by the Inside Network, a group of websites dedicated to highlighting and analyzing trends in the social media industry, features talks from many of the new sector's leaders. Speakers include representatives from Zynga (
FarmVille), Playfish (
Pet Society), Playdom (
Tiki Farm), and CrowdStar (
MCV Awards 2010
MCV, a UK-based video games trade magazine and website, hosts these annual industry accolades with awards available in 19 categories including online, high street, and supermarket retailers; sales, publishing, PR and marketing team excellence, best gaming accessories, and advertisements. Dom Joly, British comedian and columnist for
The Independent, will be master of ceremonies.