So, the No Show Conference happened last weekend, and I’ve decided it’s one of my new favourite gamedev events, ever. Being a relatively small conference, it managed to attract a really great group of smart, talented people, many of whom I already knew and a few I didn’t but was happy to meet. And, you know, it’s always the people who make these events what they are. Plus, it gave me an excuse to visit Boston, a place I don’t get myself to very often but feel like I probably should, because so many neat things are happening.
My satire talk on “Men in Games”, the gender-flipped version of every “Women in Games” presentation everywhere, went over amazingly well with this crowd; when giving any kind of comedic performance, it’s incredibly gratifying to hear people laugh in all the right places. A good thing too, since I tailored my presentation towards a very particular sort of audience: that is, one savvy about certain, shall we say, gender problems in the videogame industry, both those that happen within and those that show up in the games we make and the communities formed around them. Some would say it was a bit “preaching to the choir”, but as I like to say, I’m more of a choir director than a preacher, so I feel like I more or less succeeded at what I sought to accomplish. 
The other presentations were also excellent, touching on subjects from economic class dynamics in gaming to environmental storytelling to tips on procedural content generation to starting a videogame arts organisation. There was even one involving audience participation that had us create cubist self-portraits and try to hold a conversation with someone while counting the number of times they blinked. (It made more sense in context.) There was also a game jam portion of the conference, although in practice, a lot of people used it to work on projects already in progress; I would have done the same if I weren’t already busy watching the presentations. Maybe if it were a longer conference. But the demos of games I did see were pretty fantastic: a game where you play as a cupcake, an 8-bit Super Smash Brothers lookalike, and an interactive fiction game I’m really looking forward to in which you are a blogger at a ladies’ website.
Oh, and there were even people in the audience who were knitting. Not something you see often at gamedev events, that’s for sure!
I also had plenty of opportunities to demo the first scene of Dominique Pamplemousse, myself, which a lot of people loved, as evidenced by the big smiles on their faces as they played. Really gave me a lot of motivation to finish the game and get it out there, already. Of course, that takes, you know, actual work and stuff. Eep!
Anyway, suffice to say, a good time was had, if not by all, then definitely by me. Much thanks to Courtney for putting everything together, and also to all the volunteers, speakers, and attendees for making the experience as great as it was. I’m already looking forward to next year!