5 games I played on my way to GDC

This could have been a list on all the awesome digital games I should’ve/could’ve/would’ve played or replayed while sitting on the airplane on my way to the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco. But I played these little-known games instead. Do you know them?

flagsIt goes without saying that it would be awesome to spend all those hours on the plane on the way to GDC playing or replaying some of the many games that will be talked about at the conference, like Depression Quest or Tengami or 80 Days or… well, you know. etc. etc. etc. But let’s have a look at these lesser-known experimental full-immersion games instead!

The Very Broken Airport Simulation Game
airport securityI have a really high tolerance for long haul travels, but since I had to catch three different airplanes to travel from Copenhagen to San Francisco, I felt like I was a character in a very sadistically designed version of an Airport Tycoon simulation game, where the person playing it had been totally overdoing the amount of security checks, thus spending my entire time lining up, taking off my shoes, putting my shoes on again and running to catch the next security check. Obviously this resulted in me spending absolutely no money in the airport shops, so the person playing my imagined Airport Tycoon Game would be losing money. Also, my energy levels had most definitely dropped to somewhere in the red zone when I reached my destination. If I HAD been a character in a simulation game, I would probably have died. An airport simulation game would be kind of fun, though. Like Roller Coaster Tycoon, but with super complicated security checks instead of roller coasters. And lots of places where everything could go horribly wrong with crowds in transit and lost suitcases on carousels and fun airport stuff like that. Whohoooo! Who will make it?

The OMG Mind Game

After having my passport rejected at the self-service ESTA machines at the LAX Airport because my passport had been extended, I reluctantly started playing the “OMG-is-my-passport-actually-valid” mind game in my head. Super exciting!

The What Are the Odds Game

When not going on direct flights, airports usually send my suitcases in all kinds of interesting directions instead of where I am actually going. This has happened an amazing amount of times, so I usually travel with a carry-on when possible, and when not, I make sure to travel in clothes that I would be able to survive in at a conference for at least three days.

This time, though, having experienced it so often, I decided to play the What Are the Odds Game (the odds of my suitcase being delayed AGAIN, I mean). Just for the excitement. Amazingly, my suitcase managed to get delayed once more, which resulted in me spending an hour and a half extra at the San Francisco Airport, waiting, filling out forms and getting sent to weird closed offices in the basement. This game sucked pretty much, especially the 45 minutes by the suitcase carousel. There would most definitely be tons of annoying suitcase carousels in my Airport Tycoon Game.

The How San Fransisco-y Can Things Get in 5 Minutes Bingo

street decline1) I found the house I live in through Airbnb. (oh, but of course).
2) There’s the most magnificent view of the Bay Bridge from my room.
3) All the residents in the house work with tech.
4) They were watching The Walking Dead while simultaneously working on their laptops and their smartphones when I arrived. Third screen viewing.
5) The living room has the best view of Noe Valley and Twin Peaks. And a disco ball.
6) I registered at Uber two minutes after my arrival at the house.
7) Two minutes later I saw a racoon walking down the street. This was somehow extra awesome after watching Guardians of the Galaxy on the plane.
guardians rocket8) Okay, so it’s not Lombard Street (the steepest street in San Francisco), but the street has an incline of about 20 degrees.
9) There´s a Golden Gate picture in my room.
10) The door has a digital lock. No keys.

The Postpone The Pain Game

The schedule of talks at the GDC runs from 9.30 to 17.30 Monday to Friday, and there’s an average of 7 new talks to choose from every hour. And they are all interesting! So what does the Christina On Her Way to GDC version of me do when she has to choose between “Comedy Games: An Under-Explored Genre” with Zoe Quinn or “In the Hearts of Players: Affection Games and Mobile Love” or “Straight Talk about Community Manager Tenure” or “Teaching Beyond the Industry”? I put them all in my schedule and think “I’ll just choose when I’m there”. I hate this earlier version of myself right now.

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