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Director's Cut: GDC Fast Forward

Good morning everyone! I haven't updated my column here recently, it's been a bit crunchy for us around here with the final load-in on GDC. However, it's all locked down, and there's only a few remaining things to mention, all of which revolve around bringing the GDC firmly into the 21st Century.

One element that speaks to this is our work with our newest partner, Charles River Ventures. CRV is a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm backing many of the interesting game startups we've been hearing about lately such as Raph Koster's Metaplace. Specifically, CRV partner Susan Wu has been pursuing innovation in game startups for several years, and is dedicated to seeing this trend become a core value of the game industry. This syncs up nicely with our interest in fostering innovation in game creation. With that in mind, we are developing a long-term thread we're calling the Startup Launchpad Presented by GDC and CRV, to host startup workshops and analysis at the Game Developers Conference events.
First out of the gate, at the GDC next Friday, is the 1st Annual Startup Showcase. The session consists of a handful of entrepreneurs presenting their new game businesses, some of which will be revealed for the first time. For example, Dennis Fong, who sold XFire to MTV in 2006, will be revealing his new venture publicly for the first time. Other presenters include Andrew Schneider, president of LiveGamer, Charles Forman, founder of iminlikewithyou, and Gabe Zichermann, CEO of rmbr, and Lee Crawford, CEO of Twofish. In true sporting fashion, each of the presenters has agreed to be judged by a panel of game industry professionals who analyze new game concepts and businesses in the course of their occupations. Susan Wu will be moderating and participating in the panel consisting of Owen Mahoney, SVP Corporate Development for Electronic Arts, David Wallerstein, EVP International Business for Tencent, and myself. We'll select an honorary winner at this session, although this is all a prelude to an actual prize awarded in a Startup Contest to be presented at Austin GDC. More on that as it develops!
So taking that startup spirit in a different direction, the GDC is also integrating some Web 2.0 characteristics into our website. Attendees have already discovered our myGDC social networking system, enabling people to connect and discuss in forums in advance of the show. However, we are also very proud to take the wraps off our online session scheduling system, Schedule Builder (not a moment too soon). Please check them both out on the front page of this site, we're very interested to hear how you're using them and what we can do for next year also.
Well that almost covers it. The show's almost here, and there's just one pre-GDC surprise left.
Jamil Moledina
Executive Director
Game Developers Conference

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