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GDC Europe Reveals Talks For Community Management Summit

GDC Europe organizers have unveiled the full lineup for the show's Community Management Summit, featuring a keynote from industry veteran Gordon Walton on creating an online "code of conduct," SOE on controlling player backlash, and EVE Online developer CCP on learning from Jurassic Park.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe 2011 will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

This year the show will debut its Community Management Summit, which will feature noted industry professionals on attracting attention, fostering fandom, and managing social media for the benefit of a game or studio.

The sessions and lectures featured in the Community Management Summit include the following:

- In the Summit keynote "Community Management's Time is NOW!," industry veteran (Air Warrior, Ultima Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic) and Playdom exec Gordon Walton will point out the growing importance of online communities, and will "raise the call-to-arms for a professional society of community management," encouraging developers to establish a "code of conduct" that encourages community growth and development.

- Teut Weidemann of Ubisoft's BlueByte Germany will host a talk titled, "Community Management in 'The Settlers Online,'" in which he will outline how the studio communicated with fans and nurtured a healthy online community. Drawing examples from the game's development, Weidemann will also reveal how the team saw "some surprising results even when we had bad news to tell."

- Elsewhere, Valerie Massey, senior director of PR and communication from EVE Online developer CCP, will take a humorous approach to discussing community management in, "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Online Communities I Learned from Jurassic Park," a talk that will illustrate the ins and outs of the job using examples from the classic Stephen Spielberg film and its sequels.

- When developers post on community forums, they occasionally subject themselves to vicious backlash for something they did or wrote. Sony Online Entertainment's global community relations director Linda Carlson will attempt to prevent these mishaps in "Devs vs. Trolls: A Survival Guide to Player Communications" by offering tips and advice on how to avoid these volatile scenarios.

- Attorney Kai Bodensiek of the German law firm Brehm & v.Moers will discuss the legal issues surrounding community management in "Allmighty Ban-Hammer: What Are Your Rights - and Obligations - as a Community Manager." This session will help community managers understand how they should deal with conflicts involving "fan art, machinima, free shards, item selling and threats from individual players as well as the 'Ban-Hammer.'"

- In a lecture dubbed, "What Can You Do When Your Social or MMO Game Community Revolt Against You?," Alexis Bonte of eRepublik Labs will describe the ways in which player communities can revolt against developers, using examples including negative review spam, active trolling, and player strikes. Bonte will also explain how to fix a number of these problems, noting, "It's better to be loved, but many never will, so you need to be feared too."

- Finally, the Summit will feature a talk titled, "Community Relations and Outsourcing - A Marriage of Convenience," in which Richard Well of community management company MetaVerse Mod Squad will detail the pros and cons that come with outsourcing a studio's community management efforts.

In addition to the Community Management Summit, GDC Europe recently revealed its complete lineup for the Independent Games Summit, which features distinguished indie developers including Frictional Games' Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) B.U.T.T.O.N. developer Douglas Wilson, and more. Further details on the show's Social Games and Smartphone & Tablet Games Summits will be announced soon.

For more information on GDC Europe as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC Europe website, or subscribe to updates from the GDC Europe-specific news page via RSS, Twitter, or Facebook. GDC Europe is a product of UBM TechWeb, as is this website.

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