Debra Hooper visits GDC 2009
April 20th, 2009

School Director, Debra Ann Hooper just returned from Game Developers Conference which has been voted the most important event on the busy industry calendar. She was accompanied by professors, Ben Forman and Rich Ponte along with 15 students.

“The camaraderie and celebration of this industry floods the convention center over the course of five days. It’s inspirational and hard to pass up,” Debra commented.

For me the week of GDC feels like a family reunion,” Debra said.

The annual Game Developer’s Conference isn’t about pomp and circumstance–it’s about people banding together once a year and attempting to fit all their oversize brains into a single convention center. They sit on panels discussing distributed gaming possibilities, cloud computing, game physics…and, they occasionally stumble upon a booth that has Rock Band blaring or Street Fighters fighting.

The Internet buzzed this week with the announcement of OnLive–the scene-stealer at this year’s show. In a nutshell, it’s a streaming video game service in which the data centers on the back end host the entire game. You can play on everthing from your desktop PC or MacBook to a tiny thin-client “MicroConsole” that attaches to your TV.

What I found fascinating about the upcoming Dexter mobile game isn’t the fact that it’s based on the popular serial-killer TV series. Or the fact that it has a devious collection of minigames, such as analyzing blood splatter patterns or moving the iPhone back and forth in your hand like a hacksaw to…cut…things. I’m psyched by the fact that Icarus Studios, the company behind the project, has adapted its engine for an MMO to work on an iPhone. Icarus Studios is based in Raleigh.

Fans of the prizefighting classic don’t have much longer to wait until Punch-Out comes to the Wii (mid-May).

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus