I can sum up this experience in 7 words; passionate nerd-fest with a side of awesomeness. The anticipation of getting inside, the energy levels on the exhibit floor, the excitement of the latest thing, the video games obviously and the people watching makes me want to attend year after year.
I was able to attend a handful of sessions, but I’d like to focus on two that made the biggest impression on me; “Online Gaming Communities and ‘Real Life’ Relationships” and “What the Heck is a Community Manager”
The goal of the “Online Gaming Communities and “Real Life” Relationships session was to discuss the communities we all have created and support, and how they impact real life relationships for gamers of all types. Basically, the relationships we form online, translate into tangible relationships offline by means of casual acquaintances, friendships or as far as marriage in the case of Morgan Romine (Frag Dolls Manager & PhD Candidate, Ubisoft) and her husband whom she met on Xbox LIVE. It turned into a very personal discussion and it was apparent just how affected the panelists were from their online interactions. Hamza Aziz (Community Director, Destructoid) went as far to say that “Online communities saved my life.”
Trolling is a product of online anonymity.
Online communities are social support systems.
What offline relationships have you formed as a direct result of online interactions?
The goal of the “What the Heck is a Community Manager” session was really to address what he or she does and why there is a growing number of community management positions at publishers and development studios. This was especially interesting. The attendee turnout was phenomenal. The panelists mostly spoke about their career paths, all of which were different. And each touched upon how they manage their respective communities.
There’s no direct path to becoming a community manager. Use the skills you have, network and be passionate.
Moderation of an online community is like giving a colonoscopy…you’re always in there looking for something wrong.
What words of advice would you give an aspiring community manager?
The Exhibit Hall
Ok, here’s the fun stuff. Armed with my iPhone and a Flip Cam, I set out to capture the essence of the event. Enjoy!
Short and simple
1. Drugs are bad
2. Don’t steal!
3. Don’t punch or kick people
4. No cheating
5. Don’t harass anyone
6. Don’t vandalize anything
7. Don’t mess with stuff that’s not yours
Have you seen such simple [and humorous] community guidelines before? How elaborate are yours?