I went to the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) last month, and oh man was it an amazing experience! I wanted to share my top 3 takeaways that can be applied to anyone in the entertainment industry. Here we go!
The people are more important than the talks
So get to know them! The talks and events are always interesting, and can help you learn for sure. But the people you get to know will be there even when the talk is over. They'll be there when the event is over, and even when you are across state or country borders, they're still there. And they are working and creating just like you are. Imagine the amazing things you can create with them. Think of the support you can give and receive through your comraderie in this industry. And then picture the amazing time you'll have when you see each other in person again at the next event. Life is so much more fulfilling when we fill it with people who share our passions, struggles, and joys. So talk to the person next to you. It's worth it.
Everywhere you are, no matter who you're with, listen. Be an active listener, because that's how you learn. Not only is that how you learn the answers to any questions you have, but you can also learn the best questions to ask that you wouldn't have thought of before. Listening yeilds opportunities to progress. Take that opportunity seriously.
Get involved in the conversations
Not to overshadow the listening, it's also important to be a part of the conversation. Conversations create awareness, understanding, and change, both in you and in the industry. There are a lot of really exciting conversations that are happening right now. We need you to be a part of it! It doesn't matter how much experience you do or don't have in the industry. It doesn't matter who you do or don't know. What matters is that you have a different perspective than anyone else in the discussion, simply because no one else is you. And we need creators of every aspect, discipline, and background to participate in the conversations that are changing the culture of how we do what we do.
Take care of yourself
So I know I said 3, but this bonus one is super important because it's the only way you can do the other points mentioned. We need you to be in a position to create, to experiment, to explore, to discuss, to support. As mentioned before, you have something no one else has: your life experiences that can influence the rest of us for good. But don't take care of yourself for our sakes. You're worth it, too.