GDC 2015: Teaching Arabic, the language barrier & introducing gamedev.world

I will be writing many more words about gamedev.world in the future, but for now I want to take you back to where it was announced. One could say I’m a veteran speaker at the Game Developers Conference by now, but the weight of the announcement definitely had me a bit nervous. This year, I was lucky enough to have a talk as part of Richard Lemarchand’s Microtalks. Richard is an amazing inspiration to me, both in his work and in his tireless optimism, kindness and care for the medium and the people that contribute to it. The entire session is wonderful and full of powerful talks, some lovely talks, some clever, some unexpected but all of them thoughtful and engaging.

My talk is towards the end of the panel (it starts at 55:50), but I would urge you to watch all of them if you have the time.

During my main session in the Advocacy track, I used a novel way of getting my point across. It’s really hard communicating the severity of the language barrier to people that (overwhelmingly) understand only one language – which is sadly still a very common situation in the United States specifically – so I had to approach my talk a bit more carefully. In my microtalk, I decided to not use written English unless it was a single word or used as illustration. For the main talk, I would teach the entire audience Arabic.

All of my talks are available on the GDC Vault, which is a veritable treasure trove of wonderful talks -of which many have been made available for free– by the Game Developers Conference.