The Gamerome took place on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 November, a trade show dedicated in particular to developers and "workers". We are not talking about a consumer event, but rather a series of targeted and useful conferences for those who are already engaged (or would like to be) in the difficult task of conceiving, developing and selling a video game. Precisely for this reason, in our recap, divided into two parts, you will find only those meetings and information that I believe will be of interest to a wider audience.
No more talk, let's move on to what we've seen (and heard).
Intellivision Friend: Getting back to the core roots of gaming
In this meeting Hans Ippisch, president of Intellivision Europe, illustrated what the future is and the goal of Friend, new console outgoing 10.10.2020.
The series of slides opens with a statement that is actually "against the tide", an affirmation on which all the conceptual work behind the new console is based:
"There are 200 MLNs from hardcore gamers, but there are 3 MLRDs from casual gamers".
Amico's goal is therefore to address that part of the public, the largest, which plays only and exclusively as an occasional pastime. To be able to do it, according to Intellivision, we must return (as the title of the conference suggests) to the roots of the video game. Simple and intuitive controls, lots of gameplay and few frills. The intent is to offer immediate and universal fun, trying to put sociality back at the center of the experience, bringing together friends and family in the same room, holding the same joysticks.
I can't tell you how realistic this format can work. Obviously we wish Hans and the entire Intellivision the desired success.
Pride Run and LGBTQ + in videogames
Ivan Venturi, Mauro Copeta and Giacomo Guccinelli talked about the brand new (and much talked about) Pride Run to the Gamerome audience. We already know it well: in addition to the very good relationship with Ivan Venturi, our Fraws talked about it recently in his "WTF Games" column. Despite being late (the previous conference ended late), the few minutes I witnessed were enough to underline and reiterate some important points.
The first: the dynamics with which the developers found themselves fighting more frequently was being told "beautiful the game, nice idea, you have our full support ... but we don't talk about it". Unexpectedly, the Italian press is the one that talked about it the most.
The second: some companies and, more particularly, some individuals make the splendid showing themselves gay-friendly only when there is to be earned in visibility or economically. Without naming names, the case of a company that on one hand finances the Pride of a famous English city is characteristic; on the other hand, through the well-known video game head of which he is the owner, he communicates that he does not want to talk about Pride Run because it is "niche and of little interest". Vilty and hypocrisy merged together.
The third: fruit in part of the first two, is enclosed in the (sad) sentence with which Ivan Venturi closed the conference: "It is clear that the videogame environment is not ready for such dynamics".
I can only agree with Ivan, but "heartening" him on the question: it is probably not just the videogame environment that is not ready.
Increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace
The Gamerome has given much importance to social issues and, at least with me, an open door has been broken. In this meeting the discrimination present in the workplace was addressed, in particular towards women. The conference was led by Mea Nilimaa, Marie-Claire Isaaman (CEO of Women in Games), Kate Edwards and the very Italian Micaela Romanini, founder of Women in Games Italia and Gamerome's Event Director.
The dynamics touched are, unfortunately, the usual ones: wage disparity, inability to aspire to extremely important roles and the tendency to treat women with less "professionalism" than their male colleagues. All the rapporteurs have reported these behaviors, telling the unhappy experiences they have personally suffered.
Mea Nilimaa, for example, said she left a well-known company after she refused to pay her the same salary as a male colleague who was doing the same job.
Kate Edwards, on the other hand, recalled how, especially at the beginning of her career, she was taken seriously by her boss and colleagues, almost as if her skills were worth less.
The point is however clear: today there are various forms of discrimination against women, also and especially in the workplace. It is the duty of a progressive society (or, if we wish, simply civil) to ensure that these differences become only a faded memory. In this direction, the importance of education and, above all, of individual responsibility has rightly been emphasized. Personally, I could not fail to emphasize the importance and necessity of a political instrument, the only one that, parallel to the cultural and individual one, can really change some filthy and retrograde dynamics. The rapporteurs agreed with me on the issue, without hiding their distrust of the current political situation. How to blame them.
The Power of Play with Ian Livingstone
If I was late at the conference on Pride Run, it is simply because, at the same time, there was a legend of video game and entertainment on stage: Ian Livingstone!
Class 1949, Ian Livingstone recounted his passion for entertainment, his first steps in the field and, finally, how he managed to achieve success.
As a D&D obsessed player, Livingstone begins writing the first magazines dedicated to the fantasy world and role-playing games. He then founded Games Workshop, with which he became the sole D&D distributor in the UK. Noteworthy is the anecdote concerning the bank that granted him the first, fundamental loan: “While I was showing him the project and talking to him about monsters, fairies and so on, he looked at me like a dog watching TV. Fascinated but without understanding anything ”.
The role of distributor, however, was beginning to be close to him and, thanks to the collaboration with Citadel, Ian decides to create his own IP: Warhammer. Hence one of Ian's first tips for video game developers: become the owner of your content. Don't sell your ideas immediately, don't just provide services.
Ian's debut in the videogame world comes with Eidos, publisher of the first Tomb Raider. And it is precisely by reaffirming the importance of our favorite medium that Ian ended his conference: video games can promote history, physics, management and multi-tasking. Through the video game one can and must learn. Without forgetting that, through the video game, people with disabilities can be entertained like never before. Exciting, I don't deny it, is the closing video of the association SpecialEffect, an organization that takes care of bringing the gaming experience to everyone.
This is why Gamerome - Day 1 is everything, shortly with the second and last part.