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First Advocacy track sessions revealed for GDC 2014

advocacytrack1.jpgPasses for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we're proud to announce a new batch of sessions in the Advocacy track that you'll want to check out.

Session highlights today include a talk about depression-proofing your studio, advice thoughtfully incorporating LGBTQ themes in your work, and more. You can also find the full lineup of awesome advocacy-centric talks at GDC 2014 via the Advocacy track session list.

For the first time ever, GDC organizers have made all Advocacy track talks open to all GDC attendees, regardless of what type of pass they purchase.

Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.

Subversively queer your work

Game makers looking to better include queer ideas and characters in their games should consider checking out How to Subversively Queer Your Work at GDC 2014. The session, led by Samantha Allen, Zoe Quinn, Mattie Brice, Todd Harper, and Christine Love, will offer tips on how anyone can make small -- but important -- changes to incorporate LGBTQ themes into their work. Everything from writing character dialogue to designing game systems will be covered, and the talk is designed so that just about anyone -- from artists and designers to writers and producers -- should walk away with useful, actionable advice.

Designing for gamers with disabilities

There's a bevy of very good reasons to think about how you can best broaden your game's audience to include people with disabilities, and Ian Hamilton intends to walk you through them during his GDC 2014 talk Accessibility: Lessons Learned from Designing for Gamers with Disabilities. As you might guess from the title, Hamilton has some experience in the field of game design, spanning both the AAA and indie ends of the spectrum, and he plans to share his experiences to illustrate why designing your game to accommodate disabled gamers makes both good business sense and just common sense. Those interested in attending should walk out with a clear understanding of how disabled gamers fit into the market -- including financial stats -- and how games can be better designed to fit their needs, as well as some resources for those looking to take the next step.

Make your studio depression-proof

The business of making games can be a stressful one, and the mix of passion and talent that fuels the industry can make those who take part more susceptible than the general public to serious emotional distress, including fatigue and depression. Take This project founder Russ Pitts takes the stage at GDC 2014 to give a talk designed to empower developers to take positive steps towards improving the quality of their workplace. It's titled simply How to Depression-Proof Your Studio Culture, and during the hour-long session Pitts also plans to highlight strategies for those in management positions to implement large-scale programs that can foster mental wellness across an entire studio. However, anyone with an interest in making their workplace a healthier place to spend time is encouraged to attend.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include a Robotron 2084 postmortem from creator Eugene Jarvis, a presentation on how to teach games writing, and the return of the 'Best in Play' awards as part of the GDC Play showcase. Developers on The Last Of Us, Kerbal Space Program, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf will also be giving talks.

All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon.

GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. Early Bird pricing, with discounts up to 30 percent, will remain in effect until January 31st. Some passes have limited amounts, and with the Independent Games Summit pass already sold out, interested parties should register now.

For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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