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New GDC 2014 Advocacy talks cover the Fukushima Game Jam and more

advocacytrack1.jpgPasses for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we're announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out.

Today we're showcasing more of our excellent Advocacy track talks, part of a set of nearly 50 in-depth lectures, including a panel discussion about fostering video game culture through community events, a frank discussion of how the psychology of young men affects the game industry, and more.

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.

Fukushima Game Jam: Reviving a country

Games have more power than you think to help people cope with disaster. The Japanese branch of the IGDA has held the Fukushima Game Jam every year since August 2011 to support revival by the game industry, and IGDA Japan vice president Toshifumi Nakabayashi will lead a talk at GDC 2014 about how developers can use game jams as a way to encourage philanthropy. Nakabayashi, who also serves as CEO of Cyberz, Inc., hopes to explain the challenges faced by the organizers of the Fukushima Game Jam and showcase how they succeeded in his talk, Revival from the Great East Japan Earthquake by Fukushima Game Jam. Along the way he'll explore the concept of philanthropic game jams, how organizers can increase participation and contribute to the revival of an entire community.

Curating video game culture through events

If you're curious to learn more about the people behind your favorite video game events and their role in spreading video game culture, check out Curating Video Game Culture: The New Wave of Video Game Events, a GDC 2014 session featuring a panel of video game event organizers speaking about their work. The speakers, who between them have organized events like The Wild Rumpus, the Fantastic Arcade, and Babycastles, will share their experience and the struggles each faces in building and reaching new audiences, the harsh financial realities of starting, sustaining and growing cultural events, and the difficulties in opening dialogues about video games with established cultural institutions and outlets.

Building graphical games for visually impaired players

Finally, don't miss Beyond Graphics: Reaching the Visually Impaired Gamer, a session addressing the oft-overlooked community of visually impaired players. During the session a panel of speakers responsible for games like Ear Monsters, MUDRammer and Zombies, Run! will share advice garnered from their experiences creating or adapting games to meet the needs of players with visual impairments. They hope to discuss vision-related accessibility in gaming, ranging from what there is to gain from it, creative gameplay issues, as well as technical and business challenges and rewards. Hobbyist game developer, blind video gamer and advocate Brandon Cole will also be joining the panel to share his unique insight into gaming as a person with a visual impairment.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include the Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase revealing the lineup of indie games its making available to play on the show floor and the announcement that Audience Award voting is now open for both the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival Main Competition Awards. Developers on Antichamber, Gone Home, and Hearthstone 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.

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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