GDC 09: Blizzard at the OC Airport

This is my first GDC 2009 post, and — for reasons I can’t really explain — I’m planning on writing about it all week. Why, when I’m freed from the tether of online deadlines for the first time in 10 years, am I going to keep writing about the show? I think it’s something I’ve just always done and enjoy doing, so I’ll be posting random bits about sessions and demos here in San Francisco.

You wouldn’t think anything interesting would happen at the airport, but at John Wayne in Orange County, I got asked by the young girl at security — based on the large 17″ ASUS laptop I was carrying — if I was a gamer and if I worked for Blizzard. As I got through security, I saw why, passing close to a dozen guys clearly from Blizzard (whose Irvine offices are 15 minutes away).

The next half hour in the terminal was interesting yet unsurprising, as it’s something we’ve seen many times going to and from GDC over the years: the Blizz guys talking shop and even programming in the airport, debating APIs and chatting about things other online businesses do. It’s the kind of thing you often see with companies like Blizzard or Valve: their employees love what they do to the point where they wear their jobs on their sleeves, always working together and solving problems no matter where they are, in a way you just don’t see in other fields.

It’s particuarly amusing to watch the average businessperson in the airport eye the Blizz guys with curious fascination, watching the comraderie and drive of these guys dressed like they’re heading out to band practice, not attend a massive business conference. You can literally see the old world run smack into the modern one, and it’s always nice to see that there are places where the modern one is succeeding.