Advice and etiquette for gamers going to GDC
Gamers, you have a lot of gear, and the carry-on policies are getting pretty restrictive. So, grab yourself a SCOTTEVEST. As you can see, it can fit a MESS 'o stuff, and it doesn't count as a carry on. So pack it full and side-step the carry-on restrictions.
Also, you might want to think about leaving your light guns at home, especially if flying.
You'll have to find your own, as you will not be able to shout up the basement stairs to your mom to bring you a plate of Totino's Pizza Rolls. But it's okay, most of these conventions have various food courts and they'll have a fine assortment of chips and sugary caffeine-laden drinks that will suit your tastes.
Conventions are notoriously expensive. This should not be a problem for you, as — even though you spend most of your money on new games and hardware — most of your paycheck goes to NOT paying rent, as you continue to mooch off your parents.
Your hotel has them. Use them. You'll stand out.
Although most of the time at GDC will be spent indoors (either in your hotel room latched, lamprey-like, to your WiFi connection, or in the convention center itself) where it is temperature controlled, you may be forced to walk outside for a bit. For those of you unused to real air, the temperature can fluctuate. Bring a light jacket, as it's supposed to be in the mid- to high-50's.
An additional note: Although your ripped sweatpants and Cheetos-powder-covered Penny Arcade T-shirt are perfect attire for at-home gaming, it's time to look a little more presentable. Try avoiding anything with TOO MANY tears / stains. Sure, other people there might be wearing exactly what they wear when in front of their computers ... but if you dress up, you get to look down on them.
I'm sure you're the best conversationalist in-game. Your "die in a fire" put-downs are renowned the world (of Warcraft) over. However, in the real world, people use things called "sentences" and "tact." If you're unsure if you can navigate these difficult-to-master parts of speech, try and stay silent and smile. Most people will assume you're not going to harm them.
Navigating the conference floor
The best things to see at GDC will be the booths with the most people crowded around them. As a shut-in gamer, your first impulse will be to lob a grenade into their midst and unlock a "multiple kill" achievement. This kind of behavior is frowned upon by the local authorities. A better method is to squeeze yourself through the crowd — politely yet firmly (no elbows!) — and saying "Excuse me". Practice it a few times to yourself to make sure it sounds sincere. You can get away with most everything by muttering "Excuse me" or "Pardon me".
Please refrain from going to the Midway booth to just point and laugh at them.
Avoiding ALL hassles and expenses
Stay at home and vicariously experience it via blog sites that are paid to be there and put up with it all. (That's what we're doing!)
Jeff Somogyi is dealnews' Cheetos-covered Media Editor.