We have an article on Con Crash that starts, “You waited for your favorite con all year. You followed it on Twitter and Facebook. You had three screens ready to rapidly refresh and get your tickets as soon as they went on sale. Four months later, you had a blast all weekend. Friends! Panels! Celebrities! Cosplay! eSports! Food! Parties!”
Well, here we are with no Con to be had (at least not now), with all the let-down that entails, plus a heaping dose of costly tickets, cancelled meetings, and missed opportunities. That Sucks.
This is going to be a tough time for a lot of people who were excited to go to GDC, had a lot riding on the weeks’ meetings & events, or who were getting ready to give their first talk (like me!). So, we want to offer some support and advice during this complicated time.
- It’s ok to not be ok. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s OK. You might feel angry, frustrated, helpless, or some combination of all of the above. Whatever you are feeling, give yourself the opportunity to feel it, and allow it to be OK to feel it.
- Connect with others. Reach out to friends and colleagues. We’re all feeling a little unsettled by this, and we all probably want to talk about it. Beyond moral support and empathy, you might even happen to get material support. Someone else also missed out on a meeting? Maybe you can reach out to your contact together.
- Make plans. Take some time to feel your feelings, but then make some plans. You’ve got a week of time to fill! Think about how you want to make it productive. You don’t have any meetings – maybe you want to take a day for inspiration or strategic planning, or two hours for a little brainstorming session with colleagues. Schedule some phone calls with people you were looking forward to seeing.
- Watch GDC content without the lines. Enjoy the virtual conference! Many of us will be posting pre-recorded versions of our talks, and will be conversing online. Take some time to seek out the talks you were looking forward to, and even reach out to the speakers, like you would have done after the talk if you were there in person. They’re still excited to be sharing their expertise with you!
GDC is often an annual highlight for many of us and an important event for us to connect with colleagues, grow professionally, and showcase some of the hard work we’ve done over the past year. It’s also an event that’s resource intensive; presenters spend months crafting their talks, exhibitors invest tons of time and money into preparing their booths and displays, and attendees shoulder the cost of travel, hotel, and expo passes. With this much effort being put on hold, there’s going to be an emotional response. Sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, just to name a few. While these are expected, it’s also important to be mindful of how you’re feeling and keep an eye on those around you who may also be experiencing a range of emotions. Take This has a variety of resources to help you through the present moment and the uncertainty of the future.
If you feel overwhelmed or are in need or more support than colleagues, friends and family can give, please reach out to one of these support lines. Remember – these are resources for everyone and you don’t have to be in crisis to get support.