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Faith Based Initiative: Christian Game Developers
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 22, 2002   |   Episode 22 (Show Archive)  

   

When I originally sent my email inquiring about attending the Christian Game Developers Conference, I was not aware that I would be the only reporter interested enough to go. You see, having just come back from E3, I never really feel alone as a reporter. But knowing I would have the opportunity to not only cover something brand new, but also have the exclusive, well, to put it mildly it just send shivers of power running up and down my veins.

Finally I would have the chance to tell the world about my experience, and not have it trampled down by fifteen thousand
OTHER similar stories. Now I could tell people the event from my point of view, and lie as much as I want. well, okay, maybe that's not true, but as a reporter, there's a certain, how do you say, thrill one gets when they are the only one there "of your kind."

It also has a way of making me feel very much like an outsider. I should, at this point, also tell you my other black mark going into an event like this. You see, from a very early age I was brought up mysteriously un-religious. Neither mother, nor father pushed organized religion on me, and up to this point in my life have never considered myself to be anything but "alive" and "undecided." Going in, I knew I was going to be something of an outsider. But thankfully I won over their trust early, and the rest, well, we'll get to that. First we have a story to tell.

What A Short, Average Journey It's Been
My experience of conventions and game conferences have taken me everywhere from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Seattle, but few are ever in Portland. When you really think about Portland, games and computer software doesn't exactly spring to mind. Actually, I don't know what you think of when you think of Portland, because I too am drawing a blank, and I was just there.

But I digress. The very first Christian Game Developers Conference was being held this year in Portland Oregon, and as luck would have it, that's an easy two hour drive from where I live. Ah yes, finally something I can drive to, something I can
finally do in style. I had even picked up a brand new CD player for the journey, so I was ready for what could be the one and only great road trip of the Summer.

Upon arrival I learned that I was basically the closest patron (outside of the staff that was putting it on). Just about everybody was groggy from a flight, or even just the pure incontinence of the airport. This could explain why the first ever conference got off to a rather late start (about an hour and fifteen minutes by my clock).

This time allowed me to set up my laptop, get familiar with some of the displays, and meet some of the developers. This also gave me the time to fully determine how I was going to cover this event.

I'll admit, over the last few weeks I've been very confused on how to report an event like this. Not being a Christian, I questioned if I could remove bias enough to be an effective journalist. I wrestled with the notion that perhaps my usual "half serious" writing style might actually blur the very serious line these programmers are trying to put forth. And I was a bit concerned that I wasn't going to be able to copy my fellow reporter's notebook after the show.

But then I saw the light, and you know what, I realized that these people are just as confused as I am. This being their FIRST edition of the conference, I already knew that it was going to be one heck of a mess to put together, and I'm sure that they were just as nervous as I was.

I also realized one other fact: if videogames are an art form (and I fully believe they are), then this sort of event NEEDS to be covered, even if I'm not part of the process. Art is the work of emotion and personality put out for the world, and if video games are really an art form, there needs to be personality from all side.

Oh, and I also wanted to see what they thought of Grand Theft Auto III.

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