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Due to coronavirus, GDC 2020 will be held in my living room

BYOB

empty gdc hall
Image: KnowTechie

Coronavirus strain COVID-19, the latest virus presented to humanity by mother nature in order to self-correct the plague of upright meat sacks terrorizing this planet, has caused the cancellation of many events, including this year’s GDC (Game Developer’s Conference).

Well, I have good news for everyone, I’ll be holding GDC in my living room this year, so we don’t miss all the optimistic yet cynical tech-thirst tweets about new games and systems most of us will never interact with.

I’ll be giving every single major keynote from every single major developer every hour on the hour, loaded on hand sanitizer, which I’ve been drinking straight from the bottle, and doused in bleach. I don’t want to catch anything from you unwashed savages. Even though most of the same crowd was just trading saliva and sweat at PAX East, the decision to postpone GDC from its home in San Francisco and move it to my living room wasn’t an easy one.

Last year, the big GDC news was Google Stadia. After I finish this sandwich, I’ll be announcing a new Google product called “anxiously searching for memes about coronavirus and posting them to my Facebook wall like they are gospel”. Google still plans to hold its annual I/O event so I’ll be keeping it light with hors d’oeuvres consisting of stale breadsticks I found behind Dominos.

stadia announcement from google at gdc 2019

Screenshot: KnowTechie

The Sony keynote will be easy. During a slow match of Call of Duty, I’ll be slightly nodding in your direction and mumbling something about a new Playstation later this year. I might reveal some specs, but mostly it’ll just be marketing speak and I’ll allude to a really flashy presentation that I don’t feel like pulling up cause I’m in the middle of a match. Cold Hot Pockets and bags of melted white American cheese will be served.

Microsoft will be holding a digital-only event from March 16-18, likely to tell us what we already know about the upcoming Xbox Series X. For my part, I’ll be presenting what I know about the Xbox Series X through a heated game of charades. If you can’t guess the GPU specs from my erratic arm movements, then you are out of luck. Day-old bagels will be provided.

Facebook was all set to present some Oculus stuff remotely at GDC, but will be moving its presentation to my secondary laptop, an e-MMC machine with a 15″ inch monitor. We’ll all have to huddle around it like primitive humans around a fire, grunting at not being able to discern what’s supposed to appear to be virtual reality. Midway through the presentation I’ll wave my hand dismissively in the air, declare that no-one really gives a flying shit about Oculus and Facebook can suck it and turn on re-runs of Cheers. A plate of couch crumbs will be passed around.

woman using the oculus quest vr headset with hand tracking

Image: Oculus

Epic was surely going to showcase changes to its Unreal Engine for next-gen gaming, but since it won’t be able to do that at GDC, Epic has not sanctioned me to talk about it. Instead, I’ll just be slow-playing Fortnite, hiding behind trees while the top 90 players merc each other, then finishing in 2nd place. You can help yourself to some lukewarm sink water or make coffee with that same water.

In a perfect world, tech companies will cut down on their insistence for hours-long keynotes to announce things that are expected for corporations to be working on. We expect updates to the Unreal Engine. We expect new gaming systems from companies that make gaming systems. These are inevitable progressions in business. While it sucks that a conference a lot of tech reporters enjoy attending for the sake of free snacks and a few days out of the office, canceling more conferences doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. Send out a press release, move on.

The good news is that as the novel coronavirus progresses through the world, we’ll all have it so there will no need to cancel any more conferences or keynotes. So yeah, we’ll still get to sit through three hours of Apple stroking its own thinning hair to announce a multitude of new iPhones. The bad news is, we’ll still have to sit through three hours of Apple and other tech companies giving their egos a vigorous handy in order to announce tech we already knew was coming.

GDC being canceled isn’t going to stop the news from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Epic, Sony and so on. It’s going to force them to distribute it a bit more traditionally, which saves a lot of us the travel time, the cost and eye-rolling. And really, who wants to demo the same VR set the unwashed slob in front of you just got done playing with, coronavirus or not?

Did you have plans to go to GDC? How do you feel about the news about its cancellation? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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