Raleigh, North Carolina is such a hub for gaming and tech. For years I have been attempting to move to Raleigh for work in gaming. It’s close enough to my hometown that I would not be disconnected from my family, but far enough away that I could have a viable lifestyle and career. I have known about ECGC for quite some time however I was not able to attend the event. In lieu of PAX East, I took this year to go as I am trying very hard to learn more about working in the gaming industry.
East Coast Games Conference is not PAX East or E3 or GDC. You are not going to see large displays of games or cheap gaming chairs with outstanding performance to try. The intent here is not to sell games, but to teach people about the industry. It is also very similar to a job fair specifically geared towards the gaming companies in Raleigh. Epic Games, Insomiac Games, and Imangi Studios were some of the companies that hosted panels and tables at the event. Child’s Play was there as well as some indie game developers. Playthrough, a gaming convention in Raliegh, hosted a free play game room.
The best part about the conference was the panels. They were incredibly informative. If you want a job in games, this was event to learn all about it. I attended several of the game writing panels only to learn that was probably not the career path for me. Warren Spector of Epic Mickey fame gave a keynote that was much more of an informative lecture and not just a speech.
Epic Games had their Unreal Theater which provided content from their employees about the different aspects of working at Epic Games. I managed to attend my most anticipated panel of the weekend by Human Resources representative Emily. The panel was titled “This Will Be Epic!” which was clever.
I might as well say it – I have been pursuing employment at Epic Games for years. I’ve gotten close, but have yet to breach their gates for employment. I have toured their headquarters twice (it’s quite impressive). Emily’s panel gave an insight into the recruiting and hiring process for the company. It really took the guesswork out of just submitting a resume to their company. Learning about the process was very interesting as (more often than not) job seekers do not really know what happens after they submit. I am more confident in my efforts after hearing Emily speak.
I am not sure how beneficial East Coast Games Conference would be to attend multiple years in a row unless I continue to fail at getting employment (I hope that is not too likely) but the event was so educational. It is worth attending if you live in the Carolinas/plan to move here and are pursuing a job in gaming.