GDC Europe 2010: Swag Review!

Trip to Cologne

Once again I’m off to Cologne to attend GDC Europe. The train ride was remarkably uneventful. Well, except for that 80 minute delay thanks to an “accident” at some other place. I had the pleasure of sitting next to an older man who was creating one of those awful Powerpoint presentations with vacation photos. You know, the ones where the dullness of the pictures goes head to head with the insanity of the slide transition effects.

Anyway, yeah, GDC – I’m looking forward to find out the answer to the one question that ultimately matters: Is this year’s conference swag anything good? Seriously.

Let’s take a look back first…

GCDC Swag Bag

Exhibit A: At the GC Developers Conference ’07 they handed out these messenger bags. They actually are quite solid and I’ve used it for quite a while. The GCDC ’07 give-away wasn’t particularly innovative – it was a yellow version of the same bag. Swag Score: 7/10

Yellow Socks

Exhibit B: GDC ’06 was quite the disappointment in terms of bags. Really. The yellow socks they included were really awesome though. Swag Score: 6.5/10 (2/10 sans socks)

Laser Pointer

Exhibit C: The German Developer Awards provided the yellow socks among the things that actually aren’t yellow socks: A laser pointer. Swag Score: 7/10

GDC Europe Swag Bag

Exhibit D: I don’t know what they were thinking – a bag that was neither funny looking nor useful. It didn’t even come with standard conference equipment such as a notepad or the usually obligatory pen. If only they had included socks. No idea why they even bothered – unless they’re secretly targeting people who roam waste disposal sites. That’s where most of these bags probably ended up at instantly. Swag Score: 2/10

So, what does GDC Europe 2010 deliver?

GDC Bag Swag

The bag: Two numbers – 20%. 95%. I assume 20% of the attendees will drop this one into the next trash bin spontaneously. And joyfully. 95% of the people who don’t do that will never use the bag again. Unlike last year’s bag, it does feature a strap. Which is handy for conferences. It, however, is not really stable or protective at all, and there’s no way to close it. The quality of the material also is nothing to write home about. As cheap as it gets.

So yeah, there’s also this small ship supposed to promote the European Games Awards. Hm. A note pad – but no pen. However, the bag also actually contained a business card holder. Which actually can be considered ‘useful’ and saves this package from being a straight SWAG FAIL. Swag Score: 3.5/10.

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