GameCon is the only game and videogame showroom in Italy, and, fortunately for me, it is held in my city.
Last year it changed its name from N-joy to the current one and received much more advertising and public visibility, therefore me and M3xican decided to attend it.
We had the possibility to view, and what is more important, to test next-gen consoles the way they deserved, on huge LCDs!
There were a lot of XBox 360 running the most recent games, like the first UE3 engine powered one, the stunning Gears of War, some Nintendo Wii made their first Italian apparition at the show and, last but not least, I have heard that the last day a Playstation 3 was previewed!
You could play with many Nintendo DS and some powerful PCs, subscribe to rewarded tournaments in many games, admire original Benoît Sokal illustrations (which unfortunately couldn’t be there as scheduled), moreover some space had been dedicated to a lot of different board games and somebody was enjoying cosplaying.
However, something more interesting happened some weeks before the event, when I got in touch with its Cultural Director.
Our emails shared the common vision to evolve the current target of attendees to include game developers too, for example organizing interesting conferences and gathering the most influential Italian exponents of the industry.
This was what happened this very year, with the announce of Game in Italy 2007, thus on Saturday me and M3xican went there, loaded with great expectations (like the hope to assist to a little GDC wannabe )!
Even if a lot of important Italian software houses were invited, even if Rasmus Poulsen (a concept artist working for IO Interactive) was present as a guest star, it has been a disappointment.
The event was too modest to even feature a fair-sized room, it was not only so small that just a dozen guys could sit inside, but so hot (damned lamps!) that you couldn’t stand at the entrance, ignoring for a while the fact that there was only one speaker and that you could barely hear what it was said by the participants.
It was interesting to notice that outside the room there was a big LCD showing what was happening inside, but we were surprised to discover that nothing was audible, it was mute!
I only hope they have recorded the speeches…
To draw a conclusion, it failed to meet our expectations, we couldn’t attend the conferences while the rest of the show wasn’t so extraordinary, it has been less interesting than the previous year, maybe because next-generation gaming is now current-generation…
I only hope that next year Game in Italy gains the space, the attention and the visibility it deserves!