I attended Fourth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG’09). In a nutshell, it was great, and it fulfilled the crossover between academics and industry, covering topics from both social and computer sciences.
FGD’09 had a nice variety of type of session and topics. There were panels on game curriculum and grant opportunities, stressing how important is to create archives of successful and unsuccessful applications. There were tutorials for programming. There were presentations on both technical aspects and social aspects. It’s definitely a conference that worth going.
One of the features of this conference that I’d like to highlight was the fact that the conference happened on a cruise. Yes, one of those massive boats soaring the ocean. It departed from Port Canaveral and one of the ports of call was Nassau (Bahamas).
Beside how exotic this could sound, I have to emphasize the convenience of having a conference on a cruise: you don’t have the hassle of having to find a hotel near the venue (but not out of budget) because your room it’s at the venue! You don’t have the problems of ‘where-to-eat’ or not having time to eat because it’s all inclusive! This also simplifies numbers if you have a per diem arrangement with your organization. You won’t be late, you won’t mind staying late, your room is just on the other floor! It provides more chances to comingle with other attendees, helping to establish a camaraderie spirit for the conference. You can have breakfast, dinner, coffee or a drink with your network really easily!
After all these reason, I strongly advocate for having more conference on cruises.