I am breaking my vow of blog silence for an important reflection. Kids are the future, and OGPC is part of the solution. What a great event! I had the pleasure of being a volunteer judge again this year. This was my 3rd time judging. These are some bright young kids. Its interesting to see them and their struggles. They are real struggles people in the workforce and self employment have every day. They wont know the value of this experience for time to come. Some may never, the vast majority of the kids were super engaged. This was really inspiring and if I can help one or more of them make a good decision down the road its all worth it.

The Organizers were OGPC Alumni! This is great. They went through what these kids went through a few years back. It was great to see how positively it influenced their lives. They are certainly proud of it too. So is that proof this works? Well if it inspires a handful of kids from the hundreds participating then I think so. I know it does more than that, but its a resounding success year after year. The volunteers did really well (my part is small if not trivial, but I am proud to be part of it for my little part as a game professional judge.)

The key note speaker, Daniel DiCicco, spoke from the heart and his experience. It was very inspiring to the kids (and at least this adult) is always intrigued to hear about fellow successful developers trials and tribulations!) They were riveted like they were basking in the glow of greatness. I've seen these kids not as interested in a speaker, and well, this was NOT the case. So even if Dan feels that he has or has not achieved greatness is totally unknown to me and moot since those kids he spoke too showed me he was great! ;) For many of them Dan has reached the pinnacle of what they would consider a complete success in the games industry. Thanks for that Dan! I enjoyed meeting him, his family, and seeing the joy of their togetherness. From my brief encounter I can tell he is a complete, grounded, and rounded person (and I may be *slightly* biased as he has given me and my wife so much joy as a MOO2 fan looking for the 'proper' 4x fix, but thats for another post for another time ;).

Daniel DiCicco

Volunteers are always needed please help if you can!

I was honored to judge at the 5th annual 2012 OPGC event as a "Middle School Professional Judge". Which really boiled down to me playing all the games and pick my top three favorite and order them. Easy! Well not so easy, but nothing worth doing is easy! Right? Ok well maybe a few things, but really this was great and took a lot of focus to give everyone a few minutes to review their games from there gameplay. I wonder if this is what the guys at Slide to Play, or JakeIsGames.com feel like when they get slammed with reviews. At least I didn't have to publish copious well written notes on my experience (I'll leave that up to the experts.) There were 12 teams to score. which gave me about 10 minutes with each one and chance to go back afterward. Which I had too since I had a serious case of indecision on my hands at the end of it. Pick 3... who knew THAT would be so exhausting.

The kids are smart and clever. They are paying attention. They did some amazing stuff in 3 months. Really amazing stuff coming out of these middle school kids efforts... 6th-8th graders... just getting stuff done on an epic scale (relatively speaking, but it is still great!)

I feel hopeful for the future after seeing such bright kids in action. I am inspired to make sure there is a reasonable world there for them to enjoy. I am embarrassed at some of my own projects are not done (or showing marked progress.)

I met some real great industry folks. Jake from Brainium Studios, who was also one of noble sponsors of this great event. The keynote speaker, Kate Edwards, was great too and many interesting and inspiring stories to share with the kids.

I expect to do this again next year. I expect to become a coach in years to come as my own children become of age! Head over to the http://www.ogpc.info web site and see what you can do for them! 

CodeWorx Studios

Welcome! Satisfaction *not* guaranteed. Mileage may vary.