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 ;).
Volunteers are always needed please help if you can!