Unparty at GDC

What is it?

Unparty at GDC is a quiet networking event at the Game Developers Conference where with no loud music, drinking is optional, and conversation is king/queen/non-monarchistic-high-ranking-official.


Post-mortem (2016-2019)

We have a deep post-mortem of the first 4 years of Unparty! Check it out here:

https://medium.com/@CharlesHHuang/unparty-at-gdc-b48b442e5600


2019

In 2019, Unparty was held at a brick and timber space in San Francisco’s SOMA district.

We had over 450 attendees out of over 2300 RSVPs and a line going around the block (video here: https://twitter.com/_mlktea/status/1108920516306362369).

We kept the shush mechanic, and formally introduced the “Video Garden” featuring various guests and mentioning our sponsors.

Costs were covered by cash donations, digital donations, and sponsors.

Photos here: https://twitter.com/TheSheepsMeow/status/1108931914587500544

Sponsors

  • GLITCH
  • Sheep’s Meow
  • Babycastles
  • Gingerbred
  • Matthew Kagle of Vacuum Genesis
  • Raindrop Games

Video Garden Featured Guests

  • Pet the Pup at the Party be Will Herring
  • Interruption Junction by Squinky
  • Small Talk by Pale Room Games
  • As it is by Egghouse

Full Video Garden

Video here: https://youtu.be/5W883Z5-LVg


2018

In 2018, it was held at Sketchpad Gallery and had 250 attendees. We introduced a shush mechanic. It also featured a pizza sponsorship by Shell in the Pit Audio and a Zine Library (and Digital Librarian) from Babycastles. Its venue costs were covered by donations from guests.

The day after Mahli-Ann Butt interviewed me the event was briefly mentioned in Unwinnable’s piece on drinking culture:¬†https://unwinnable.com/2018/04/18/alcohol-and-alienation-in-moscone/


2017

In 2017, the Palace Hotel lobby was rented, so through a series of escalating events, I rented the game lounge at Hotel Zeppelin (shuffleboard and skeeball!). It was funded through donations by guests and organizers (especially Sam!).

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1321178804592450/


2016 (The Beginning)

It started in 2016 from people commiserating on the GDC Mobile App about having a low key event without loud music or drinking. I started a hashtag, made a Facebook event, suggested a few cafes, but overall it was crowd sourced spontaneously. We stayed in the lobby at the Palace Hotel.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/235460373471847/