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Will Wright to give first GDC talk in 10 years

The legendary developer behind Sim City, The Sims and, of course, Spore, will be speaking as part of the ‘Vision’ track at GDC 2020.

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Will Wright Proxi
Will Wright

The legendary developer behind SimCity, The Sims and, of course, Spore, will be speaking as part of the ‘Vision’ track at GDC 2020.

Will Wright’s last talk at GDC took place in 2010. He delivered an impromptu 70-minute lecture on the nature of play and the evolution of game design in a changing industry and entertainment landscape.

Wright, who most notably created SimCity for Maxis, before going on to create The Sims and Spore for Electronic Arts, has been quiet since. He hasn’t released a game since 2008’s Spore, but has been hard at work on Proxi, a mobile game about configuring an AI out of your own memory, apparently, since it was unveiled at Unity’s Unite conference in 2018.

Now Wright is coming back to the Moscone Center in San Franciso for the Game Developer’s Conference. He will deliver a talk called The Psychology Behind Proxi as part of the GDC 2020 ‘Vision’ track.

According to the announcement on the GDC website, “Wright is coming to GDC to fill you in on the project, explore the basis for the idea behind Proxi, and examine why human memory is a bizarre thing that rarely works the way we think it does.”

“Wright will also discuss why he’s convinced that we can use memories to reverse-engineer and reconstruct the subconscious “Id” inside of each of us,” continues the announcement, “uncovering the “real” person that we may have some sense of but have never really met. It promises to be a fascinating, can’t-miss talk!”

GDC 2020 runs from 16-20 March 2020 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Given the travel ban and difficulty for developers from what President Trump considers “undesirable” countries to obtain visas, we can’t help but wonder if perhaps the US isn’t the best home for the de facto international video game development conference?


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.