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Video game pros get down to work (and play) at GDC (photos)

Video game developers, artists, and producers gather to share ideas on the future of gaming at the Game Developers Conference, the world's largest professionals-only video game convention.

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James Martin

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Hands and keys

Much like the video game industry itself, the Game Developers Conference has evolved from a subset of geeks into an entertainment behemoth.

GDC started in 1988 as an informal gathering of about 25 developers in gamer Chris Crawford's living room in San Jose, Calif. Today, it is the world's largest meeting of video game professionals, a forum where artists, designers, producers, and developers exchange ideas and network in the realm of computer, console, handheld, mobile, and online games.

More than 17,000 attendees and dozens of major game publishers this week are taking part in the lectures, panels, tutorials, and discussions that are part of this year's show, which is running in San Francisco through Saturday.

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Gaming in 3D

A major theme at this year's show was three-dimensional gaming. As the 3D trend continues to spread beyond movie theaters, 3D technology is increasingly being incorporated into home entertainment. 3D was the talk of CES this January, and TV manufacturers Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic all made 3D TV announcements in the last week. At this year's GDC, it's clear more and more companies were working on 3D video games.

Here, on the opening day of GDC 2010 in San Francisco, a crowd watches a 3D off-road racing game.

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Heather Lund

Artist Heather Lund sketches a character design at the Nvidia booth, which is hosting an artist search and drawing competition during GDC.
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Virtusphere

The Virtusphere, made by 360 Virtual Venture, is an orb-like cage in which the player is immersed in a virtual reality environment, allowing the player to walk, moving freely through the game.
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Virtusphere

Spectators surround the Virtusphere watching the immersive virtual reality demonstration.
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Palm at GDC

Palm announced the Palm Develop Kit at CES, and at their booth at GDC, Palm is again reaching out to game developer.
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Power Gig

Seven45 Studios says its "Power Gig: Rise of the SixString" is the next evolution in the musical game genre, allowing people to play the game with real guitars.
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CryEngine 3

CryEngine 3 is being shown in stereoscopic 3D (known as S-3D) at GDC; its producers also demonstrated CryEngine 3 LiveCreate, a real-time game editor.
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PlayStation

The PlayStation booth at GDC is front and center, just inside the doors to the South Hall at Moscone Center.
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Guerrilla Games

Peeking eerily around a corner of the Guerrilla Games booth are characters from the game developer's Killzone series. The Sony subsidiary is using its booth at GDC to draw in potential future employees.
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Terra

Fighting to protect the Valkyon Federation in the graphically stunning MMORPG Tera.
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Intel at GDC

Looking down into the GDC Expo in the South Hall of San Francisco's Moscone Center on Thursday March 11.
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More than 400 lectures

In addition to the expo floor, press conferences, and keynotes by major developers, GDC features more than 400 lectures, panels, tutorials, and round-table discussions by industry experts.
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Umbra

Testing out some of the gameplay on Umbra software at GDC.
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Online gaming

Hopeful developers fill out applications inside the career pavilion.

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