Silen Founder Adam Fligsten Reflects on GameSoundCon 2021

As GameSoundCon 2021 wraps to a close, I find myself uncharacteristically reflective over the current state of the game audio community.

I missed the game audio community and I missed my friends. 

Throughout the years I have battled with an inherent awkwardness of conventions. Particularly when you are young, these things can be hard. You don’t know anyone. Everyone around you seems so much more experienced than you. 

As you get older, two things happen: 1) You meet more people. 2) You realize that everyone else, even the successful people are feeling a tad bit awkward too, and that’s OK. 

Game Sound Con has been an event that I’ve attended many times over the years. This year (like last) it remained entirely online. 

I saw many great talks. This year had an interesting hybrid approach where most speakers would prerecord their talks, and then give a live q/a session on zoom. Once the time had run out, speakers were encouraged to enter the AltVR space, to continue conversations with attendees. 

My talk was on Tuesday: “Subconscious Audio Communication”. It was mostly about subtle ways that audio designers can tell their stories using careful repetition. People seemed to enjoy the talk although very quickly we were pushed to AltVR. 

I was initially nervous to use AltVR, but once I pushed past the awkwardness, I had some really great conversations with people all over the world. It was fun and engaging and quite amazing how you could connect with people in such a bizarre environment. 

The highlight of GameSoundCon was actually the part that was not actually part of the con officially. Our company Silen Audio teamed up with another great audio company Emperia Sound and Music to host an in person meetup. We initially worried that only a few people might show up, but eventually more than 50 people showed it. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  

Of course there were concerns about safety, so we kept the event outdoors and it ensured that everyone was vaccinated. 

After years of isolation, seeing so many familiar faces, and meeting so many new ones was such a breath of fresh air. 

The game audio community is a wonderfully welcoming community to newcomers and veterans alike. It was so wonderful to see so many familiar and new faces, all excited to discuss game audio.