Sometimes, when you're surrounded by hype, it's important to remember deep down just how insignificant you are.
This year I went to GDC. It was a huge event, more people there for a single purpose than I'd seen in years. Over 12,000 developers came to learn, network, and talk shop. That's probably around 30% of the North American game development population.
Later on I made it to Origins. This was a place by gamers, for gamers and there were well over 15,000 people just living and breathing games. And this was just board and card games, mind you -- not a digital game in the lot. Had it also involved a LAN party, it probably would have been way bigger, maybe even three or four times this size.
I didn't make it to E3 (and thank you ESA for making me update my already-finished course syllabus :-) but there were like 70,000 people there, between industry, retail, press, and fanboys who managed to snag a pass from a friend. I can only imagine how packed that must have been.
And then, a few weeks ago, I visited the Ohio State Fair. Over the course of a week and a half, there were some 800,000 people who came from far and wide just so they could see a cow sculpture made of butter.
And the game industry just has no way to compete with that.