- [The third in a ragged series of 'Alex Handy Sez' missives, in which the former Game Developer editor and current Computer Games Magazine/Massive/otherstuff contributor riffs on something or other, focuses on something odd and drunken at GDC. Nope, we have no idea either.]

"So, I spent this evening wandering through wall-to-wall party-goers at this year's GDC pre-conference events. These folks included CTOs for Army training, French developer/publisher relations specialists, and most importantly, cell phone game developers.

This whole sordid affair began in a room filled with mobile devs ranking innovative phone games. The attendees were given free beer, and plastic hand-clapping devices that relieved them of the task of clapping in appreciation. Needless to say, the event was awash in drunken clapping, as though someone had given too much sake to the entire cast of Karate Kid 2.

But the Thirsty Bear party, sponsored by AMD, was where the real polling took place. As I wandered, drunken, through the crowd, I took an informal poll: Java or Brew?

Long story short: Java won. But no fewer than three of the developers polled took the opportunity to liken mobile development to choosing a spiked dildo, with which to be f*cked. Some choice quotes, all anonymous, as everyone had a beer, and journalists frown on quoting drunk people:

"BREW has the better platform, but [I choose] Java."

"Neither. Native." This answer was given by two different masochistic bastards who felt it was easier to develop in native assembly than to touch any of the language-specific platforms.

"Both." Of course, this fellow was behind a Moscow-based development out-sourcing group. He categorized his team as the creame-de-la-creame of out-sourcing shops. Sure, you can go with India, he said, but my developers are the equivalent of MIT educated folks. Of course, his company is more expensive....

"Java. It's open!" Everyone who cited Java was influenced by the openness of the platform, versus Qualcomm's BREW, which is essentially not open.

Note to Sun Microsystems: Only one person, all night, said that JavaME being open source mattered. One fellow did profess faith to RMS, but he couldn't name anything that GPL'ing ME would accomplish. Oh, and not one person had a clue what MSA was, despite my own writings about it.

The only other category of answers was Symbian. I took this to mean that many devs in Europe don't care about language: only OS-Layer Support. Soon, it will all be this way, as the Windows Mobile devs have foretold.