A lot of game-playing going on in San Francisco this past weekend, as thousands of game designers, programmers and executives attended the Game Developers Conference. The attendees gather each year to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.

From an innovation standpoint it was interesting to note the top buzz was around motion controls and social gaming.  (I confess I personally don’t spend a lot of time on gaming apps for my iphone, but I think it’s important to keep up on trends in an industry so pivotal to the emerging generation!)

Sony introduced its PlayStation Move, a new wand-shaped PlayStation 3 motion controller system that will rival Nintendo’s popular Wii. Move’s system includes a PlayStation Eye camera to detect players’ movements. As designers and developers discover more capabilities with the hardware, they will no doubt find new applications for the games.

Social gaming was also a huge draw. With the success of games like Facebook’s “FarmVille” and the role-playing “Mafia Wars,” several conference sessions were dedicated just to these popular venues.

Then there is the VirtuSphere, a huge hamster ball-like virtual reality machine that allows users inside to control a character by walking around inside.

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