Credit: IntelIntel has invited gamers, content creators and others to join The Odyssey. Don't worry, you won't have to brush up on your Homer to participate in the program. Rather, it seems to be a way to help guide Intel's graphics efforts, presumably to give it a better idea of what people want from its upcoming discrete GPUs.
The Odyssey's sign-up form says it's "built around a passionate community, focused on improving graphics and visual computing for everyone, from gamers to content creators." The effort is supposed to let people "get closer to the inner workings of visual technology development than ever before."
That access will be granted in the form of an Intel Gaming Access newsletter that "gives gamers a VIP pass to killer deals and freebies, preferred beta access, the latest gaming news and more." It seems like a simple deal: help Intel figure out what people want from GPUs, and in return you'll get free stuff.
There does appear to be a location-based component to The Odyssey, too, with the sign-up form asking would-be participants to enter an "event location." The list of locations includes seven from the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Sacramento and Seattle), along with big European and Asian cities. It doesn't seem like you have to actually live in one of those cities to participate; you're merely prompted to choose the closest one. Either way, it will be interesting to see what kind of events Intel has planned for those cities, especially since there are so many of them to choose from right at the start.
The main appeal of The Odyssey is getting an inside look at what Intel has planned for its discrete GPUs. We know the company plans to greatly expand its graphics-related product offerings with Intel Xe, from various integrated GPUs to products made for use with AI and start releasing those products in 2020.
Being able to get a peek behind the curtain while a major company develops a new graphics architecture that might actually be able to compete with established players seems appealing enough. The free stuff almost seems unnecessary in that instance. But, hey, extra incentive to embark on an odyssey is always welcome.