Regional Video Game Exhibition to Spotlight Students, Growing Industry

Eastern Kentucky University, home to the Commonwealth’s first bachelor’s degree program in game design, will host a Regional Video Game Exhibition Wednesday, May 13.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Perkins Building, will spotlight the burgeoning game development industry in Kentucky and EKU’s role in it. Free and open to the public, it is sponsored by the EKU Gaming Institute and the Kentucky Innovation Network.

Dr. George Landon, director of the Institute, said the Exhibition “will highlight the amount and breadth of game titles being developed in Kentucky and surrounding areas, raise public awareness of the size of the game industry in our region, and attract additional talent to our region, whether it’s individuals or companies.

In addition to approximately 30 EKU students exhibiting their games, 10-15 game developers from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and possibly other states are expected to attend.

Thirty to forty-five games will be set up throughout the event to be played in a “pop-up arcade” format, according to Landon. In addition, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, students from the program’s capstone game design course will present the three games they have spent the spring semester developing.

“Our students will be able to demonstrate their own work and network with professional developers that will help them further their career,” Landon said. “Through public exhibition of their games, they will also be able to receive direct feedback on their games. Just watching the reactions of people playing their games can be priceless feedback.”

Kristel Smith, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office at Richmond/EKU, said the students “will gain an appreciation for various forms of innovation and creativity. These students will see the potential to bridge aspects of game development across other industries such as health, aerospace and entertainment.”

Kentucky’s video game development industry, Landon said, “is in a period of great growth. When we began our program nearly eight years ago, there were less than five developers of video games in the state. Now we are seeing this number grow to over 30 small- and medium-sized developers.”

Lunch will be provided.

For more information about EKU’s Gaming Institute, visit gaming.eku.edu. The University also offers a minor in Interactive Multimedia.

Published on April 30, 2015

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