SSU celebrates gaming at annual conference


Shawnee State University (SSU) held its annual Shawnee Game Conference (SGC) last weekend, welcoming over 500 to celebrate the school’s success in game development.

The event is devoted to all aspects of gaming, game design, simulation, and immersive technology, focusing on the academic and educational aspects of game development.

“The Shawnee Game Conference showcases a wide range of gaming-related content, including student work from Shawnee State’s top-ranked academic Game Design program, industry presentations and panels, workshops, esports competitions, and a student game pitch competition with $1,000 in prize dollars,” Kricker Innovation Hub Director David Kilroy said. “The conference also features keynote speakers from the gaming industry who share their insights and experiences. Additionally, the conference includes an expo area where attendees can interact with new gaming technologies and network with industry professionals. Overall, the event serves as a platform to showcase and celebrate the talent and innovation in the gaming industry, with a particular focus on the academic and regional gaming community.”

Co-Hosted by both of Shawnee State University’s game design programs, Game Engineering & Game Arts, SGC continues to bring some of the most elite sessions to the region.

“SGC routinely showcases the best work of students, alumni, and industry professionals through interactive sessions, displays, and tournament competitions,” SSU stated. “Industry professionals bring a wealth of knowledge to the conference every year with talks including computer science, character design, animation, production, development, and much more.”

The event is the longest-running academic gaming conference in the Midwest and Ohio since 2003, originating from a 2001 art expo.

“The Shawnee Game Conference is a great event for gaming at Shawnee State and in Southern Ohio. It provides a platform for students, faculty, and industry professionals to come together and share their knowledge and expertise in the field of game design and development,” Kilroy said. “As the longest-running academic gaming conference in the Midwest, the SGC has always played a significant role in advancing the gaming industry in the region.

“The conference is particularly important for Shawnee State University as it showcases our top-ranked academic Game Design program, ranked ninth in the country. The SGC is an opportunity for students, alumni, and faculty to highlight their strengths and accomplishments throughout the year. This year, it was especially important to showcase our new downtown Kricker Innovation Hub.

“It’s important to see how the Kricker Innovation Hub and the Shawnee Game Conference will work together to launch a leading digital and immersive technology accelerator program, which is a crucial to establishing opportunities for SSU students and alumni, in addition to advancing the gaming industry and digital innovation in the region. Overall, the Shawnee Game Conference is an important event that fosters growth, collaboration, and innovation in the gaming industry.”

hundreds of current and former students participate in the event that highlights the school’s award-winning gaming program.

“Students get a lot out of the Shawnee Game Conference,” Kilroy explained. “They have the opportunity to showcase their work to industry professionals and receive feedback from experts in the field. They can attend talks and workshops given by professionals, gaining insights into the latest trends and techniques in game design and development. The conference also provides networking opportunities with industry professionals and other students, which can lead to internships, job offers, and collaborations. Additionally, the student game pitch competition with $1,000 in prize dollars provides an opportunity for students to pitch their game ideas and potentially win funding to bring their ideas to life. Overall, the conference is a valuable experience for students, giving them exposure to the industry and providing opportunities for growth and advancement in their careers.”

Like previous years, this year’s conference was a success, according to SSU. Kilroy was also excited to highlight the new Kricker Innovation Hub into the mix.

“This year’s conference was a great success!” Kilroy said. “We had over 500 student, alumni, and regional attendees, and nearly 30 panelists and speakers. Our two keynotes focused on different aspects of the industry and career advancement.”

Shawnee is frequently recognized for its efforts to educate future gaming professionals and the university says the conference is important in celebrating those efforts, giving students and alumni professional connections, and more.

“Shawnee State is ranked ninth in the country for gaming and has students from across the country attend the program. It’s important to show off our students’ work and highlight everything we have going on,” Kilroy explained. “The real success for me personally was to see the Kricker Innovation Hub as a real center of gravity and show it off to our industry partners.”

Kilroy said that a lot of people have already committed to joining next year’s conference, which will run November 3-4.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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