01/30/12 — Game summit planned for this weekend at Wayne Community College

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Game summit planned for this weekend at Wayne Community College

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 30, 2012 1:46 PM

Britt Griffith of the SyFy channel's "Ghost Hunters" program and officials with Penny Dreadful Productions, an Atlanta-based production company, will make the keynote presentation this weekend at the seventh annual Carolina Games Summit at Wayne Community College.

Building on the success of past years, more than 17 tournaments and numerous speakers from a variety of game development firms and educational institutions will be featured, said Michael Everett, who along with Tracy Schmeltzer, is organizing the event to be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More than 1,000 spectators are expected and attendees may participate in sponsored tournaments and enjoy unlimited free play on full-size classic arcades as well as the latest consoles.

Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased online or at the door.

The show is the primary fundraiser for the college's Gamma Chi chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (Future Business Leaders of America).

Proceeds from the event allow club members to attend state and national conferences and to compete on those levels, too. Club members are the primary volunteers for the event.

The program also is a major opportunity to showcase WCC's Simulation and Game Development Program, Everett said.

Griffith and PDP representatives will answer questions and give tips on being successful in film/TV during their joint keynote panel discussion.

Griffith works around the world in front of the camera investigating the paranormal. When not filming with "Ghost Hunters," he works at his own company, Sun Set Production Studios.

PDP provides conceptual design, prosthetics, and props for major motion pictures such as "Book of Eli" as well as for cast members for popular shows like AMC's "The Walking Dead."

Michael Resnick, the co-founder and lead developer of Hazardous Software, will talk about the use of time travel and time manipulation as a game play mechanism.

Hands-on training sessions by industry professionals from companies like Red Storm Entertainment, Autodesk and college educators will also be returning. Rounding out the event, the exhibition hall will be packed with industry and educational representatives, Everett said.

Carolina Games Summit is by far the largest event held at Wayne Community College each year, he said.

"It brings well-deserved attention to the campus and quality programs that Wayne Community College has become known for," Everett said. "In 2011, we hosted 1,250 attendees 76 percent of which were between the ages of 18-35, and 49 percent had no college experience.

"Many programs will have representatives on hand at this year's event including our entire business division, which includes the Simulation and Game Development Program, along with the dental, automotive, and many other departments. Students will be able to apply online right at the event."

One of the sessions, "Introduction to game Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Python" is being presented by Titus Barik and Rogelio Cardona-Rivera, researchers from North Carolina State University's Digital Games Research Center. Barik is also a part-time instructor at Wayne Community College and will be teaching an entire class on AI in the fall semester.

"We will have information on hand about his new class for students interested in hearing more," Everett said. "Titus and Rogelio's session will tie in nicely with our keynote on 'Time Travel in Game Play' by Mike Resnick the co-founder of Hazardous Games who will also discuss, among other things, the artificial intelligence used in his recently released title 'Achron.'"

The Carolina Games Summit has opened numerous doors for students and the college alike, he said.

The high attendance and popularity of the first Carolina Games Summit in 2006 created the push required to get the Simulation and Game Design Program added to Wayne Community College's catalog in fall 2007 as part of an agreement with Wake Tech, Everett said.

"The event has been a driving factor for the program's success ever since, giving us the steady growth necessary to hire a second full time faculty member and begin offering the full program this past fall," he said. "Students enrolling today can complete the entire program here at Wayne Community College without transferring to Wake Technical Community College."

For more information visit the official web site, www.CarolinaGamesSummit.com, for a listing of events and additional details and for more information on attending, exhibiting or speaking at the summit.