MAGD department to host annual expo


Sutton Rettig, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, May 9, from 4-8 p.m., UW-Whitewater will host its annual Media Arts and Game Development Expo stationed in the Hamilton Room. Casual gamers, A-V enthusiasts and hardcore 8-Bit fanatics alike will occupy the event to observe the new installments and innovations being carried out by their peers on campus within the gaming field.

MAGD Professor Nick Hwang expressed what makes this expo particularly unique and what it offers students.

“The expo is a great opportunity for our students to show, and for visitors to experience, their work. The setup is similar to a game conference or trade show,” Hwang said. “We have more than a dozen judges from the games and media arts industry around Wisconsin to give feedback and prizes. We showcase physical games, video games, mobile apps, 3D prints, video, animations, character designs, concept art and more.”

Media Arts sophomore Christian Carter explained what makes the event interesting to him.

“Just being able to surround myself with fellow gamers and observe within the gaming realm is awesome,” said Carter.

Hwang also touched on students’ opportunity to absorb a seminar from keynote speaker Sarah Schoemann, a doctoral student at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Sarah is a great,” Hwang said. “She’s a champion of inclusivity and diversity in games and game making. I met her at Game Developers Conference in 2017 and hung out with her a month later at Georgia Tech, where she’s finishing her PhD. I think her keynote will inspire creators to find their own voice/aesthetics as well as encourage original and personal content.”

Hwang hopes new additions to the expo will attract a bigger and broader audience.

“This year, based on our growing numbers of participants over the years, we thought the size and centralized location would allow for more projects to be shown and more visitors,” Hwang said.

The expo will also serve as a platform for some of the most noteworthy awards being voted on and what the awards celebrate.

“Every year we have a ‘Best in Show’ award which spans all media and processes,” Hwang said. “And also have more specific awards — like ‘most complete game’, ‘best 3D model’, etc. We also have a ‘People’s Choice’ award, where visitors will select what they think is the best.”

Through its various exhibitions, this expo is a remarkable opportunity for students to strengthen their knowledge of gaming and enhance their appreciation for technology.