Toronto Gamers Unite!

Tech in Motion Toronto sprang into spring with an exciting interactive gaming demo at MaRS Discovery District! Hosting four exciting development companies in the Toronto gaming scene, Gaming Interactive: Demos & Drinks gave Sago Sago, Trompo Games, Throw Away Games and Bluish-Green Productions a chance to show members behind-the-scenes development of their latest games.

On the hunt for a new gig? Check out their job board for a list of open positions.

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As the first “gaming”- themed Meetup since the early days of the chapter in 2013, Tech in Motion Toronto was excited to once again host the local gaming community for a night of free beer, pizza, and of course exciting interactive demonstrations!

Do video games belong in the Smithsonian? Hear what the curator of the largest exhibit there has to say here.

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First to present his dev tools was Max Cranley, Director and Co-owner of Trompo Games. The event was actually the first pre-App-store-release demonstration of Trompo’s newest game, Wormarium – and boy, was it a hit.

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Following Max, Colin McCune – Director of Engineering at Sago Sago Toronto, gave Tech in Motion members an inside look at the methodology behind their children’s mobile app games. At their booth later in the evening, Sago even gave out vouchers for free downloads of their games Friends, Forest Flyer, and more!

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Attend a Tech in Motion demo night near you – find the closest upcoming event.

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Adam Clarke, CEO of Throw Away Games, then gave the audience an overview of the projects they have worked on. In addition to video games like Robo’s World: The Zarnock Fortress and The Stellar Adventures of Cat Damon, that includes cool mobile apps like Pixq and bitgraffiti.

The owner of Throw Away’s collaborator on the game Zarnock, Bluish-Green Productions’ Atilla Branyiczky, then spoke about how he crafted the difficulty curve for the game and his decision to make it bi-directional.

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The interactive gaming focus of this event was popular with the audience. One member, Luis Montecino, summed it up well: “The event was really well done and the companies invited had very interesting projects! Thanks for giving us access to this kind of content!”

Even new members of the Toronto chapter were speaking out about the topic. One attendee, Brad, exclaimed “This was my first meetup! Thanks everyone. Great presentations and lots of fun to meet some cool new people”.

The guests shuffled out at the end of the evening with handfuls of leftover doughy goodness from the #RandomActsofPizza brought to us by our friends and sponsors, Panago Pizza, along with brains full of worms and robots from a truly enlightening night of gaming.

Be sure to join us at our next Tech in Motion event in Toronto! As always, big thank you to our constant sponsorship partner, Jobspring Partners.

Is Pac-Man a Museum Piece? You Bet!

When video games finally win widespread recognition as a major art form, some of the credit will surely go to Chris Melissinos. Chris, a guest speaker at Philadelphia’s Gaming Expo, is the man who created the largest-ever exhibition on “The Art of Video Games” for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

“Video games are a medium that incorporate all forms of art: illustration, sculpture, music, narrative, character, culture, everything,” said Melissinos, a Queens native whose exhibition drew near-record crowds in Washington before starting a nationwide tour that just landed at The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. (Feb 15-May 18)

As Verizon’s Director of Corporate Strategy for Media and Entertainment, Chris tracks new technology, picks the coolest stuff and develops the plans for bringing it to Verizon’s customers.

“Given my experience with and passion for video games, you can bet they will examining their role in Verizon’s future media strategy,” said Melissinos, who began programming at 9 and completed his first game when he was 12. “Verizon provides an amazing set of platforms, from mobile to cloud, upon which video games can be delivered and enjoyed.”

Such efforts to shape gaming’s future come just as many Americans are enjoying the efforts Chris made to chronicle its past.

He first got the idea for a gaming retrospective 9 years ago. He and a friend came across a treasure trove of gaming memorabilia, systems, accessories and more than 6,000 games. Chris remembers marveling for several hours at his friend’s time capsule, and then the idea struck him.

“These,” he thought, like Indiana Jones before him, “belong in a museum.”

It took Chris 7 years to make his idea a reality, but the reception vindicated the effort. The Art of Video Games drew 680,000 visitors in its 6 months at the American Art Museum, second in the museum’s history.

The family-friendly exhibition features 20 gaming systems spanning 40 years, each equipped to demonstrate 4 artistically important games. Visitors can also play five of the pivotal titles in game history: Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, and Flower.

“Video games, at their core, are about connection,” Chris explained, “connecting players to the artist and other players. Verizon, at its core, is also about connection, connecting customers to the people and things who matter most to them.”

RSVP to see Chris speak at Tech in Motion’s Gaming Expo in Philadelphia on October, 16th, along with some awesome demos from ten Philadelphia-area gaming studies and video-game inspired anthems from Dj CUTMAN.

This post was adapted from the original article “Pac-Man a Museum Piece?” at Verizon.com. Read the full story at Verizon.com.