Shawnee 6.0 Gaming conference set at SSU

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — For the sixth year, Shawnee State University is site of the Shawnee 6.0 Gaming conference scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. “Expeditions Beyond Imagination” is the theme of this year’s conference.

“A virtual groundbreaking will occur at this conference with economic and workforce development professionals along with educators,” said Gary Little, president, Information Technology Alliance of Appalachian Ohio. “They will be provided with virtual world acreage for economic development in their regions for people to see in the cyber world. Virtual land will be made available to each of the economic development regions in southeast Ohio – Regions 7, 10 and 11.”

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Jason Conaway, technical director, Electronic Arts, is the keynote speaker. He joined the gaming industry in 1996 as a software engineer at PyroTechnix, a small game studio located in Cincinnati. In 1999, Conaway moved to California to make video games at DreamWorks Interactive, which was later acquired by Electronic Arts.

“Electronic Arts is the largest game company in the world, so we are very excited,” said Tom Stead, past chairman of the School of Fine and Digital Arts at Shawnee State University and associate director of Education and Workforce Development for the Ohio Valley Interactive Technology Alliance – Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development.

Breakout sessions include guest speaker Howard Dortch, CEO HyperKat Games. Dortch was a developer for Sony’s MMOG game EverQuest. He has since started his own game company and he had three successful releases with excellent reviews in national game magazines. Dortch will demonstrate his new Planetary Rover educational game and explore Gliese 3, one of three virtual planets in the game.

Roger Nelson, CEO, Kerner MotinWerx Inc. will discuss the historical trends and technologies in motion capture and he will demonstrate a motion capture suit. These suits can record the relative motions of the person wearing them while they perform. The data is then transferred using 3-D software to characters in a game or movie.

Other sessions include “Second Life Tutorial” with Stead, who is prolific on second life as avatar Kostal K. and Ohio University Without Boundaries Technical Specialist, Christopher Keesey, administrator for Ohio University’s extensive Second Life islands; “Business Support for the IDT Entrepreneur” with Mark Butterworth and staff of Ohio University Voinovich School of Leader and Public Affairs; “Computer Game and Simulation Research Project” presentation by University of Rio Grande students and Professor Michael Beaver; IVIN Immersive video camera demonstration with John Bowditch, director of Ohio University Game Research and Immersive Design Lab in the Scripps College of Communication; and many more presentations. Students also will be exhibiting this year with creative projects.

“Student exhibits this year will show the quality and creativity of our young people early in their career development,” Little said.

Admission is $39 for students and includes lunch. General admission is $89. For more information, contact University Outreach Services at (740) 351-3274 or e-mail Ginnie Moore, director, at For updated information, visit the Web site at