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Gaming convention powers up for return to George Mason University

The gaming convention GAMEmason is set to return to George Mason University’s Fairfax campus (photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services)

(Updated at 2:35 p.m. on 2/14/2024) A two-day gaming convention will take over George Mason University’s Fairfax campus this month.

Organized by GMU’s student involvement office, game design program and GMU Esports, GAMEmason 2014 will take place on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Center for the Arts (4373 Mason Pond Drive).

The event will feature guest speakers from Bethesda Game Studios, Monument Sports Entertainment, and faculty and staff. Other attractions include free arcade games, tabletop and console gaming, augmented reality and virtual reality demonstrations, an artist alley featuring the work of artists and students, and gaming industry vendors.

Here’s more from GMU, breaking down the program:

On Friday, February 23, the day-long events will lead up to keynote speaker, voice actress and Guinness World Records holder for “Most Prolific Video Game Voice Actor (female)” Jennifer Hale. The morning begins with educational sessions including “Game without Pain and Work without Strain” featuring co-founder of One Health Point (1HP) Dr. Caitlin McGee, followed by voice actor Wes Johnson in “The Many Worlds of Voice Acting.” Next, Mason Associate Professor in Computer Game Design Greg Grimsby leads a discussion entitled “Developing Board Games” and after, Vice President of Esports at Monumental Sports & Entertainment Andrew McNeill leads “Journey through Esports, Hosting Large Events and the Esports Professional Scene.” The evening begins with “Getting a Job in the Game Industry,” led by Associate Producer at Bethesda Game Studios Nathan Hahn.

On Saturday, February 24, varsity level collegiate Esports teams from across the region will compete in tournaments. Games featured in the tournament will include Rocket League, League of Legends, Overwatch 2, Valorant, and Super Smash Brothers crew battles. GAMEmason attendees will be able to watch the teams as they compete live on the Center for the Arts stage. In addition to George Mason University, participating schools include James Madison University, Ohio University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Saint Louis University, Shenandoah University, Syracuse University, [Northern Virginia Community College], Virginia Tech, Virginia Wesleyan University, Wake Forest University, and William and Mary University.

(Correction: GMU included a “University of Northern Virginia” among the schools participating in the esports tournament. Once based in Annandale, that university has been defunct since 2013. A GMU spokesperson confirmed Northern Virginia Community College was the intended reference.) 

The convention is $20 for Friday passes and $15 for Saturday. Attendees must be at least 16 years old, and those aged 16 or 17 must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free for GMU students, faculty and staff.

The event kicked off in 2009.

“Unique events such as these connect Mason students and the public with professionals in the field, and offer innovative opportunities for students to learn, grow, and create community during their time at Mason,” a university spokesperson told FFXnow.

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