Weekly video games events agenda: Ankama Convention, Inside Social Apps, MCV Awards

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The Independent Tech

Among the video game events, expos and conferences of April and May 2010: a French media franchise teases its new MMO at the Ankama Convention in Paris, the first Inside Social Apps conference for Facebook-focused games studios and businesses takes place in San Francisco and MCV's trade awards take place in London, England.

Ankama Convention 5
April 17-18
Paris, France

The Ankama company's media exploits have the potential to become the new Pokemon - since 2003 their Dofus and Wakfu cartoon fantasy franchises have become well established as comic books, playing cards, animated series, and computer games. The fifth Ankama Convention is a celebration of that and is also expected to heighten interest in the upcoming Wakfu games for home computers and Xbox 360, with costume contests and quiz competitions where fans can challenge the studio's staff to see who amongst them is the most knowledgeable of all things Ankama.

Inside Social Apps
April 20
San Francisco, California, USA

The first conference run by the Inside Network, a group of websites dedicated to highlighting and analyzing trends in the social media industry, features talks from many of the business's leaders, including those at Zynga ( FarmVille), Playfish ( Pet Society), Playdom ( Tiki Farm), CrowdStar ( Happy Aquarium), and RockYou! ( Zoo World). There is also a significant presence from digital commerce companies (eBay, Offerpal), legal advisers, and venture capitalists.

MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2010
April 22

MCV, a UK-based video games trade magazine and website, host these annual industry accolades with awards available in 19 categories including online, high street, and supermarket retailers, sales, publishing, PR and marketing team excellence, best gaming accessories, and advertisements. Dom Joly, British comedian and columnist for The Independent, will be master of ceremonies. Ubisoft's surprise Wii success Just Dance has to be the odds-on favorite to win the 'Sales Triumph' award at least.

Nordic Game Conference
April 27-30
Malmö, Sweden

Part of the Nordic Game Program, a co-operative project set up by the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish governments, the NGC includes an awards ceremony for Nordic games and developers, talks from staff at BioWare, DICE, Remedy, Funcom, RedLynx, Playfish, and a night for Nordic independent game developers. With DICE riding high from the success of Bad Company 2, Avalanche having released Just Cause 2 mid-March, and Remedy on the cusp of launching the long-awaited Alan Wake, there should be some interesting presentations to say the least.

Game Developers Conference Canada
May 6-7
Vancouver, British Columbia

No sooner than one GDC ends in San Francisco does the countdown to the next in Vancouver begin. Eager ears will be listening to talks on the rise of social and mainstream gaming, as well as any tidbits regarding the new motion controllers for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as Sony and Microsoft play catchup to Nintendo's Wii. Talks from bigwigs at Insomniac, Obsidian, IUGO and Zynga are already confirmed. On-site registration is CDN$895 (€670) for all access, CDN$695 (€520) for the main conference, or CDN$149 (€110) for the career seminars only.

LOGIN Conference
May 10-13
Seattle, Washington, USA

Aimed at company chiefs, vice-presidents, and directors, LOGIN's schedule is a mixture of development sessions, seminars, conferences and workshops and intends to provide an environment for those looking to make the most of networking opportunities. There are also 75 speakers confirmed including boffins from NCsoft, TrialPay, Real Networks, Slide Inc, Audiosurf, and Altus, various legal representatives and advisers, and even an addiction counselor.

DreamHack Skellefteå V
May 13-15
Skellefteå, Sweden

DreamHack's main event is a summer gathering of gamers in Jönköping, Sweden, a mass celebration of PC-playing enthusiasm that started in a secondary school back in the 1990s and grew to become one of Northern Europe's largest video gaming parties. Now with a Winter event complementing the Summer meet since 2002, Skellefteå is the newest and smallest of the three, taking place in the remote and scenic northern Swedish city of the same name. Those intending to participate fully pay 399kr (€40) for a desk and access to a power outlet, net connection, sleeping area, tournaments and competitions, and money off at the local swimming baths.

Games Beyond Entertainment Week
May 24-27
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The GBEW is an umbrella for seven other conferences and events taking place in Boston. The Games for Health Conference (May 26-27) which investigates the role of video games in physiotherapy and exercise. The Serious Games Festival & Conference (May 24) and its offshoot Out & About: The Mobile Serious Games Conference (May 25) examine the use of commercial and bespoke video games as learning tools. The Emerging Markets in Videogames Symposium (May 25) looks at new opportunities amongst emerging countries, demographics, and technologies, while there are also the Games Accessibility (May 25) and Virtual Worlds & Health days and practical bootcamps for those wanting to learn more about Serious Games Design & Development and iPhone Design & Production (both May 25). Registration costs from $199 up to $849 depending on the combination of events chosen.

Monetising Mobile
May 26
London, UK

Intent Media's Mobile Entertainment news service has booked out the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Piccadilly address for this conference focusing on getting the most out of the mobile market. Speakers from Pearson (Penguin, Financial Times, Dorling Kindersley), Sky, and Samsung are scheduled to talk, as well as those from the Shazam music identification service, advertising platform AdMob, the Ustwo design company, the Scoreloop mobile gaming social network service, business analysts GamesBrief, and the cross-platform app store GetJar.

Games Village @ London MCM Expo
May 29-30
London, UK

The ExCel center at London's Royal Victoria Docks plays host to the twice-yearly MCM Expo, for this, its 17th iteration. The Expo as a whole encompasses anime, manga, and other aspects of popular Japanese culture such as cosplay (dressing up as a favorite cartoon or video game character), and plenty of actors, artists and writers from sci-fi and fantasy franchises. The Games Village track usually manages to pull in playable demo pods for some of the hottest upcoming games and at MCM 17 there will be a Guinness World Record attempt as Nintendo DS owners congregate for what is hoped to be the Largest Handheld Game Console Party yet. The Dance Dance Revolution UK team will be there with a large selection of arcade and console games. Standard tickets to the MCM Expo cost £10 (€11.43) for adults (over 15s), £5 (€5.72) for 11-15s, and free for minors accompanied by an adult. Early entry tickets allow the holders access to the show floor up to two hours before the general public and cost £13 (€14.87) regardless of age.