Weekly video games events agenda: Electronic Entertainment Expo and beyond
Friday 11 June 2010
While the Electronic Entertainment Expo is perhaps the pre-eminent video games event of the year, there are other events worth attention: the DreamHack Summer gaming party in Sweden, a peek into indie game development at World of Love in London, Game AI's boffins speak in Paris, and fans convene for ScrewAttack's annual affair in Dallas, Texas.
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
Los Angeles, California, USA
What to expect from one of the year's most important video game events? E3 promises to be as dominant as it ever has been, with grandstanding from Sony about 3D gaming and a new motion controller setup, Nintendo's 3D successor to the DS, and Microsoft's high-tech camera that has advanced face, voice and movement recognition. And then there's the games: even the most cursory glance at exhibitors reveals a wealth of big hitters. Look out for Medal of Honor, Batman: Arkham Asylum 2, Gran Turismo 5, Halo: Reach, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Lego Star Wars III, Rock Band 3, Vanquish and the latest Guitar Hero among many others. Live video will be broadcast online by G4TV, GameSpot, GameTrailers and IGN. Don't miss it.
OnLive gaming service launch
What could be a revolutionary new technology is due to launch on June 17, amongst the hubub of the E3 event. The OnLive MicroConsole is like current games machines in that it hooks up to the internet, but unlike them in that all of the number-crunching is done at OnLive's data centers, so that means no more bulky consoles taking up space in the house. In fact, this could be the death of the traditional home console altogether. Sturdy broadband telephone lines are required, hence the US launch taking priority, though the company has done deals with UK and Belgian telecoms companies to prepare for the as-yet undated European introduction.
Now known as the world's biggest computer gaming extravaganza, DreamHack features a wealth of tournaments for those that specialize in the use of mouse and keyboard. Counter Strike, Quake Live, Super Street Fighter IV and Heroes of Newerth are among the competitions with top prize funds: the prestigious nature of the event is reflected in the tournament prize funds, totalling upwards of 430,000 Swedish Kroner (€44,000). There is also a computer expo and a selection of musical treats for those that elect to sleep in or near the venue overnight.
Game AI Conference
The use of Artificial Intelligence in game design is becoming more and more pronounced, whether it be programming enemy behavior or orchestrating a sports team around the gamer. Held within the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers within easy reach of the Gare du Nord, scheduled speakers at the conference include Ken Perlin (
Half Life 2), Mikael Hedberg (
Bad Company 2), Mikko Mononen (Crytek, Crysis), and Claudia Pedica (
EVE Online) among other luminaries. Any remaining tickets are €97, including drinks vouchers for the conference afterparty and the possibility of group discounts.
World of Love
National TV broadcaster Channel 4 has declared its intentions regarding the independent game development scene, hosting this conference which features some of the industry's deserved darlings as speakers: Terry Cavanagh (
VVVVVV, PC & Mac), Simon Oliver (
Rolando, iPhone), Robert Fearon (
Squid Yes! Not So Octopus, 360 & PC), Sean Murray (
Joe Danger, PS3) and Stephen Lavelle (increpare.com) are already slated to appear. Tickets for the day run at £65 (€75).
ScrewAttack Gaming Convention
Westin Dallas / Fort Worth Airport, USA
The emphasis here is on fun above all else - how else could there be a Cartridge Dust Blowing Competition, a Name That Video Game Tune contest, and a session entitled 'YouTube Hell'? This year, the SGC also has a live phone Q&A with video game filmmaker Uwe Boll (who once took on his journalist critics in a boxing match), but the big draw is the Iron Man of Gaming. The IMoG separates the wheat from the chaff with a competition that ranges across consoles, games and genres old and new. Registration is $45 online or $50 on the door, $10 extra for the IMoG.
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