Shawnee State University Game Conference slated for early November

Ian Hillman, Staff Reporter

The annual Shawnee State University Game Conference is coming soon and this is what you need to know:

This is the 21st anniversary of the SSU Game Conference, which is the longest-running academic gaming conference in the Midwest. The conference will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 3-5, and anyone is welcome to play games, give feedback to creators, learn about game programming and listen to keynote speakers to further understand how your degree or career can intersect with gaming. Attendees are also permitted to compete in tournaments, attend educational workshops and shop from local vendors. Tickets can be purchased at Upon arrival at the event, you can find a program at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts with specific dates and times for speakers and exhibitions.

The keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Chris Bergman, the CEO of Gylee Games, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Other featured speakers include:

  • Doug Gesler
  • Heidi Gesler
  • Derek Peterson
  • Will Kosan
  • Justin Jacobson
  • Paul Yost
  • Duane Skaggs
  • Richard Huggan
  • George Ziets
  • Marcus Cenci

Speakers will discuss programming, writing, narrative, marketing, art and design in the gaming industry. A few of this year’s speakers are former students at SSU and current SSU professors like Paul Yost, who originally introduced the gaming program to Shawnee.

This event is an incredible opportunity for students at Shawnee to showcase their projects and interests as well as video games they’ve created. Attendees will have the opportunity to play students’ games and give important and welcomed feedback, giving the young creators necessary experience in regard to constructive criticism. At least 20 students from the SSU game design program will be presenting this year, so don’t be shy and go support your local creators and enthusiasts.

It may be difficult for students who are interested in gaming and the industry to envision their career pathways, and this conference can help those students. As a nearly $200 billion industry, gaming offers professional opportunities in marketing, writing, data analysis and other fields related to communication, English and science degree programs. The conference will feature information on that range of opportunities. Students from diverse professions, interests, upbringings and talents create a cross-pollination that produces impactful excellence and that is what this whole conference is about.

The past two years, the Shawnee Game Conference was streamed online due to COVID-19, and this is the first in-person conference since the start of the pandemic. If you are interested, this might be the time to learn new skills, develop new relationships and, for most students, see how this conference looks in-person. More information can be found here.