An event at Lawrence Technological University that drew 1,200 people to the univesrity’s Southfield campus last year is coming back Saturday, April 20 with a new name.
LTU Expo (LTUX) 2019, formerly known as the LTU Anime Con and Gaming Expo, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on campus. The events during the day will take place in the Buell Building, Architecture Building, and other locations around LTU’s campus at 21000 W. 10 Mile Road. (See www.ltu.edu/map).
Mars Ashton, assistant professor and director of LTU's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art program, said the event will include more than 30 local game developers, student projects, an art gallery, and numerous game tournaments (Smash, Magic: The Gathering, MageQuit, WaveCrash!, and more). There will also be plenty of game-related swag provided, musical performances, an indie game room featuring local developers and LTU students, fandom panels and presentations, cosplay events and contests, vendors, artists, and a new after party event.
“This is a celebration of the anime and game-focused community throughout Michigan,” Ashton said of the event. “So we're keeping it free for our attendees and introducing even more events to give back for all of the support we received last year. For students, LTUX is a great interpretation of a venue to present their final projects for the spring semester and be able to enjoy themselves and express their passion that led them to Lawrence Tech to begin with.”
Said Emily Auten, event co-organizer, a graduate student in professional and technical communications from Allen Park: “We’re expecting a big crowd. This is an event that is meant to connect people to local communities, that lets people express themselves how they want to, take a break from studying, and just be themselves and have fun.”
Auten said the event would also feature a guest performance by IA, a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application developed by a Japanese company.
Added co-organizer Carissa Vadella, a West Bloomfield Township junior majoring in computer science with a concentration in game software design: “We’ve recently seen huge growth in the game development industry and the game development community in Michigan, and LTUX is a great opportunity to meet more people and grow that community, and let people see the work we’ve created.”
Vadella will be one of 35 teams at a game expo, showcasing games they’ve created themselves. She said she got into game development because members of her family are in software development, “and I always knew I liked (game software) design, dealing with users, and how to teach something to somebody else.”
The main website for the event is www.ltuexpo.com. There, visitors can register to attend or exhibit at the event. LTU Expo is also in need of volunteers to help with planning and staffing the event. For more information on how to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, LTU ranked No 34 on The Princeton Review's list of the top 50 undergraduate schools for game design. The organization chose the schools based on a survey of 150 institutions offering game design coursework or degrees in the United States, Canada, and some countries abroad. LTU offers both a Bachelor of Fine Art in game art and a Bachelor of Science in computer science with a game software development concentration.
Computer and console gaming has become big business, with many employers and the government using gaming techniques to train and communicate with employees, customers, and the public. And the industry is huge—the U.S. video game industry generated a record $43.4 billion in revenue in 2018, up 18 percent from 2017, according to data released Jan. 22 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and The NPD Group.