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Old 10-28-2005, 11:08 PM   #1
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Gamers take note: In January 2006, the Orlando Science Center is hosting an exposition called Otronicon. If you're in or around Orlando, Fla., be sure to check it out. Here's the official press release about the event:

Orlando Science Center and Full Sail
Present the Ultimate Video Game Experience

Play, Connect and Learn During OTRONICON Event in January 2006
Multiple Partners Come Together for Exploration of Electronic Gaming & Simulation


ORLANDO, FL – (October 6, 2005) – Orlando Science Center (OSC) is joining forces with multiple partners in the electronic gaming and digital media industries, including Full Sail Real World Education, to develop Florida’s ultimate video game experience. Otronicon, a 10-day exploration of electronic gaming and simulation is planned for January 20-29, 2006. OSC is working closely with presenting sponsor Full Sail and others to transform all four floors of the Science Center with gaming stations and interactive exhibits of the latest games, gadgets and technology. Additional support for the event is being provided through a grant from the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Council.

“OSC’s mission is to increase awareness and understanding of science and technology as they relate to everyday life. Video games provide an attractive entry for this discussion. Otronicon will be a showcase for Orlando’s role in the digital media industry as it relates to the fields of government, education, defense and entertainment. It will also be a great place to just have fun playing the latest video games in an incredible setting,” says OSC President and CEO Dr. Brian Tonner.

The event plans to entertain guests with multiple levels of activity, including displays, games, competitions, seminars and demonstrations that bridge the gap between video games and the simulation industry. OSC is continuously recruiting additional support from Orlando’s burgeoning digital media industry to develop an intriguing selection of workshops on everything from game design to addressing parental concerns about excessive game playing. The event will celebrate the merging of art and science through interactive electronic games and simulations.

One focal point of the event will be a national HALO 2 tournament where winners from previously held regional qualifiers will compete for substantial cash and prizes. Amateur competitions are also planned, appealing to everyone from veteran gamers to first-time players. Event organizers are designing Otronicon to attract a broad audience spectrum to help the public better understand both the depth and breadth of interactive electronic media.

Other exceptional event activities will include one of the largest and longest PC LAN parties ever attempted in Florida including a 36-hour or longer continuous weekend session. A “Hot Box” Competition will allow competitors to strut their stuff by showcasing their “tricked out” PCs and demonstrate the latest in customized PC gaming capability. Several gaming pods, custom units built specifically for Otronicon, will enable visitors to play any number of the latest games on a variety of platforms and networked gaming stations. A collaboration with the Cornell Theory Center in New York will provide guests with an opportunity to design their own virtual science center.

Isis Jones, Full Sail’s C.I.O. and Executive Director of Education said, “Full Sail is proud to partner with the OSC to bring an event such as Otronicon to the Orlando community. The video game industry has been booming over the last several years, and by looking at our enrollment of over 600 students in our Game Design and Development Bachelor of Science Degree Program, it is our continued goal to provide quality education to those who choose to pursue and excel in a career in the entertainment industry. We embrace Dr. Tonner’s vision to evolve the Otronicon experience, and support his leadership and progressive thinking.”

Tonner adds, “When the science center first had the idea for an event focused on video games and game design, we felt Full Sail could help us make it a reality. We are very excited to partner with them in this endeavor. They are an incomparable and highly respected leader in the video game industry, and it is evident why Electronic Gaming Monthly named Full Sail one of the top five Game Design schools in the world.”

Jud French, CEO of Strategic Services International, will serve as Executive Producer for the event. Other event partners include EB Games, Turn-Key Marketing and Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin sees great value in an event that links today’s popular video games to the cutting edge field of simulation,” said Brett Vonsik, senior staff systems engineer for Lockheed Martin. “We are looking forward to using our participation in Otronicon to show the connection between these two industries while also raising awareness about career opportunities and the general benefit of this technology for the public and the nation at large.”

Additional partners from the electronic gaming, simulation and retail industries are also being recruited to assist in further developing the event’s content. Recognizing the important potential the event represents from both career and economic development perspectives, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission is also participating as a funding sponsor.

Other companies and organizations providing event content and activities include the DAVE School which will provide a unique demonstration of Motion Capture, the translation of human movement into the motions of an animated character, an effect used frequently in video games. Digital Media Alliance Florida, and its ModG2 special interest group, will conduct a workshop on game “modding.” Engineering and Computer Simulation, Inc. will provide a video game based exhibit that features First Responder Training for the military. There will also be a first of its kind Digital Interactive Art Show, and multiple gaming prototypes from a host of sources. The Joint Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory of the Department of Defense will exhibit and support the event as well. Many more additions to the event will be announced as preparations continue.

A dedicated event website be launched soon and constantly updated so web surfers can learn more and register to win prizes such as free event passes and gaming gear. For more information on the Orlando Science Center, please visit www.osc.org. For more information on Full Sail, please visit www.fullsail.com.
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