The Future of Gaming is on Display at USC Games Expo 2019

Press Release by, Wonacott Communications

The USC Games Expo features nearly 80 student-created games, a keynote from CEO of Jam City Chris DeWolfe, and live USC versus UCLA Esports rivalry matches

LOS ANGELES – May 8, 2019USC Games, America’s No. 1 game design program according to the Princeton Review, is offering a glimpse into the future of video games, board games and more at the second annual USC Games Expo, a free on-campus event open to the public showcasing nearly 80 diverse student, faculty and alumni projects.   

“We built the USC Games Expo into a massive full-day festival celebrating our students’ incredible talents and accomplishments, while giving them a chance to interact with our powerful alumni network and industry leaders as the next generation of influential game designers and creators,” said Director of USC Games Danny Bilson. “The USC Games Expo is the world’s largest student-focused gaming event that provides a glimpse into the nation’s leading game design program to anyone attending, from the general public to aspiring developers to notable alumni.”

“Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world – and our talent grows up right here at home,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “As the gaming industry evolves, L.A. is helping developers and creators to adapt and innovate. The USC Games Expo puts some of our best and brightest on display, and demonstrates the incredible potential of one of our fastest-growing industries.”

Sponsored by Jam City, one of the largest gaming companies in the world, the USC Games Expo is the largest single-school games showcase in the world allowing students to show off their distinctive takes on tried-and-true gaming conventions created within mediums ranging from console, PC, VR and mobile video games to board games and outdoor-games. The event also features intense USC vs. UCLA esports grudge matches, with official teams from both schools extending their campus rivalry into the world of competitive gaming.

“We’re proud to be a part of the USC Games Expo to support the school once again and celebrate the creative minds who will be shaping and innovating the future of gaming,” said Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe. “I’m continually blown away by the caliber of talent at the Expo who are experimenting with gameplay, gaming styles, and storytelling. It’s energizing to see the level of creativity.”

The USC Games Expo keynote takes place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT. The public gaming exhibition open to the public and free to attend follows from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. PDT at the USC Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W 34th St, Los Angeles, CA 90007, with multiple areas of interest for game lovers of all ages:

  • A vast array of games will be on display, including PC and console games such as Plasticity, a cinematic platformer with a poignant environmental message, and Unfettered, an action role-playing game embracing Chinese culture
  • The USC Games Expo features a real movie soundstage converted into large-scale VR arena
  • Esports is taking a bigger role this year too with heated USC versus UCLA rivalry grudge matches amongst top competitors representing each school in HearthstoneSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate and League of Legends
  • Major publishers and game studios such as Blizzard, Riot, Activision and Zynga, are attending the USC Games Expo seeking the best and brightest student talent for employment opportunities
  • Keynote speeches from Chris DeWolfe, CEO and Co-founder of Jam City, and other high-profile industry leaders offer students expert perspective on global gaming trends and opportunities for designers, artists, data scientists, marketers, and more
  • The USC Games Expo also features a mini-carnival, mesmerizing 3D projection mapping installations and multiple panels addressing hot-button industry issues

USC Games is a collaboration between USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department. This unified brand allows press, industry, students and faculty to discuss the overall efforts at USC in games and simultaneously clarify the important distinctions between the offerings of the various programs. The student projects on exhibit at the USC Games Expo embody the power of this collaboration by showcasing how student creators with cross-disciplinary skillsets are innovating across all stages of game development.

About USC Games
USC Games is a flagship collaboration offered jointly by the School of Cinematic Arts Division of Interactive Media & Games and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department. This unified brand allows press, industry, students and faculty to discuss the overall efforts at USC in games and simultaneously clarify the important distinctions between the offerings of the various programs.

The program at the School Cinematic Arts focuses on both the design and production of interactive media and games. Students emerge as creative media leaders, fluent in many forms of visual expression and storytelling, with a sophistication to design and develop innovative interactive experiences that expand the state of interactive art and play across domains, such as entertainment, education, health care and social action.

The Computer Science Games program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering provides students with a grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a cross-disciplinary background in game development. Students emerge with an engineering-oriented game-programming skillset, with an understanding of key technologies and the ability to lead complex technical teams in the development of games.

In addition to the advanced games class, USC Games offers the USC Games Expo and an annual industry event held at the Game Developers Conference. USC Games brings more shared courses under this umbrella, including those from other schools at USCgames@usc.edu.

About the USC School of Cinematic Arts
The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts is one of the leading film schools in the world. Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 90 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The School offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, interactive media and games, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 13,000 alumni are among the world’s most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award. https://cinema.usc.edu/

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, in 2004, the school was named the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, honoring alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm, a key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. The school is consistently ranked among the top engineering programs in the world. It enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 188 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with more than 90 endowed chairs and professorships. The school offers comprehensive programs in all major areas of engineering, from aerospace and astronautical engineering, to biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental engineering, to computer science and materials science, and to electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering and mechanical engineering. With annual research expenditures exceeding $207M, the school is home to the Information Science Institute and more than 45 other research centers. Its more than 50,000 alumni span the globe. USC Viterbi is also home to the pioneering distance learning program DEN@Viterbi, ranked as the top such program in the nation the last two years. USC Viterbi is the only engineering school in the nation with three top-10 USNWR rankings: Best Graduate Schools, Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs, and Best Online Information Technology Programs.  

About Jam City
Jam City is a leader in mobile entertainment, providing unique and deeply engaging games that appeal to broad global audiences. Jam City was founded in 2010 by MySpace cofounder and CEO Chris DeWolfe and former 20th Century Fox executive Josh Yguado. Jam City is the creative powerhouse behind some of the highest grossing and most enduring social gaming franchises for mobile, including Cookie Jam (Facebook “Game of the Year” winner) and Panda Pop. Jam City is the go-to studio for Hollywood, having developed immersive, narrative rich mobile games around iconic entertainment brands including Harry Potter, Family Guy and Marvel Avengers. Jam City has studios in Los Angeles (HQ), Burbank, San Francisco, San Diego, Bogotá, Toronto, Buenos Aires, and Berlin. The Jam City team is known for its creative excellence and technological innovation in key areas including storytelling, data science and audience insights.

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