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The fourth annual Carolina Games Summit wrapped up at 9 pm Saturday, Feb 7, with a full crowd experiencing the closing cinematic of the awards ceremony while Entertainment System played a classic gaming score from Castlevania 2. The band's lead guitarist Chris Baines stated, "We have performed at over thirty events and this is one of the most organized we have seen, with attendees representing a friendly and engaged gaming community."

Over 1400 attendees, special guests, and exhibitors made up the largest gaming event in the Carolinas. For twelve hours Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC, was transformed into a mecca for the video game community. A bus left early Saturday morning from Virginia Beach, VA, full of excited ITT Technical Institute students, while professional MLG gamers and members of the PMS and H2O clans flew in from across the country a day before the event.

These two groups represent a unique formula that makes the Carolina Games Summit different than other video game-related events. Visitors to the event can experience presentations from industry visionaries, interact with exhibitors, and plan for their future in the game development career field, or they can dedicate their day to one of eighteen fiercely competitive tournaments.

Michael Everett, creative director of the event, reported that "831 attendees registered for at least one tournament, reflecting about 60 percent of our attendees. This tells us that at least 40 percent of our audience is here to enjoy speakers, exhibitors, and bands while expanding their knowledge of North Carolina's game development industry." Tracy Schmeltzer, the event's producer, added that "It is important to note that while both groups were well represented this year, there are many people who overlap these two groups and get the full benefit from attending a hybrid event like ours."

Highlights of the day included keynote speeches by both Insomniac Games and Media Sunshine. In addition, Len Annetta from NCSU spoke on the benefits of educational games and the various serious game projects his team is working on. Kris Dell of Applied Software, along with Roy Kimmins and Phyllis Jones, both game development teachers in the Guildford County School system, spoke on North Carolina's latest efforts to expand a game development curriculum into the public school system and the tools needed to achieve this goal.

Chad Dezern of Insomniac Games commented on the Summit, "It is a great way to meet people who are playing games, and people who are really involved in game development, and it's a great way for everyone who has an interest in games in North Carolina to meet under one roof."

Robert Rice, CEO of Neogence Enterprises, spoke on the future of mobile games, augmented reality, and massively multiplayer online role playing games. Kwame Hawkins, from the School of Communication Arts, gave attendees an introduction to lighting effects in computer-generated environments. Hands-on sessions allowed attendees to learn perspective sketching from North Carolina State University School of Design professor Timothy Buie or to explore costume and prop design from movie industry veterans, Penny Dreadful Productions.

Inside a packed auditorium the top three winners of each tournament were recognized during the awards ceremony. Wayne Community College Simulation and Game Development Students designed and produced the ceremony complete with custom music videos of each game.

Sponsors of this year's event included, BFG Technology, Chick-fil-A, Cobalt Flux, Coca-Cola, CPU Magazine,, FSP, Hampton Inn, Time Warner Cable, Vitamin Water, Wireless Xpress, and this fine video game community.

Tournament results, pictures, and video footage from the event are currently being added to the official web site, and our official profile on The date for the next Carolina Games Summit will be Saturday, February 6, 2010. Contact the event organizers, Michael Everett and Tracy Schmeltzer, at (919) 735-5151 or for more information on attending, exhibiting or speaking at future Carolina Games Summit events.

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