Harrisburg University Students Win Scholarship To Attend The Video Game Industry’s Biggest Conferences

Lewis Ellis and Grant Hoover have received the golden ticket of the entertainment industry’s biggest conferences. Thanks to a scholarship offered by Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, these Interactive Media seniors have been given a chance to attend three conferences free of charge as the new Interactive Media Ambassadors for HU.

“There are so many ways for me to benefit from these conferences,” Hoover said. “We’ll have the chance to learn about emerging technologies, strategies used in the industry and how to increase our skillsets. I think the best lessons will be the ones I don’t expect.”

Ellis and Hoover were selected after each submitted a two-minute video discussing how they would make the most of the opportunity to attend the Game Developers Conference March 14 to 18 in San Francisco. Sponsors will cover the cost of travel, lodging and admittance to the conferences – a price tag that can climb above $1,200, according to Charles Palmer, Executive Director for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies.

The conference begins with a 52-hour Train Jam in Chicago, where Ellis and Hoover will have the chance to spend time with a variety of developers in a game jam atmosphere. After the jam, the pair will head to The Summits at the Game Developers Conference – a two-day series of lectures, panels, postmortems and more. The next three days will feature an exhibit show where they’ll have the chance to see, play and discuss the latest games with the men and women who work in the development community.

“I’m looking forward to talking to people who have been in my shoes,” Ellis said. “I plan to create relationships with people I meet so that I not only get the benefit of the information, but I can build on those connections and resources.”

Ellis also is looking forward to spending time in Chicago and San Francisco for the first time. He’ll be blogging about the different things he sees and experiences, and plans to create a Periscope livestream to keep his fellow HU students up-to-date on what he’s learning.

“Having access to a pass that allows me to all the expos and summits is really going to be a huge stepping stone in my career,” he said.

Hoover also looks forward to meeting some of the top professionals in the gaming industry, all while promoting the knowledge he’s gained as a Harrisburg University student.

The event itself can be life changing, Charles Palmer said.

“One of the best things about the entertainment industry is the commitment to sharing and networking,” he said. “These conferences offer unparalleled access to developers, tools, upcoming titles and job opportunities. Many successful game and interactive developers highlight these events as one of the catalysts which jumpstarted their career. The impact it could have on our students could change the course of their futures.”