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5th Annual WV Game Developers Expo Expands Offerings for Nov. 6 & 7 Virtual Expo

Huntington, W.Va. – The fifth annual West Virginia Game Developer Expo (WVGDE) has joined forces with the West Virginia Cybersecurity Expo to host a joint virtual event Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7.

Creative professionals and students from the fields of game development, mobile app development, network cybersecurity, graphic design, and multimedia design students will convene across the two-day span for learning, hands-on demonstrations, showcases, and networking.

Registration for the expo is currently open and free. Details can be found online at Emails will be sent out Thursday evening to all registered attendees with instructions on how to watch the sessions. Attendees will be able to take part in live Q & A opportunities at the end of each session. Sessions will start Friday and Saturday mornings at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern Time Zone). A schedule of sessions is available at

People from across the country will be attending the virtual event, which has been modeled after major conferences such as GDC Game Development Conference. Speakers this year are from West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Washington, and California.

Multiple keynote addresses will be given for the different disciplines. Three game development keynotes will take place Friday.

  • 11:00 a.m. – Jeremy Doolin, Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Technology at West Virginia Northern Community College, will talk about recently becoming an independent game developer and working on his first major project “Ballad of Thuriana” and how he is fighting creative fatigue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 1:00 p.m. – Brad Kalinoski, who has been nominated for a BAFTA Award for his work on the Oscar-nominated movie, “Black Swan,” and for two VES Awards (“Black Swan” and “Lost: The Final Season”) as compositing supervisor, will talk about how Hollywood is leveraging game development engines, such as Unreal Engine, in today’s movies and television shows.

  • 2:30 p.m. – Christian Allen from Epic Games, an experienced and BAFTA award-winning AAA game designer and creative director, will talk about how Unreal Engine is being used today in many different professional fields.

For the cybersecurity part of the expo, Danielle Cox, the Chief Information Security Officer with the West Virginia Office of Technology, will be giving a keynote Friday at 11:00 a.m. Danielle manages the State’s Security Operations Center, directs the Risk management and vulnerability program, and identifies other risks to State data, personnel, applications, and systems. Danielle will be speaking about how to get into the cybersecurity field and the opportunities available in West Virginia.

“We have been able to recruit many high-quality speakers from across the country and also bring back several of our fantastic former keynote speakers to talk about the current state of the gaming industry.” said Patrick Smith, Associate Professor and Expo organizer. “With the added addition of the cybersecurity track, we can show our community the abundant opportunities in the InfoSec field here in our own backyard. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the job outlook for Information Security Analysts will grow by 31% in the next ten years, and many of those jobs will be right here in West Virginia.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics for Software Developers shows an estimated job growth of 22% in the next ten years.

Mountwest Community & Technical College is a public institution with approximately 1,500 students. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Mountwest offers more than 60 associate degree options and 15 one-year certificates. 

Job outlook for gaming

According to recent research, global video game markets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 13% from 2020 to 2027 and was valued at more than 150 billion dollars in 2019.

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Mountwest Community & Technical College offers multiple Network Systems & Security degrees that prepare students for industry certifications from Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA and EC Council by offering real-world knowledge taught by certified professors.

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Animation & Game Development

The Animation and Game Developer curriculum is designed to provide training in principles and techniques used to create interactive 2D and 3D computer games.

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