A video game conference is being held this weekend at Wichita State University’s Shocker Studios.
The conference, titled Opus Animo, is themed after a video game renaissance, though Shocker Studios director Justin Rorabaugh doesn’t think that currently describes the video game industry in Wichita.
"There’s not a lot of game design companies in Wichita,” Rorabaugh said. "I know of maybe one.
"But it’s really an industry that we have a huge interest in."
Rorabaugh thinks the conference, combined with WSU's game design degree, will help change that. The degree, launched last year, had a goal of 60 students for its second year. Currently it has 200.
Rorabaugh said this is one way to address analyst James Chung’s research showing Wichita is stagnating.
“This is one of our solutions to that,” Rorabaugh said. “We need to tap into the creative life force that’s here."
The first year of the conference is being treated as a test run, with a focus on entertainment. There will be Dungeon and Dragon-themed escape rooms, competitive video games and cosplaying.
Rorabaugh hopes the following year will have a national focus, drawing speakers from different corners of the industry. Some panels will be held this year, including one about diversity in the video game industry.
Stephan Bisaha reports on education for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.