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Players' Guide

AMODA's new festival, UT's new gaming program, and more

By James Renovitch, Fri., May 24, 2013

Warren Spector
Warren Spector

• Early last week, UT announced the creation of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, a tuition-free post-baccalaureate degree that aims to bring together the many disciplines involved in making a video game. Local luminary Warren Spector (Deus Ex, Epic Mickey) will be one of the primary molders of the program, set to accept 20 students for fall 2014. It's not grad school proper, but students receive a $10,000 stipend and a certificate upon completion of the yearlong program. Interested in applying? Email comm-webmaster@austin.utexas.edu.

• The rumors of the Austin Museum of Digital Art's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Turns out the organization was quietly planning the Protos Digital Art & Prototyping Festival. The four-day event starts this Thursday, May 23, with free panels and workshops during the day and showcases of the presenters' creations in the evening ($19.50 per night, or $74 for a four-day pass). Panelists will discuss their work, which ranges from music to video to tech to gaming and everything in between. Each day has a theme, so check out the website for all the details (www.amoda.org). The nightly shows put the day's discussions into practice with A/V performances of varying types and mixtures.

• Local gaming culture website Venus Patrol announced it is collaborating on Horizon, an alternative presentation during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (better known as E3) in Los Angeles next month. The site's creator, Brandon Boyer, joins the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. to present "a lineup of beautiful games ... from studios both small and large," according to a press release. What exactly is it the alternative to? E3's presentations are usually large, loud affairs featuring trailers and gameplay from the biggest upcoming releases. In other words, there are lots of guns and explosions. No specific games have been announced for the event, but Venus Patrol's slogan, "We are video game romantics," should tell you something about what to expect.


For more details on these events with convenient clickable links, go to austinchronicle.com/blogs.

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