Ipswich Libraries packed some pretty big ideas into a small event at the nextLEVEL: microfestival of games held at Springfield Central Library on 23 and 24 February 2019. The project, which championed the role of Ipswich Libraries as an incubator of ideas, learning and innovation, was delivered with Strategic Priorities grant funding from the Queensland Government through the State Library of Queensland.
The interactive weekend program explored gaming from entertainment, retrospective, creative and professional perspectives and in multiple formats including:
- Keynote presentation by well-known video game critic, author and former presenter of ABC TV’s Good Game, Stephanie (Hex) Bendixsen
- Breakfast at the nextLEVEL featuring a panel discussion with games industry experts Morgan Jaffit (Defiant Development), Dr Iain McManus (SAE Creative Media Institute) and Ray Morgan (ZedGames 4ZZZ), moderated by Stephanie Bendixsen
- Raising Digital Children presentation by family digital literacy expert, Dr Joanne Orlando (Western Sydney University)
- Unity 2D and 3D master classes with James Bowling (Blocky Pixel Pty Ltd) and Lex Van Cooten (Immerse Enterprise)
- Knockout gaming tournament
- Virtual Reality (VR) gaming sessions and 3D Virtual Reality design competition
The project further contributed to local youth skill development through linkage with the Applied Media Studies unit at University of Southern Queensland – Springfield Campus to engage student artists to design and deliver concept artwork for promotion of the festival.
nextLEVEL was an exciting opportunity for teens and adults to connect with experts in the field of games and game development. Whether interest in attending stemmed from an entrepreneurial focus on gaming, an aspiration for a career in a game development field or simply a strong curiosity in gaming culture, nextLEVEL provided free access to valuable, real-world information and experiences integral to one of the fastest-growing entertainment industries.
To see the full video stream of the keynote and panel presentation at Breakfast at the nextLEVEL visit the Ipswich Libraries Facebook page. (Keynote begins at 40mins)
Page image: Ray Morgan, Stephanie Bendixsen, Dr Iain McManus and Morgan Jaffit at Breakfast at the nextLEVEL.