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  • Who To Know And What To Do In The Game Industry

    - Tom Curtis and Brandon Sheffield

  • TOJam

    The Toronto Game Jam (TOJam) aims to foster collaboration and experimentation among developers by hosting a three-day programming marathon for hobbyists and professionals alike.

    Attendees bring their own computers, tools, and sleeping bags to collaborate with their peers and make the best game they can-from scratch-over the course of a weekend. The event is not a competition, but rather an opportunity for amateur and professional developers to test their skills in a fun environment while surrounded by like-minded peers. Since the first TOJam in 2006, the event has produced well over a hundred complete games. The next TOJam will take place in May 2012.


    The annual IndieCade Festival brings together independent games and developers from around the world to celebrate the growing indie space. The event allows developers to showcase their titles and network with peers, and the event organizers host an awards ceremony to honor the industry's standout indie games and studios. The next IndieCade will take place October 6-9, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA.

    Penny Arcade Expo

    The biannual Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), held in Seattle and Boston, builds its reputation on celebrating video games and the culture that surrounds them. This is by far the most accessible of all the shows we've mentioned, and has a real consumer and fan-oriented focus. The show features a range of tournaments and other social events for attendees, as well as a number of panels from industry professionals. The show's expo floor offers a collection of upcoming titles, as well as a showcase of top indie games known as the PAX 10. The Seattle-based PAX Prime event will take place on August 26-28, 2011, and PAX East will take place in Boston in early 2012.


    The D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit is more about the business end of the industry, bringing the higher level executives together as they discuss developing trends and opportunities within the game industry. The show is organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and hosts the annual Indie Game Challenge as well as the Interactive Achievement Awards. The last D.I.C.E. Summit took place in February 2011 in Las Vegas-details for the 2012 event have yet to be announced.


    The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), organized by the ESA, is one of the largest and most extravagant U.S. events in the industry. The show brings together publishers and hardware manufacturers as they reveal their upcoming projects, and build excitement for the ever important fourth quarter. While the show is only open to professionals, E3 drew in more than 45,600 attendees in 2010.

    Tokyo Game Show

    The Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is the largest video game trade show in Japan, where the region's biggest publishers exhibit their upcoming titles to journalists, fans, and the industry at large. The show features a number of workshops and conferences for developers, and serves as a venue for the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association's (CESA) Japan Game Awards. TGS' Sense of Wonder Night allows developers to showcase their new or experimental projects and ideas.

    The first two days of TGS are held exclusively for professionals, though the final two days are open to the general public. The event is co-organized by CESA and Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., and the 2011 show will be held September 15-18 at the Makuhari-Messe in Chiba City, Japan.


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