Student-created video game competition held

Published on Thursday, May 24th, 2018
Paul Cotnoir, director of design programs at Becker College, and Alan Ritacco, dean of the School of Design and Technology stand outside the door to the New England Student Game Design Showcase

Paul Cotnoir, director of design programs at Becker College, and Alan Ritacco, dean of the School of Design and Technology, stand outside the door to the New England Student Game Design Showcase at Microsoft’s offices in Burlington.

Becker College recently hosted the New England Student Game Design Showcase (NESGDS). The event included an expo and a student-created video game competition. It was sponsored by Microsoft and held at the company’s Burlington, Mass., location.

NESGDS gave students who are studying game design at New England colleges an opportunity to compete against each other. It highlighted the talent and innovation of the region’s game design students, and it underscored the growing importance of the game industry in the northeast.

“This show, which had representation from more than 16 colleges and universities, was the first of its kind targeted strictly at the college population in New England,” said Paul Cotnoir, director of design programs at Becker College. “It demonstrated both the incredible talent of our local interactive media students and Becker College’s leadership role in the promotion of those students and their work.”

Cotnoir noted that the event gave students an opportunity to network with a variety of industry and academic experts about their games. It also gave them a chance to network with each other, learn from each other and create new peer networks among like-minded game students.

“New England-trained game designers, artists and developers are among the best and are having a huge impact in the gaming industry as well as the commercial sector,” said Alan Ritacco, dean of the School of Design and Technology. “We know our students are innovative and capable of producing quality games. Now, the region has had a chance to see that firsthand.”

Students from more than 20 New England-area schools, including Becker College, Bunker Hill Community College, Champlain College, MIT, Emerson College, UConn, Quinnipiac, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Rhode Island School of Design, submitted a total of 270 entries. Students came from as far away as Burlington, VT—200 miles—to attend.

Becker College alum Ryan Canuel, CEO of Petricore Inc., and Tim Loew, executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute at Becker College, were among the judges for the event, where more than $1,000 in prizes were handed out. Prizes were awarded the areas of animation, art, technical innovation and game play. Becker College’s Hamster game took second place in the game play category.

Both organizers and participants said the event was an unqualified success, and plans are underway for next year.

For more information about NESGDS go to: https://www.massdigi.org/nesgds-home/