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Tulsa to host Heartland Gaming Expo

Outstanding talent, brilliant minds and exhilarating activities will all come together to make a memorable event at this year’s Heartland Gaming Expo being held on the University of Tulsa campus.

Students of all ages and amateur game developers will have a chance to show off their talents and enter teams in one of three game development categories: a game showcase, a gallery show and a 24-hour code jam. Each team will be judged on the originality and creativity of the creation.

“We’ve seen some pretty incredible talent, and we’ve had students who have been given job offers right at the expo,” said Roger Mailler, general chair for the Heartland Gaming Expo. “We have little kids that show up with their laptops and say ‘I want to be a game developer’ and the next year we see them there competing in the expo.”

The gaming expo is more than just work and competitions, and the focus is not solely on video games either. The event offers something for everyone.

“It’s not just coming in and nerding out on video games. It’s coming out and nerding out on anything you think might be fun,” said Mailler.

The expo boasts a plethora of events for all ages and interests, including food trucks, inflatable jump houses and obstacle courses, laser tag and card and board games. Visitors will also have the opportunity to win raffle prizes such as a gaming laptop, one of two Xbox One bundles, and a PC Minecraft bundle. Game tournaments will be held and prizes will be awarded to the winner of each tournament. Participants can test their skills in games like Super Smash Brothers Melee, Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat XL and Call of Duty Black Ops.

Those who like to be right in the game can enjoy Dystopia Rising’s live action role playing game. Obtain a mission and use select tools to survive “an irradiated wasteland.”

Gaming trucks will offer a wide variety of games to play and test for those who prefer not to partake in a tournament. Select guest speakers who know the trade will be speaking, and several tutorials will be offered to teach visitors the fundamentals of game development and coding.

“[Because] we have a very wide audience, everyone walks away with something. Even if it’s just ‘I had a great time eating at the food trucks,’ they had a great time,” said Mailler.

The Heartland Gaming Expo will take place at The University of Tulsa’s Reynolds Center April 9-10. Register for the event and purchase tickets at heartlandgamingexpo.com

Story by Victoria Atterberry, Courtesy photo

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