This years theme, “Why games matter,” sold out out at 500 passes for the two day event.
Keynote speakers were James Portnow, and Ashly Burch. Portnow spoke about how video games can be used in the educational area, and the way that they can open up worlds, and unite people. Burch shared her personal struggles with anxiety and depression, and how video games can save lives.
Members of the Game Informer staff participated in a panel discussion addressing why games matter beyond entertainment. Editor-In-Chief, Andy McNamara, Managing Editor, Matt Bertz, Senior Associate Editor, Tim Turi, and Associate Editor Kim Wallace shared their experiences both playing, and writing about video games both in a personal, and professional capacity.
Additional panels included information on music in games, design tips on 2d platformers, and the evolution of fighting games. There was also a Virtual Reality panel and demo, and a panel of local indie developers who spoke about risks, successes, and failures. During the lunch period each day, there was video game trivia with prizes.
MinneCade showcased 18 locally developed games, and gave attendees an opportunity to chat with the creators. Awards were given to the fan favorites: Dream Arcade, by Light Grey Art Lab (art), Strata, by Graveck (design), Glitch in the System, by Tribe Games(audio), and EleMetals, by Wallride Games (players’ choice).
The Student Initiative Exhibition highlighted game related student organizations and projects. It was one of may places attendees could complete a quest to get a ticket to claim their “loot.” Quests could also be initiated via the “NPCs” with special lanyards. One quest was to “introduce yourself to someone you don’t know.”
During the closing ceremony, Evva Kraikul, Executive Director of Glitch, made a special announcement: later this year, Glitch will be opening their headquarters off campus, but near the University. Members hope that it will be a place to fulfill Glitch’s mission to keep local talent in the Twin Cities by providing mentoring opportunities, internships, and a strong sense of community for local game developers.