By Dana Yamashita

Due to the continuing pandemic, the second annual all-remote GameFest was held on May 8, sponsored by Vicarious Visions at Blizzard Entertainment, the prominent game development company behind popular titles like Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and Crash Bandicoot. The digital-gaming festival is organized by the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“It’s important to have events like GameFest for the students to mark and celebrate what they’ve accomplished under incredibly challenging circumstances,” said Ben Chang, professor of arts and the director of GSAS.

The event focused on the scholarship of undergraduate and graduate students at Rensselaer. This is the first time that graduate students in the critical game design program presented their research in an academic-style poster session touching on wide-ranging areas of game design, such as computer graphic technology, games and race, and AI narratives in games.

Simon Ebejer, studio head of Vicarious Visions, said, “GameFest provides the best and the brightest students with an opportunity to shine by giving them a forum to show off their amazing work. We’re all looking forward to seeing what they come up with this year.”

The event is available for viewing at YouTube, and the games are available to play on the GameFest 2021 web site.