KDKA does a story on the ETC and the nascent video game industry in Pittsburgh.
He may not have just won the Super Bowl, but ETC adjunct professor John Wesner has always been a winner with regards to entertainment engineering. So much so in fact that he was invited this past week to present a seminar on “Safety in Product Development” to approximately 65 of Disney’s safety and engineering people packed into two rooms in Florida and several more in California during the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Conference held at Disneyworld in Kissimmee, Florida.
The event turned into an ETC family affair as John met with ETC alumni and Disney theme park employees Tim Eck and Peter Stepniewicz, as well as Ivan Diaz and Jason Lovelace, both of whom have spoken during their visits to Pittsburgh to John’s Entertainment Engineering class, as well as ETC students.
The ETC student-pitched animated short, Superhero Training Center has been selected as a finalist in the UFVA NextFrame International Student film festival. This ETC Project resulted from the combined efforts of Ken-Yu Chou, Michelle Hwang, Yun-ling Lee, Si Yang Ng, and Priscilla Tang
Now in its 15th year, NextFrame: UFVA's Touring Festival of International Student Film & Video was founded with the intention of providing a first-class festival and much-needed exposure for cutting edge student work.
NextFrame is the official film festival for the University Film and Video Association (UFVA http://www.ufva.org), one of the largest organizations of academic and industry professionals within the United States. NextFrame finalists http://www.temple.edu/nextframe/fest.htm are chosen in July. A jury of filmmakers, scholars, film/video academics and industry professionals selects NextFrame's Award Winners http://www.temple.edu/nextframe/0708films/0708fest.htm, who receive product grants and cash prizes from our corporate sponsors.
Internationally recognized as the world's premiere touring festival for showcasing student work, the NextFrame Film Festival dedicates itself to connecting student filmmakers from all backgrounds, providing these makers with a chance to share their unique vision to audiences around the world. Once each year's batch of finalists http://www.temple.edu/nextframe/0708films/0708fest.htm are selected, the festival embarks on a year-long international tour http://www.temple.edu/nextframe/0708films/0708calendar.htm visiting university campuses, museums, media art centers, and independent theaters throughout the US and around the globe.
Summer may have begun in the Northern Hemisphere, but that hasn’t meant any slowly down among ETC faculty members appearing at conferences around the country.
ETC-Pittsburgh Program Director, Drew Davidson, helped run the "Let the Games Begin: 101 Workshop on Making Social Issue Games" at the “Games for Change Festival” held at the Parsons New School of Design, in New York City, on June 2, 2008. While there, Drew also was on the feedback and selection panel for the G4C game idea pitches. Drew also participated in the Petlab Workshop at the Games for Change Festival.
ETC-Global Executive Producer, Don Marinelli, was a panelist at the Games in Education Summit hosted by Guildhall of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, on June 10 & 11, 2008. Marinelli was on a panel titled “Professional/Graduate Programs: What Works, What Doesn’t.” Also included on that panel were Chris Swain from the University of Southern California, Tom Carbone from the University of Central Florida, and Gary Brubaker from Southern Methodist University.
It is safe to say that prior to the most recent Adventure Module for the ETC students in the midst of Boot Camp at ETC-Adelaide, Australia, they had never heard of the small Western Victoria town of Horsham. Situated just inside the border between the Australian states of South Australia and Victoria, Horsham is a quiet little town whose biggest claim to fame might be its location on the main railroad line between Adelaide and Melbourne where it serves as a gateway to the magnificent Grampian Mountain Range.
Getting to the Horsham was part of the adventure as the ETCers, together with ETC Executive producer, Don Marinelli, and ETC Finance Director Cari Marty, boarded the Overland train heading from Adelaide to Melbourne. The Overland is one of three transcontinental trains to be found in Australia, the other two being the renowned Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth, and the Ghan traveling from Adelaide to Darwin in the Northern Territories.
The seven-hour train ride weaved through the hills of Adelaide before traversing the parched prairies of South Australia. It is said that South Australia is the “driest state of the driest continent” and that description was most in evident for the bulk of the journey.
Arriving in Horsham, the ETC contingent taxied over to the Comfort Inn to discover a wonderfully appointed and relaxing motel. It was then time to explore Horsham. Most of the students headed for Toy’s Chinese Restaurant and Mini-Golf where, despite what might be perceived as a distinctly mid-20th century experience, the ETCers discovered a remarkable Chinese-American entrepreneur and chef named Toy who was building a mini-version of the Great Wall of China surrounding his rock-themed mini-golf course. For many of the foreign students this was their first experience with mini-golf and it proved to be an appealing, engaging afternoon in the sun. A delicious dinner followed in the Comfort Inn Restaurant.
Indeed, the highpoint of this overnight Adventure Module was the visit the next day to the renowned Grampian Mountains of Western Victoria State. Named after a mountain range in Scotland, the Grampians feature some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found in the region. Great herds of kangaroos were spotted among the immense olive groves dotting the hillsides as we ascended the mountains. The Grampians featured walking trails where hardwoods shared the ground with palm trees, and where every turn featured a vista of untouched natural splendor.
The return train ride from Horsham to Adelaide was spent early on playing videogames or watching DVDs, but sleep soon overtook the ETC group as Adventure Modules can indeed be hard work both mentally and physically. Arriving back in Adelaide, the ETC team knew they had spent a very special two days getting to know an Australia few visitors experience.