Public invited to UCSD’s video game fest


Thousands will battle it out in what promises to be one of the largest video game tournaments in Southern California Jan. 16-17 at UCSD. The sixth annual Winter Game Fest will feature several new video games, such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Madden 2010, Call of Duty 4 and more.

More than 48 consoles, 72 TVs and 13 projectors running beginner-friendly Wii games and professional video game tournaments will be featured in the Price Center Ballrooms from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The two-day tournament, which is open to the public, is expected to attract more than 2,000 video game enthusiasts and features one of the largest Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments in the West Coast.

The annual Winter Game Fest attracted 1,600 people last year and is organized by students at UC San Diego’s Sixth College. Sixth College is a part of the university’s unique six-college system which offers undergraduate students the benefits of a small-campus neighborhood atmosphere for social life, housing, and dining along with opportunities for involvement in student government and community activities – while retaining the academic advantages of a major research university.

“This event should be the biggest and best Winter Game Fest yet,” said Aubert Demaray, Sixth College Technology Committee vice commissioner. “We have $5,000 in cash prizes, more games than last year and many sponsors.”

In addition to professional video game tournaments, the event will feature beginner-friendly games, such as Sega Genesis and Nintendo. There will be art displays inspired by video games, and event sponsors, including Blizzard Entertainment, Grip-iT and Gunnar Optiks will present their latest software.

“We hope to attract a diverse crowd that will have fun whether they’re gamers or not,” Demaray said. Demaray is a Sixth College senior double majoring in economics and biochemistry.

Six College’s programming is designed to explore how culture, art and technology intersect with one another. “Video gaming is an excellent illustration of how the three come together,” Elaine Scott Sixth College student life officer said. “Both art and technology go into creating video games and the games help create cultures because they bring people together.”

Demaray took the position of Sixth College Tech Committee vice commissioner specifically because he wanted to help make this event an enduring tradition at UC San Diego, he said. “Students have really enjoyed the event in the past,” he said. “It’s something that the San Diego community can participate in as well.”

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— Source: UCSD Communications and Public Affairs