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BYU's First Video Game Symposium

Saturday (Feb. 12 –14), the TMA department hosted a Video Game Studies Symposium, the brainchild of our own Benjamin Thevenin. More than ten different academic departments were represented at the symposium, with over forty presenters including many undergraduate media arts students. Presentations were well attended. Over sixty students volunteered their services the days of the symposium to help things run smoothly, and over a hundred people attended the symposium opening social on Thursday evening. You may have noticed all the living room sofas from different decades assembled around video game consoles. Attendees of the symposium had a great time experiencing what it was like in the 1970s, 80s, or 90s to play the games of that era. Saturday morning, Jason Anthony, an Associate Editor with Time, Inc.who is also a game designer and scholar, gave the keynote address of the symposium following a delicious breakfast. Benjamin met Jason when he was in graduate school, studying the intersection of religion and gaming. Jason's presentation was titled, "ImMortal Kombat: Conflict, Chaos and Redemption through (Better) Gaming," which explored some of those intersections. Benjamin observed, "It was great to see our media arts students present along side professors." The symposium, thanks to the contributions of so many people, including the conference committee, Bronte Campbell, Seth Holladay, Kelyn Ikegami, Hunter Philips, Jennessa Smith and Sharon Swenson, was a huge success!