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A Guide to Video Game Events in Wisconsin: 2018 Edition

As previously detailed on our blog, Wisconsin’s game development scene is thriving. In addition to being home to a growing list of development studios, each year our beautiful state also hosts a number of video game-related events – a wide array of trade shows and meetups designed for developers, gamers, and academics alike. With so many events to pick from, we thought it would be helpful to compile a list of some of the highlights. Here are a few of our favorite gaming events happening right here in Wisconsin:

Midwest Gaming Classic – Milwaukee, WI – April 13-15, 2018

The Midwest Gaming Classic is the region’s largest gaming trade show, featuring over 100,000 square feet of retro and contemporary consoles, arcade games, pinball machines, computers, tabletop games, card games, and more! Learn more about the beloved annual event by visiting their official website.

UW-Whitewater MAGD Expo – Whitewater, WI – May 9, 2018

UW-Whitewater’s Media Arts and Game Development Expo is a yearly exhibition of locally-developed video games and other interactive works. Featuring numerous playable games, a keynote presentation, and several cash prizes for exhibitors, the MAGD Expo is not to be missed!

Play Make Learn – Madison, WI – August 13-14, 2018

The spiritual successor to the now-defunct Games, Learning & Society Conference, Play Make Learn is an annual gathering of game developers, academics, and enthusiasts interested in promoting the research, industry, and practice of play. Fans of game-based learning and serious games – don’t miss this two day gathering held at UW-Madison’s Union South!

M+DEV – Madison, WI – October 19, 2018

Last year, local industry association the Wisconsin Games Alliance kicked off the inaugural M+DEV conference, Madison’s first-ever professional video game development show. Last year’s event featured world-class speakers like Deus Ex creator Warren Spector and Candy Crush Saga’s Tommy Palm, attracting hundreds of professional and soon-to-be game developers from Wisconsin, the midwest, and beyond.

Indie Arcade – Madison, WI – Various dates

Indie Arcade is a recurring showcase of independently developed video games from the Madison area (and beyond)! Their most recent event was held at beer garden Robinia Courtyard and featured 10 upcoming games like Bombsworders, Indie Pogo, and 1000 button 2D fighter Centennable. For more info on their next event, check out Indie Arcade’s page on Facebook or Twitter.

Madison Fem Dev – Madison, WI – Various dates

Fem Dev is a newly formed group dedicated to promoting gender diversity for women, non-binary, femme, and girl-identifying people in the local games industry. Started by Human Head Studios Community Manager Katherine Stull, Fem Dev hopes to strengthen Madison’s game dev community through recurring networking opportunities and other social events.

UW-Stout Stout Game Expo – Menomonie, WI – Various dates

A semi-annual showcase featuring games developed by UW-Stout game design students, the Stout Game Expo (SGX) is free and open to the public. With UW-Stout’s game design program ranking among the top in the nation, you’re bound to see a variety of high-quality, original games on display.

This concludes our list of gaming events happening right here in America’s Dairyland! Which Wisconsin gaming events will you be attending this year? Planning on going to a different event that we didn’t list? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter!


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