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Video Game Events in Wisconsin: A 2020 Calendar

Wisconsin is an awesome place to make, study, and play video games! (And I’m not just saying that because of our unbearably long winters…though that certainly helps). ❄️

Fact: Wisconsin is home to a thriving game development scene. Another fact: this growing scene is supported by a robust network of game design and development college programs. And for my final fact? Get this – our state also hosts a variety of gaming-related events year-round! Here’s our handy guide to the many video game-related trade shows, meetups, and events happening all throughout 2020:


When: February 14, 2020
Where: Madison, WI
What: The Midwest Game Developers Conference (M+DEV) is BACK for 2020 – this time, on Valentine’s Day! Organized by local gamedev organization the Wisconsin Games Alliance, M+DEV offers attendees a jam-packed day of speaking sessions, game demos, and networking opportunities, attracting hundreds of aspiring and professional game developers from Wisconsin, the midwest, and beyond.

Midwest Gaming Classic

When: April 3-5, 2020

Where: Milwaukee, WI
What: With roots tracing back all the way to 2001, the Midwest Gaming Classic is truly a Wisconsin gaming classic! An annual celebration of all things gaming, the trade show boasts 150,000+ square feet of retro and contemporary game consoles, pinball and arcade machines, PCs, tabletop board and card games, and more – making it a can’t-miss event for midwest gaming enthusiasts!

UW-Whitewater MAGD Expo

When: May 2020
Where: Whitewater, WI
What: Each year, UW-Whitewater hosts the MAGD Expo – a public showcase of projects from their game design and development students. Featuring playable game demos, a keynote presentation, and cash prizes for exhibitors, MAGD Expo is an awesome (and free!) way to get hands-on time with game projects handcrafted by the next generation of game developers.

UW-Stout Game Expo (SGX)

When: Spring 2020 and Winter 2020
Where: Menominee, WI
What: UW-Whitewater isn’t the only game dev school to offer a student showcase – UW-Stout offers a semi-annual show of their own called the Stout Game Expo (SGX)! Offering attendees the chance to play dozens of free games created by students of all levels, SGX is another must-attend event for folks wishing for hands-on time with bleeding edge student games!

Play Make Learn

When: August 13-14, 2020
Where: Madison, WI
What: Play Make Learn is a super cool, super local game-based learning event, taking place each year at UW-Madison’s Union South. An annual gathering of game developers, academics, and enthusiasts alike, the event highlights all things relating to the research, industry, and practice of play – with a special focus on projects and innovations from Wisconsin and the greater midwest.

Filament’s Extra Life Livestream

When: November 7, 2020
Where: twitch.tv/filamentgames
What: Each November, our studio comes together to help raise money for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin through Extra Life – an all-day gaming livestream! Last year, we livestreamed games like Super Monkey Ball 2, Kerbal Space Program, and Kirby Super Star, raising more than $2,000 for kids in need – and we invite you to join us this coming November for Extra Life 2020!

Pixel Picnic

When: Various dates
Where: Madison, WI
What: We’re rounding out today’s list with Pixel Picnic, a Madison group which helps bring together game creators with diverse gender identities through events, game jams, and networking opportunities. Learn more about the group and find out when their next monthly meeting is taking place on their Facebook page!

More Wisconsin gamedev resources:
Wisconsin Games Alliance website
Madison Indies (Facebook Group)
Midwest Game Developers (Facebook Group)

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