Columbia game expo draws hundreds

6 months 1 week 3 days ago Saturday, February 09 2019 Feb 9, 2019 Saturday, February 09, 2019 5:55:00 PM CST February 09, 2019 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - More than 300 gamers came to test their skills Saturday at the first ever COMO Game Expo at the Stoney Creek Conference Center.

Competitors had the chance to go head-to-head in games like Super Smash Brother Ultimate and Fortnite. 

MU student and Fortnite competitor Nic Boly said he learned about the competition through his roommate.

"He knows I'm always up late just playing a little bit," he said.

Boly said he was surprised by what he saw.

"I really didn't expect this type of experience here. There's a lot of people here and it's really a professional setup," he said.

Logan Duggan, an 11-year-old Fortnite competitor, said he really enjoys competitions like this one.

"It influences you to do better and it's fun or exciting," he said.

The expo offers more than just competition.

Tron Jordheim is the co-founder of the table game Starship Junkyard. He said Columbia is a hotbed for game development.

"You have an MU professor who created a game called Feudom. That is just a cult classic. It's a hit all over the country, all over the world, really," he said."

Jordheim said conferences like this are extremely helpful for game developers like himself.

"It allows us to talk to people who are gaming. It allows us to network with each other and share ideas and successes that we've had in building games together," he said.

Jordheim, a sales and marketing consultant, created Starship Junkyard as a sales training and team-building exercise at another gaming conference last year.

"It turned out to be just hilarious and fun and so we've taken it to market," he said. 

Jordheim said it's important to not forget the power of game-playing.

"As adults, we forget sometimes how important play is for learning," he said. "We take training, education and coaching very seriously which is great, but what makes a lesson stick is when you play and laugh and have fun and goof around with something."

Jondheim said he's creating a Kickstarter campaign for the game. He hopes to raise around $15,000.

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