Brock University students shine at national convention

A group of GAME students recently hit the road to share their Brock experience and award-winning game with the world.

The fourth-year Brock students were invited to attend the sold-out Anime North 2023 convention after their game, Mousu, beat out 100 other teams to win first place in the People’s Choice category at the 2023 Level Up Student Showcase last month.

Anime North 2023 is Canada’s largest convention celebrating anime, manga, games and other elements of Japanese culture. The event ran from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, May 28 at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel.

GAME student Simon Cummings found it rewarding to see people engaging with the team’s creation, which follows a group of warrior mice working to defeat enemy forces and reclaim ‘Micedom.’

“We gained a lot of valuable feedback. This was my first time at a convention, it made the experience twice as engaging,” he said.

Fellow GAME student Adam Julien also appreciated the chance to meet so many new people while showcasing Mousu.

“It was very rewarding to see a project that we worked on receive such high praise and amazing feedback,” he said.

Exhibiting at a three-day convention was an important experiential learning opportunity, allowing the students to hone vital skills needed for a successful career in the digital gaming industry.

Engaging with the public and exhibiting their work at industry-related events like Anime North 2023 “will be a key part of their professional life,” said Tom Brown, Technical Associate, Research and Learning Support. Brown provided on-site guidance and technical support for the students during the convention.

“It was also a fun chance for the students to interact with people who share the same cultural space,” Brown said.

The sold-out Anime North event offered a unique recruitment opportunity for Brock as attendees were able to speak with the students about their academic experiences in the GAME program, a joint program between the Departments of Digital Humanities and Computer Science at Brock and Niagara College in which students take courses at both institutions.

“Showcasing student work in sector-specific venues is an important way for Brock students to tell their story,” said Matt Melnyk, Director of Student Recruitment, which supported the team’s participation in the event

“Students who may not have otherwise considered Brock, or realized they would find a home here with peers and programs that align with their interests, were able to get a glimpse of our students’ work and our community,” he said. “Authenticity is very important.”