Troy University will have a strong presence at Fanaticon, the Dothan-based pop culture fan festival taking place this weekend at the Dothan Civic Center, Dothan Opera House and Wiregrass Museum of Art.
Dr. Scout Blum, a professor in the University’s Department of History and Philosophy who championed the University’s new Game Development and Design minor, will host two panels at the Wiregrass Museum of Art focusing on the value of gaming.
Her first panel, “Games in the Classroom: How to Empower Kids with Designing and Learning from Games,” takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday on the museum’s first floor.
It is immediately followed by Blum’s second panel, “It’s Not Just for Grown Ups: How Kids Can Publish Their Own Games,” at 1 p.m.
“I will be at Fanaticon not as much in my capacity as an instructor here, but with my company, Mockingbird Games,” said Blum, who founded the game design business to assist designers in making board, card and roleplaying games. “I’ll be doing a panel on teaching with games, and I’ll also be doing a panel where several of the kids who have designed games with us at Mockingbird Games will talk about their experiences.”
Mockingbird will also be selling its first published game, Face to Face, at Fanaticon.
“My son, Aiden Blum, had an amazing idea for a game, and so we did that first game,” she said. “We got the game produced in Hong Kong. It’s a card game where animals have disappeared and you are trying to put the animals back where they belong.”
TROY will also have a booth set up at the convention promoting various University programs, including the Game Design and Development minor as well as the Game Design Certificate, which is available for the general public through Continuing Education and Outreach.
“There are three courses with the certificate, five weeks long each, and they take someone from having an idea about a game to being able to pitch it and get it ready for publishers,” Blum said. “We have three courses with three different instructors taking them through process of building a game. The certificate program is for someone who has an idea for a game but wants a little more structure.”
Fanaticon is a weekend-long event featuring informative panels, comic book and acting workshops, live music, costuming, celebrity guests and curated vendors and artists in a variety of genres.
This year’s event kicks off Friday, Oct. 4 and lasts through Sunday, Oct. 6. For more information, visit the official Fanaticon website.