Gamers take control as big boys come to play
AVID gamers will be in virtual heaven this weekend as 10,000 people descend on the University Of Hull for an annual convention.
Platform 2012 has secured a long list of well-known industry experts and gaming giants to showcase their skills and products.
Building on the success of last year's event, held at the KC Stadium, the expo also aims to help young people find career paths and start businesses in the industry.
From anime characters and costume play to a Sony demonstration of the new PS Vita, the convention aims to have hearts racing.
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Organiser Lindsay West said: "It is a full weekend where delegates can meet people who are at the cutting edge of this massive global industry, as well as taking part in a full programme of fun, games-themed activity."
The expo will also include the second showing of Tom Clancy's highly-anticipated military game Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
It will be the first time the Ubisoft game is shown to fans in the north of England.
Mr West, whose business Garthwest Ltd counts Universal Studios and Sony Music among its clients, said: "Many people are not aware that the University Of Hull has one of the UK's most respected computer games degrees and its students are regularly approached by global names in the business.
"This is just one example of the level of talent emerging from the city."
Darren McKie, games programme leader at the University Of Hull, said: "People don't realise the software development, the artwork and audio involved. For the students to meet people who work in the industry at the convention is great.
"I play a lot of racing games and love Formula One on Xbox 360 because I teach simulation."
Rob Mile, lecturer in computer science at the university, said the students are taking part in a 24-hour race to create a game.
He said: "The competition will be judged by industry experts and prizes will be given out on the Sunday.
"I think Platform is brilliant. Anything that puts the area in the spotlight is great.
"It's absolutely great for the students and makes it more real for them seeing the finished products."
Louis Deane, 21, is a games student at the university and will be taking part in the challenge.
He said: "We are going to be so tired after the competition but I want to see as much of the convention as possible.
"We study the technical side of creating games, so it will be nice to see the artists at work."
He said gaming "influences people's lives" and he hopes, one day, people will be playing games he has worked on.
Ubisoft will also be hosting a Just Dance 3 stage and exhibitors include EA Games and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.
Industry legend Charles Cecil, MBE, of Revolution Games, will speak at the expo, along with Mark Estdale of OM, the UK's most experienced dialogue production team working with video games.
Steve Ince, an award-nominated writer and designer with 18 years of game development experience will also meet fans.
Visit www.platformexpos.com for more information.
The event will run on Saturday from 10.30am to 6pm and Sunday 10.30am to 3pm.
Wristband prices vary from £5 for children to £19.50 for adults, student discounts are available.