Business of Games Summit
Don't just come to play
The gaming industry is booming, and it will take more than gamers to keep that growth going. At the Ohio University Business of Games Summit (BOGS), we bring together students, educators, entrepreneurs, technologists and industry participants. Join us virtually on February 23, 2021, to explore all aspects of the business of digital games and esports.
At BOGS, we consider perspectives from across the industry: entrepreneurs; software and hardware developers; publishers; investors; marketers; players; spectators and more!
This annual event continues to promote the industry and opportunities in Ohio while encouraging the creation of digital games, technologies, and companies throughout the Midwest.
Hosted by the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship and the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab.
Paul Benedict, director, Center for Entrepreneurship
State of the Industry Address
Chris Volpe, President of Multivarious, Founder and Executive Director of GDEX, President and Founder of Ohio Game Developer Association
Join us to review the games and Esports industries and what impact they will have on the state of Ohio. Chris is a leading advocate for making Ohio a hub for games and Esports innovation.
|11:10 AM||Session break and prize giveaway|
Bringing Video Games to Life: Memoirs from Super Nintendo World
Gary Gardiner, creative director - Dream Flight Adventures; formerly Creative Producer, Universal Creative
Universal Studios is an international leader in theme park innovation. Following the recent opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, Gary will reflect on the project as a whole and how he was able to recreate video games in the real world.
Lunch Break with DJ A-Roc
Hear from current students; learn about gaming opportunities at OHIO; don’t miss more prize giveaways!
Proving your parents wrong: Jobs in games and Esports
Recent OHIO grads with careers in the gaming industry will discuss their experience and share advice.
|1:15 PM||Session break and prize giveaway|
Light your Fuse: Turn your Passion into a Profession
Matt Benson, founder and CEO, eFuse
Join us to hear from (and get "hyped" by) former OHIO Bobcat Matthew Benson, cofounder & CEO of eFuse, the LinkedIn for esports and gaming. At the ripe age of 23, Matthew has raised over $5M in funding, secured over 500,000 users, and been named to the Forbes 30u30 Gaming list.
|2:00 PM||Closing Remarks and final prize giveaway|
This year’s BOGS speakers have each taken a unique professional path to get where they are in gaming. Join us to hear their insight and advice about following your passion to forge your own path.
Matthew Benson is the founder & CEO of eFuse, a gaming social network focused on connecting gamers to one another and to opportunities. Prior to eFuse, Benson spent time at the Ohio Innovation Fund (OIF), a venture capital firm in Columbus, Ohio, as an Investment Analyst and Executive in Residence. Since leaving OIF and starting eFuse, Benson has successfully raised a seed round of investment, solidified partnerships with the biggest gaming creators & brands, as well as scaled the business to hundreds of thousands of users. For more information or to get in contact with Matthew, visit efuse.gg/u/mjb.
Lemar Daniels was named Lourdes University's esports director in July of 2019. He also serves as an assistant track coach, focusing on sprints and hurdles. Daniels, a native of Toledo, arrived at Lourdes from Ohio University, where he was the Director of Operations for Bobcats esports. He was instrumental in setting up the first Bobcat esports Invitational while at Ohio. While at Ohio, Daniels was also the head of the Association of Multicultural Sports Professionals, and was a graduate assistant in the career and student success center.
No stranger to athletics, Daniels served as the director of intramurals and as an assistant women’s volleyball coach at Washington Adventist University prior to his stint at Ohio. A multi-sport student-athlete at Washington Adventist, he competed in cross country, track and field, volleyball, soccer, and acrobatics for the Shock. A 2016 graduate of Washington Adventist with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Daniels earned his master’s degree in both business administration (2018) and sports administration (2019) from Ohio University.
Austin graduated from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in Games and Animation and minoring in Marketing. Austin focuses on C# game programming, but has an extensive background in 3D artistry as well. Games and other technological achievements he’s had a hand in include the following:
- “Gone Wandering,” featured on VICE and PCGamer
- “City of Dublin,” Ohio’s Animal Discovery web game
- Firefighter Proof of Concept HUD for iCode in Los Angeles
- Interactive Web App for Medforall in Columbus, Ohio, designed to help people with disabilities
- “Snow Stars,” a work in progress with company Oogaphobia
Austin is currently the Director of Curriculum at Game-U. Game-U is a company that teaches kids and adults how to make video games. Austin's role at the company is to manage, create, and expand on the curriculum Game-U teaches in all areas of the company.
Bubba currently is the Executive Director of the Varsity Esports Foundation (VEF), as well as an adjunct professor in higher-ed since 2013. The VEF is a non-profit that strives to increase literacy around esports and how to be proactive with such initiatives as healthy lifestyles, curriculum, mental health, diversity and inclusion, toxicity, addictions, suicide prevention, internet safety, and belonging through STEM education and digital citizenship. Bubba has worked in the non-profit and traditional sports industry for 20 years with the YMCA, NCAA, NAIA, Parks and Recs, Sports Commissions, and the Chamber of Commerce. He has been a gamer and self-proclaimed NERD ever since he was a kid when his dad managed Radio Shacks in Oklahoma. Back in 2017, he dove deep into the esports industry through streaming and marketing, then realizing that students in disenfranchised low-income areas did not have the same access as students in the suburbs, so he partnered with many esports organizations to create this foundation. He now works to educate businesses, organizations, and schools about being proactive around the foundation's initiatives and providing a pathway to provide STEM education through gaming and esports clubs in schools.
Gary Gardiner is an accomplished experience designer, producer, and creative manager with broad experience in themed attractions, games, and location-based entertainment. He has served as a manager, technical lead, and game designer on numerous projects for theme parks, family entertainment centers, and museums worldwide. Most recently, Gary was the Creative Producer of the interactive gameplay in Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. Prior to that, Gary founded Dream Flight Adventures, a line of interactive themed environments for schools and museums. A self-proclaimed “imaginerd,” Gary is passionate about pushing the bounds of interactive entertainment and creating unforgettable experiences.
Kelly McCallan is currently a Digital Sales Assistant at Bethesda Softworks. After graduating in 2019 with a degree in Games and Animation, Kelly went on to work for the Walt Disney Company as a marketing intern for the theme parks and resorts in Orlando, Florida. She has since spent the last year on the Digital Sales team at Bethesda Softworks, acting as the liaison between the marketing and sales teams to deliver creative assets to external parties such as Microsoft and Sony. Collaborating with various people and teams across the games industry has always been her passion, and promoting titles such as Fallout, DOOM and the Elder Scrolls has been as fun as it is rewarding, especially in the midst of the next generation of gaming.
Matt graduated from the Honors Tutorial College in May 2019, specializing in journalism, marketing and social media. During his time at OHIO, he published a thesis paper about viral marketing in the gaming and esports industries, captained one of Bobcat Esports' Overwatch teams in Open Division, and competed with the club in TESPA. He now works for the Boston Uprising in the Overwatch League, headquartered at Gillette Stadium alongside the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.
Chris is a leading voice in the Gaming and Creative Technology industry in the Midwest. Coming from a background in both Art & Healthcare, Chris focuses on using cutting edge technology and interactive design principles in innovative ways. Chris believes that gaming is the next Story Telling medium and strives to push the industry forward while pushing to make Columbus and Ohio the new front face of gaming.
Learn more about our programs
If you're considering a career in the gaming industry, look no further. We've got programs that will set you up with everything you need to find success in this growing field.