SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – As the nation continues to tread through the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may be looking for an outlet for some relief.
Virtual entertainment has certainly served as an avenue to ease the mind of content consumers, and students in the University of Utah’s nationally ranked Entertainment Arts and Engineering video game department program are helping as well.
Wednesday, April 22, EAE students will host their annual “EAE Launch 2020”, it’s an all-day event where students will showcase and the discuss the games they produced for the year. The event is set to take place from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Due to social distancing guidelines, the “EAE Launch” for the first time will be held virtually on the live video streaming service Twitch, by clicking on the U’s official Twitch channel www.twitch.tv/universityofutah
The graduating University of Utah class of 2020 will present over 45 student produced games, viewers will see trailers, live gameplay, and interviews with the student teams.
“Using twitch, virtual visitors can see a collection of amazing student made games, hear about remarkable EAE research that changes people’s lives and get the inside scoop on the game development process from the student creators themselves,” said Micheal Young, EAE’s director.
Some of the games to be displayed include “Chromalition,” a game with rollerblading graffiti artists; “We Went Back,” a psychological horror game that takes place on a moon base; “Chicken Chuckin,’” a demolition derby game with exploding chickens; and “Kane’s Shadow,” a rhythm-based game about confronting past trauma.
Video games are playing a critical role in helping individuals through the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization is supporting the #PlayApartTogether initiative launched by game developers worldwide to encourage people to keep themselves entertained with video games while practicing physical distancing.
WHO officials also believe games can be used to spread important messages about the pandemic such as observing safety measures and hand hygiene and can be a tool to safely connect family and friends.
Entertainment Arts and Engineering, under the U’s College of Engineering, launched in 2007 and has quickly become one of the most highly regarded video game development programs in the nation. The EAE program was recently ranked the No. 1 public university in games worldwide, according to the latest rankings by The Princeton Review.
To see a schedule for the Twitch stream and a list of the game demos on display during “EAE Launch,” go to: https://games.utah.edu/news/eae-launch-party-20/.