Gaming festival returns to Barrie, playing at downtown theatre and City Hall

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A burst of free gaming packaged with technology, creativity and innovation is coming back to town as Barrie celebrates the third annual Game On! festival, this Saturday.
The event is being held in partnership with the Barrie Public Library’s Comic Con and features retro gaming, video game competitions, virtual reality and more.
“We’re thrilled to host the third annual Game On event, featuring local companies involved in the fast-growing gaming and e-sports industry,” Karen Dubeau, the City’s Director of the Creative Economy, is quoted saying.
“With over $1.1 billion annually, the sector is rapidly expanding, creating new job opportunities for gamers, artists, programmers and musicians. It’s a great event for anyone interested in learning more about gaming and esports to try things out, meet developers and get connected in this community.”
The festival takes takes place from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. at two downtown locations:
1) Five Points Theatre, presented by Pratt Homes and Development (1 Dunlop St. W).
• Compete in a Super Smash Bros 64 drop in competition hosted by local YouTube channel RekAllTheThings for a chance to win a prize!
• Do you have what it takes to beat the all-mighty Mike Tyson? Well, now is your chance to prove you can­ – in the Mike Tyson Punch out challenge on NES, sponsored by Barrie’s own Power Up Gaming. If you beat him, you may just win a prize!
• Explore video game stations featuring a variety of retro arcade games to new generation and VR, sponsored by Power Up Gaming and Last Level Lounge.
• Meet local video game developers, learn what it’s like to work in the industry, and how to get involved.  Vendors will be onsite showcasing video game-related artwork, technology, and more.
2) City Hall Rotunda (70 Collier St.)
• Refine your board gaming skills with demos and drop-ins with Sir Games-A-Lot!
• Build Barrie’s ultimate community board game with BRIX. Put your own twist on the rules, rewards, and challenges crafted by friends, neighbours, and gamers! Give your iteration a whirl, and see how it grows with everyone’s new additions. 
• Go behind-the-scenes with Barrie Robotics! Now is your opportunity to test, drive and play with robots – and earn your ‘Licence to Drive’, signed by Mayor Jeff Lehman.
• Learn about the history of gaming and where many of our world’s popular games originated from – with International Student Ambassadors from Georgian College!
• Try your hands (literally) at Conductive Fabric Gaming, using Capacitive Touch with Georgian College’s Maker Space.
The annual celebration features a new twist this year: Game On! After Dark, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Five Points Theatre. Activities include:
• Featured Cosplayers will be onsite for a cosplay mixer and mingle, with a chance at being named Barrie’s Ultimate Cosplayer and walk home with a prize.
• Participate in a drop-in video game competition where players will compete on multiple gaming platforms from PS4, Xbox one, Nintendo 64, an arcade cabinet and pinball machine while playing various styles of video games from Mortal Kombat 11, Call of Duty: Black Op’s 4 Zombies and Mario Kart 64. The players with the four top highest scores will advance to the final round, and battle it out on the big screen with Super Smash Bros Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch. The winner will be crowned Barrie’s Ultimate Gamer and walk home with a prize.
• Escape on the Go will be onsite with a Stranger Things escape room. Escape with the fastest time and you may be walking home with a prize, curtesy of OMG! Games.
For more information about Game On! visit barrie.ca or facebook.com/CreativeBarrie. Share the event through social media using the hashtag #GameOnBarrie.

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