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What is it?

Level-Up Downtown is a free one-day event on Saturday Jan 11, 2020 at the new UCF Downtown Campus aimed at informing the local community students and parents of the opportunities in the video game and technology industries.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Jr. A graduate of Jones High School, Dr. Gates is a theoretical physicist and served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He currently serves as Director of the Brown Theoretical Physics Center. The event will also include informative tours, interactive displays and workshops. Lunch will be provided.

Where is it?

The 3rd annual Press Play Conference will be hosted by the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF Downtown. 500 W. Livingston St, Orlando, FL 32801

Who Is Invited?

Any middle and high school student in the downtown core and surrounding neighborhood who are interested in games and simulation as an educational path or career choice. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend.

Who Are Your Partners?

OCPS, Orlando Science Center, Electronic Arts, Elevate Orlando, City of Orlando, Orlando Economic Partnership, Urban Think Foundation and many more.


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Schedule of Events

9:00 am – 10 am

Guests and parents sign-in

10:00 am – 10:45 am

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Jr.

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch (CMB 182)

Free lunch provided

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm – Panel Discuss (CMB 182)

Capping off 2020 Press Play Conference, the moderated panel will discuss the latest trends in technology industries including the size of the industries, its culture, career paths, education needed and how to create a successful creative career.

2:00 pm Book Signing by Dr. Gates (CMB Lobby)

“Proving Einstein Right: The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe”


PressPlay Sessions

The Art & Science of Motion Capture (Studio 500)

Have you ever seen the animation process called motion capture? Come see the silver dots and cameras in action, with a demonstration in FIEA’s Motion Capture studio; and learn more of how the technology was developed.

The Many Roles of Programmers & Engineers (Zelda Classroom, CMB 115T)

Are you thinking about becoming a game developer? Think programmers just code? Join the programming session to learn more about what it takes to be a software engineer. This session covers the many domains of engineering that make up software development as we share the variety of tasks programmers do every day; including tools analysis and testimonials about how today’s engineers make their careers.

How to Become a Digital Artist (Mario Classroom, CMB 116)

Ever wonder how the characters and worlds from your favorite video games or movies are made? Come join us for an introduction into the visual track of digital art creation. We will show you how art is created in CG including the different avenues available for careers and what you need to study to prepare for a successful art career.

Composing Great Video Music (Theater)

You’ve got a killer game, CG film or animation in production – make sure you get killer original music too! The trick is knowing how to work with composers. This session explores how to build a successful working relationship between producers and musical composers.

What Is A Producer? (The Bridge, CMB 127)

Interested in designing digital products or leading a team of talented developers? This session will focus on the technical and creative skills utilized in the various roles that make up game production including game design, leadership and management. It will highlight the tools and techniques utilized by today’s talented producers.

This is BIG - Learn more about getting into UCF - Freshman Undergraduate Admissions