January 18, 2011

Otronicon: The coolness continues

Jeff Stanford, the Orlando Science Center’s vice president of communications, admitted that performance anxiety is a real threat to the staff when they’re planning Otronicon. There’s a need to each year top what was done before.

So far, they’ve managed to do it.

This year, one of the founding sponsors, Full Sail University, ended its five-year run so its staff could focus on other objectives. That could have been a real setback. But it opened the door for the University of Central Florida and its Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy to come in with new workshops and ideas. And the arrival of EA Sports, Stanford told me, made Otronicon “like a new show.”

Even so, Otronicon has continued to focus on career opportunities. Many exhibits, especially the medical and flight simulators, clearly highlight career paths. Posters throughout the center are designed to help kids match their interests and skills to jobs in the gaming and simulation businesses.

It’s this ability to connect the fun to the fundamental that makes OSC an important part of the community. And when I say “community,” I don’t mean just Orlando. OSC’s reputation drew school groups from as far away as Rhode Island.

"Psst…let the bounty hunter win."
Orlando Science Center photo

At this point, there’s no telling what the OSC team will come up with for the 2012 show. But at Otronicon, OSC announced it will host the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit starting in the fall of 2012. It will run through the subsequent Otronicon, so for 2013, at least, the crew will get some anxiety relief.

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