The Ottumwa Courier

September 13, 2013

Ottumwa showing why it is video game capital of the world

By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — The video game capital of the world has, until recently, not been fully living up to its name, some gaming experts say.

But thanks to the growing popularity of the Grasscity Gaming Expo and Full Sea Productions, video gameaholics certainly have something to be excited about.

The expo, which will take place Oct. 18 and 19 at the Indian Hills Community College Advanced Technologies Center, will give gamers a chance to show off their skills and knowledge against other area players. Full Sea will also be displaying their third app, which is set to hit the Apple App Store in the next month.

"We will let people be beta testers," CEO Scott Mooney said. "It lets them understand what goes into making a game."

Several tournaments, including games from every genre that coordinators Josh and Liz Bolinger could get, will take up much of the weekend with trophies and even cash prizes on the line. Attendees can also join in card games, board games, rock-paper-scissors and slapjack tournaments.

Over 50 different console and PC games will be available for play, and artwork, pinball and arcade machines will be on display throughout the weekend. Game Consoles Worldwide will also be showing off their new emmulator, the Zero.

Those who have pinball or arcade machines are encouraged to bring them and will receive a free weekend pass for doing so. All machines are welcome, whether their purpose is to be shown off, played or sold.

The expo, now in its third year, has grown immensely since the Bolingers first had the idea to host an event for gamers.

"We were just going to start small and play games at our place, but it got bigger and bigger," Josh said. "We rented out a meeting room at the Bridge View Center but had to upgrade because there were so many people."

Now the expo has grown to new heights, and the Bolingers and Full Sea Productions are partnering up to try and bring more popularity to the video game world around Ottumwa.

The expo has grown every year, from 250 guests the first year to over 300 last year. With the added popularity of the apps from Full Sea Productions, this year's event is surely not going to disappoint.

The doors open at 10 a.m. both days and stay open until 9 p.m. Single-day and weekend passes can be purchased online at grassrootsgamingexpo.com or at the doors for $15 and $12. A special gamer's package is also being offered for $40, which includes a goodie bag filled with a T-shirt, button, decal, limited edition poster and other items.