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Tune In: Videogame pioneer and Xbox co-creator Ed Fries to speak in SMU Guildhall’s Game Changers Speaker Series Friday, Feb. 2, 2018

Ed Fries, Game Changers Speaker Series, February 2018

Ed Fries, a videogaming pioneer and entrepreneur who helped create the first version of the Xbox console, will speak at SMU at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. His visit, the latest event in the Game Changers Speaker Series, will be livestreamed by SMU Guildhall on Twitch TV.

> Watch Ed Fries at SMU on Friday, Feb. 2: twitch.tv/smuguildhall

Fries joined Microsoft in 1986 as one of the early developers of the Word and Excel applications. He founded Microsoft Game Studios and served as vice president of game publishing during much of the Xbox’s life cycle. He retired from the company in 2004 and since then has served as an adviser to dozens of studios on interactive projects ranging from esports to healthcare to virtual reality. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

During his SMU visit, Fries will discuss the early history of the video game business and explore important topics currently facing the industry.

The Game Changers Speaker Series, established in 2015, brings industry professionals to campus to deliver special topics presentations to the SMU Guildhall student body, alumni and community as an extension of Guildhall’s mission – to educate and inspire the next generation of video game developers.

> Visit SMU Guildhall online: guildhall.smu.edu

SMU Guildhall students play games for good during 2017 Extra Life Game-a-Thon Dec. 2-3

Extra Life logo 2017This weekend, you can join SMU Guildhall for 24 hours of esports excitement and gaming for good – all from the comfort of your living room.

The Guildhall’s Extra Life Game-a-Thon returns Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, 2017, to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network. The student-led event features online battles in both popular titles and new student-designed games, and the event will be streamed from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. both days on the SMU Guildhall Twitch channel.

Watch Extra Life 2017 live at Twitch.TV/SMUGuildhall

Guildhall graduate students have raised more than $12,000 for Children’s Medical Center Plano during their two years of Extra Life competition. The team has set a 2017 goal of $7,500, with The Hersh Foundation pledging to match dollar-for-dollar all funds raised up to $10,000. The Dallas-based foundation was created in 1997 by Kenneth A. Hersh, president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and his wife, Julie, who serves as its president.

> Visit Team SMU Guildhall’s Extra Life direct-donation link

The students will return with some of the most popular competition titles, including Mario Party, Rocket League Tournament and Overwatch. New this year: Mowin’ and Throwin’, a full-length game designed by Guildhall alumni that began as a 24-hour design challenge during last year’s game-a-thon.

> Sign up for a Mowin’ and Throwin’ play test at House Pixel Games

A partial list of this year’s tournament titles:

The event will include an appearance by local esports team Dallas Fuel, competitors in the new Overwatch League. They will discuss the life of a professional esports gamer beginning at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday. In addition, SMU Guildhall will give away two copies of Star Wars Battlefront II provided by alumni donors; more giveaways and fun activities will take place throughout the weekend and will be announced during the streams of each game.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick children through thousands of gamers from around the world, raising funds from friends and community to help heal sick and injured kids. One hundred percent of donations, which are tax-deductible, go to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

> Read the press release from the SMU Guildhall website

> Learn more at the SMU Guildhall Extra Life team page