E3 Preview with Game Design Program Manager Chris Keeling

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is the gaming industry’s largest annual event highlighting upcoming trends in design and technology. Being held June 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 2012’s expo will feature three days of press conferences from major video game developers and hardware manufacturers, exclusive previews of upcoming releases, and always a few surprises.

Among this year’s E3 attendees will be Chris Keeling, Full Sail’s Game Design Program Manager. Chris is heading out to Los Angeles early next week for the event, and caught up with us beforehand to talk about what he’s expecting from the showcase.

Full Sail: What makes E3 an important conference for you to attend?

Chris Keeling: Everyone’s showing their best material, a lot of new stuff gets announced, and we get to preview all the toys. It’s not only a lot of fun, but so much news comes out, and it’s great to be on site when it happens. We’re trying to pass industry knowledge onto our students, and to do that we really have to stay current.

FS: What are you most excited about seeing this year?

CK: I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of changes take place in the social media space. Things are merging together where you’re getting more serious games in a social atmosphere, so I want to see how that evolves.

There’s also expected to be some big technology announcements, like the Unreal 4 engine. We already teach Unreal 3 here in our program, and I’d really like to see what we’ll be teaching next year.

FS: Why should students pay attention to events like E3?

CK: Especially in gaming you need to be aware of changing trends, because it moves so quickly. There’s a lot of different technologies driving how we move forward, and E3 is the place where we get to see where we’re going.