Orlando video game devs: You need thick skin … and a lot of assets

Orlando video game developers Caris Frazier-Baker and Brian Stabile have been working two years to bring their jai alai game to life.

That has meant an aggressive and tireless promotional effort, which has put them on the floor of video game conferences across the U.S.

What have they learned by going through this process with Jai Alai Heroes? The OVG asked them.

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From Atari 2600 to rapping about Final Fantasy VII. A chat with Mega Ran.

It started with the Atari 2600.

A young Raheem Jarbo sat in his living room in Philadelphia, gobbling up pellets in Pac Man and jumping pits and running the jungles of Pitfall.

That became an obsession with the Super Nintendo and then PlayStation, which ultimately led to Final Fantasy VII, as it often did.

Now, Raheem Jarbo, AKA Mega Ran, travels the country performing his rap songs based on the giant video game franchise.

In a far-reaching interview, we talked about his obsession with the game and some of his rap influences.

Continue reading From Atari 2600 to rapping about Final Fantasy VII. A chat with Mega Ran.

Pac Man maze coming to Orlando next year

If you have ever wanted to be chased through a maze by Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde – and who among us hasn’t? – the folks at Orlando Weekly shared some news that should get you excited.

A real-life Pac Man maze will come to Orlando next October as part of a newly created attraction.

It will put players in a layout similar to the popular video game, with the goal being to navigate the maze and collect fruit along the way.

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3 industry pros receive Full Sail hall of fame nods

Three video game professionals were among the six Full Sail University alumni named to the Winter Park school’s Hall of Fame class of 2019.

Erin Eberhardt of Blizzard Entertainment, sound designer Mark Kilborn and Insomniac Games’ head of technology Shaun McCabe will be inducted in a March ceremony.

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Game-a-thon at Full Sail sails past $10K goal for Arnold Palmer Hospital

Extra Life’s Full Sail University event raised more than $10,000.

WINTER PARK – A charity video gaming event at Full Sail University sailed past its $10,000 goal on Saturday evening and exceeded $12,000 raised for Arnold Palmer Hospital.

More than 500 gamers spent a portion of a 25-hour period that ended at about 8 a.m. on Sunday playing video games after soliciting donations from fans and friends.

“We are grateful for any support we can get but this taps into a group of individuals that sometimes get overlooked,” Stephen Dinon, Arnold Palmer Hospital’s manager of corporate partnerships, told The OVG. “We are excited that they have engaged and are just going with it.”

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Florida’s new Call of Duty League team: The Mutineers

The Florida-based team of the brand-new Activision-Blizzard Call of Duty League will be called the Mutineers, the outfit announced on Monday.

The team will host official events for the league starting in January at a yet-to-be-announced home facility.

The Mutineers, which announced Saturday on Twitter that it would announce its rosters soon, are a product of the Misfits Gaming Group, an Overwatch League team based in Orlando and Boca Raton.

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Mega Ran to bring video game rap to The Abbey

Performing in Orlando will be nothing new to Raheem Jarbo, the Philly-born rapper who goes by the stage name “Mega Ran.” The 41-year-old has been spitting his video game-related rhymes to Central Florida audiences for nearly a decade.

During that time, he has seen the genre of so-called nerdcore music expand.

“We have an interesting thing going on,” Mega Ran said in an email interview with The OVG. “We’re too experienced to be called a new genre, yet not accepted or noticed by the mainstream, but I’m able to come to cities like Orlando and see packed houses for our concerts. It’s pretty amazing. (It’s) very special to return and see old and new faces rocking out.”

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Magic Gaming’s summer tourney earns NBA recognition

The Orlando Magic’s esports outfit took home hardware in two of the league’s four categories of its end-of-season awards last month. The team received the Partnership of the Year award for its integration with Orlando Health and Local Activation of the Year for hosting one of the league’s major events at Full Sail University.

It was part of the league’s NBA 2K League Team Business Awards, handed out during the league’s NBA 2K League workshop in Indianapolis.

Continue reading Magic Gaming’s summer tourney earns NBA recognition