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WMU hosts region's largest gaming convention

March 17, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Like to play games? Then Western Michigan University is the place to be this month.

WMU will play host to Southwest Michigan's largest gaming convention Friday through Sunday, March 24-26. Called Marmalade Dog 11, the public event will feature a variety of board, card, role-playing and miniature games as well as special events and a vendor area where businesses related to the hobby gaming industry will exhibit their wares.

Marmalade Dog, now in its 11th year, is being sponsored by the Western Michigan Gamers Guild, a registered student organization at WMU that also is open to nonstudents. The convention is named after the WMGG's mythical mascot--a shaggy orange dog wearing a horned helmet and bandoleer.

Most of the 2006 convention's activities will take place in the first-floor tennis court of WMU's Student Recreation Center. Some activities, including the sixth annual LAN party from 10 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday, will take place in the East Ballroom of the nearby Bernhard Center.

For the LAN party, participants set up their own computers and play video games together on a network. Although players are welcome to run whatever games they wish, convention organizers will have servers prepared for the two tournament games, F.E.A.R. and Quake 4, plus Battlefield 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Call of Duty 2, FarCry and Unreal Tournament 2004. The tournament is a collaborative effort by the BoxHeads, Repeat Offender and the WMGG.

The convention also will include a Settlers of Catan Grand Prize Tournament 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader Tournament 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, a miniature figure painting contest, and a charity auction benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Another returning convention mainstay will be the anime screening room. Put on by the registered student organization Anime Addicts, it will feature video projection screenings of various animated and live-action Japanese TV programs.

While mostly harmless, some presentations may not be appropriate for children. Screenings will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The series will start with "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children" and end with "Gankutsuou" episodes 14 and 15.

Marmalade Dog 11 admission fees are $20 for all three days, $15 for Friday and Saturday only or Saturday and Sunday only, $10 for Saturday only, and $7 for Friday or Sunday only. WMGG members with photo ID will receive a $5 discount on their total admission.

Registration and game times will vary throughout the weekend. The doors will be open from 2:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

A Friday-only parking pass may be purchased for $5. Parking will be free at meters in most lots around the convention site on Saturday and Sunday.

WMGG has a mix of student and nonstudent members, but only enrolled WMU students may serve as officers. The organization gives members a chance to meet gamers who share their interests as well as a convenient and consistent time and place to play in pick-up games and long-term campaigns. Members also have access to WMGG's game materials library of more than 1,000 items and receive discounts on WMGG tournaments and gaming events.

For more Marmalade Dog information or to register as a player, game master or exhibitor, visit the convention Web site at www.marmaladedog.org.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400