SXSW for Kids: ScreenBurn 2012Posted by Sarah on March 08, 2012
Road Trip, San Antonio! Grab the kids and head up to Austin for the ScreenBurn Arcade at SXSW. What? You thought SXSW was only for adults? Nope – ScreenBurn is a kids’ playground…with a hall full of excitement…and Legos! Best of all – it’s free and open to the public. (Parking is just $7)
This year, spend the afternoons of March 9th – 11th at the Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, in Austin in a gamer’s goldmine! Check out the Professional Gaming Tournaments when fan-favorite pro gamers compete in StarCraft II and League of Legends showmatches. Explore the ScreenBurn Arcade with panel sessions and signings that get you the inside scoop on games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Call of Duty Elite. And you wouldn’t want to miss the Cosplay competition with fans dressed as their favorite iconic video game characters or the dance off between the Texas Roller Derby Girls and the Star Wars’ Storm Troopers.
FREE and open to the public
Friday, March 9 | 3:00 – 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 10 | 12:00 – 9:00 PM
Sunday, March 11 | 12:00 – 7:00 PM
I know you’re probably thinking something like this is not really a family event. Picture: Dad gaming on the television. Mom on Facebook. Jr. on his Nintendo 3DS. But on the contrary, gaming is increasingly designed as an activity for families, says Karen Ngo, who handles event programming and marketing for ScreenBurn. Over the years, there has been a growing movement for gaming to become educational. Now, that’s being combined with a movement towards family bonding. “The family that games together, stays together,” says Ngo.
As such, ScreenBurn 2012 is organized with families in mind, with the family-appropriate, kid-friendly content all in one place. We’ve been assured that you won’t be fighting a 35 year old to get to the stuff your kids want to see. “Most gamers are super sweet,” Ngo says. In addition, ScreenBurn organizers have strategically kept kid-friendly content near the entrance, so you won’t be suddenly confronted with content you might not want your kids to see.
So get out there and have some fun! After taking your picture with the Star Troopers, roll on over to the Gamestar Mechanic stations. Part of the STEM challenge, check out the games made by and played by kids. There are also a variety of interactive toys brought to the table by Nuko Toys who work to redefine games for digitally fascinated kids. You can also check out some cool board games, like long-time favorite, Settlers of Catan.
Some of the best booths you’ll see at ScreenBurn are focused on this concept of family gaming. Instead of a solitary activity that acts as a kind of babysitter, these games can be used as a tool to engage in fun with your kids. So don’t be afraid to pick up a console and get interactive!
Ngo offered up a few tips to make the experience most enjoyable:
- The most mellow day will be Friday, between 3pm and 7pm
- If you’re looking for excitement, Sunday will be the most heightened day of activity- so get there early to get a good spot.
- The Palmer Center is on the ground floor and equipped with ramps, so there shouldn’t be any worries about accessibility.
- If you have any questions, go to the Screen Burn booth, they have a great team of volunteers ready to help located right next to the concessions area.
- Remember, SXSW is generally really laid back, made up of kid-friendly people, so don’t stress, just have fun.