The convention took place Saturday at the , also home to the WNBA’s ߲ݴý Mystics. The event focused on opportunities for children and teens in underrepresented communities. 

Met Fest was founded by , an innovative marketing expert who has helped lead successful organizations like Interscope Records, Death Row Records, BET, and Universal Music Group. Walker was inspired to launch Met Fest because of her son, Bruce Walker aka “Lil Bruce Gamer,” who is an avid gamer. She also hopes to serve kids unaware of scholarships from esports. 

“Students and young people need to know about these scholarships. This event is important for people that don’t know,” said Walker.

Lil Bruce Gamer knows how hard his mom worked to bring this event to life.

“She always says I’m her biggest inspiration and she’s been talking about this event for so long,”  he said.

He’s a prime example of esports building multiple, valuable skills. Along with being a hardcore gamer, he takes hosting his own show centered around gaming seriously. He even co-hosted Met Fest with writer and comedian, Javen Cannon, who was expecting a lot of “edu-tainment” from the day’s festivities, which they would be hosting on the event’s Twitch live stream. 

Boys and girls of all ages flooded the arena to play a wide selection of games on old-school and modern consoles like the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Wii, and PC. The lively atmosphere included festivities like a Rocket League tournament and an intense, day-long Super Smash Bros tournament that awarded the top three winners with an Xbox Series X, and the first-place winner, tickets to Super Smash Con and passes to an NBA 2K league event. 

Along with the competitions and games, universities such as Jackson State University, Old Dominion University, Howard University and others were in attendance to recruit and inform young students about scholarships and opportunities.

, a student and director of Esports at the University of Maryland (UMD), was excited to be at the event. 

“We’re here to help the underserved community and let young gamers know they have a variety of options in the world of esports.” 

The UMD table allowed kids to play games and record their own tape that they can use as part of their own portfolios, something many don’t have access to at home.

 “Parents get it now, they didn’t support at first but, they see the money and opportunities in 

Esports and tech,” said , in Northeast, D.C. 

James and Josh Hafkin, a community advocate of esports and founder of , have been locally advocating for esports among the youth in D.C but felt Walker and her husband, Bruce, took their idea to the next level.

“Esports isn’t just about playing games, it helps build skills like tech, coding, social interaction and pushes creativity,” said Hafkin.

The games weren’t just a hit among the kids, some parents were taking part in the fun, front and center at the screens with their kids. Wii Sports boxing was a big hit among the parents.

Others sat back and relaxed while the gaming ensued.

The day consisted of live music from multiple acts including head-nodding performances from the Ballou High School band and Eastern High School’s drumline. Vendors like WUSA 9, United Bank,US Army, IHeartRadio, and Hot 99.5 were in attendance as well to inspire and impact the youth, including a how-to-do meteorology lesson from chief meteorologist, Topper Shutt. 

With the recent boom in STEM and tech, Met Fest seems here to stay to help bridge the gap for those who don’t have access to the latest tech and opportunities.

Demarco Rush is a 2024 summer intern with The ߲ݴý Informer through the MDDC association. He is a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a major in broadcast journalism while minoring...

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1 Comment

  1. Congrats Brenda, Bruce and Lil Bruce Gamer sounds like a great exciting event!!

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