Local gaming convention boosts local economy

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – The second annual video game convention took over at the South Bend Century Center this weekend.

Since the Century Center is home to the only esports arena in the area, Pwr^ South Bend now has amateurs and pros alike plugging into their gaming potential.

It’s a place where all the gamers go, but this weekend a lot of people put down their controllers and set up some of their gaming gadgets.

“I always wanted to see locally where I could use my talents,” said digital artist 2B.

A year after debuting at Century Center, Power Up South Bend returned for a second consecutive year.

“It’s really exciting to know that we’ve already had more participants than we had last year,” said Brain Exner, founder of Pwr^ South Bend.

And not only is the local business helping to bring the digital world to the forefront of thousands of gamers, but Pwr Up founder Brain Exner says it’s working to improve the local economy.

“We have people coming from out of state. We have out of state guests as well as attendees. People came from Chicago, from Grand Rapids, from Indy, from Indy rather, who are just excited about video games,” Exner said.

Dozens of vendors lined up to point out why they were here.

“It’s always fun to connect with different people who also have a talent for art and a passion to be creative,” 2B said.

But for digital artist 2B, it also helps him support his passion.

“It can be useful in terms of payment, but also fuel passion,” said 2B.

“There’s an opportunity to do so many different things here because traditionally people have only respected South Bend for Notre Dame football and whatever else,” Exner said. “It was a kind of dead and dying city. But now South Bend is rebuilding, and part of that should be video games.

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