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

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 鈥淟il Bruce Gamer,鈥 who is an avid gamer. She also hopes to serve kids unaware of scholarships from esports. 

鈥淪tudents and young people need to know about these scholarships. This event is important for people that don鈥檛 know,鈥 said Walker.

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

鈥淪he always says I鈥檓 her biggest inspiration and she鈥檚 been talking about this event for so long,鈥澛 he said.

He鈥檚 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 鈥渆du-tainment鈥 from the day鈥檚 festivities, which they would be hosting on the event鈥檚 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. 

鈥淲e鈥檙e here to help the underserved community and let young gamers know they have a variety of options in the world of esports.鈥 

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鈥檛 have access to at home.

 鈥淧arents get it now, they didn鈥檛 support at first but, they see the money and opportunities in 

Esports and tech,鈥 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.

鈥淓sports isn鈥檛 just about playing games, it helps build skills like tech, coding, social interaction and pushes creativity,鈥 said Hafkin.

The games weren鈥檛 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鈥檚 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鈥檛 have access to the latest tech and opportunities.

Demarco Rush is a 2024 summer intern with The 番茄社区app 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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