VCC Professor sets up “shop” at Otronicon

By Amanda Gonzalez
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Video games, simulators, workshops, and entertainment were just a few components of the Otronicon convention that took place at the Orlando Science Center (OSC) January 14-17. Otronicon event goers were given the opportunity to take part in today’s world of technology.

Each floor at the OSC had something different to offer. Arcade-style games such as “Ms. Pacman” and “Asteroids” filled one room of the first floor. In another room was the Dr. Phillips Cine-Dome in which showings of both “Tron” and “Tron: Legacy” could be seen.

Workshops and simulations of all types were to be found on the second floor. One of the workshops, which took place at 12 p.m. on each day of the Otronicon convention, was held by Dr. Wael Yousif, who teaches computer engineering and technology at Valencia Community College. Dr. Yousif presented “How to Catch a Hacker” alongside Nick Lennox, a security engineer for SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation).

Attendees of the workshop were encouraged to navigate through the computer in front of them. “There are no firewalls, it doesn’t have antivirus protection. What we are trying to have you do here is try to see if you can define the threats that exist,” Dr. Yousif said.

He also stated that part of the purpose of the workshop, “is to create awareness of computer attacks and the simple measures that can be taken.” Information on computer security, as well as jobs in the field, can be found at

Sports, medical, and military simulators were available for guests to have a hands-on experience. Military simulators allowed for realistic shooting range and aircraft pilot practice, while EA Sports had its own section for guests to join professional sports players in different EA Sports games.

Danny Brown, with Stryker, came from Atlanta, Ga. to take part in Otronicon. Danny was demonstrating the computer assisted surgery simulator.

“This is used at the Florida Hospital for every brain surgery,” explained Danny. He demonstrated how the L.E.D. lights are used to show the contours of an individual’s face and how the procedures are done.

The third floor was a special kid’s floor where younger children could play age appropriate video games with their parents. On the fourth floor, was the latest of today’s video game systems. Event goers had the opportunity to try out the Wii, as well the new Kinect and Move for the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively.

Each one of these gadgets is motion censored. Players stood in front of the consoles and watched themselves play in games on the screen while making the movements outside of the screen.

Music entertainment included local Orlando band, Bfunk20XX. The band uses a modified Game Boy to recreate video game theme songs while still incorporating original sounds from the games. More information on BFunk20XX can be found at