DC’s MET Fest aims to help connect kids with careers in gaming

This Saturday, an event taking place at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southeast D.C. hopes to not only entertain young gamers but also show them how they can make a career out of their passion. It’s called MET FEST 2024, and this year’s event will be hosted by radio and TV personality Javen Cannon.

“This is the first and biggest gaming, esports and STEM program that’s centered around, of course, gaming and esports and technology, [and is] introducing that world to the youth,” Cannon told WTOP.

The main goal is connecting younger people with a passion for gaming with those in the industry.

“We hope that we just kind of spark, one, creativity, but also just a passion, realizing that this is a real thing, like your love for gaming is not ending at your PlayStation or your Wi Fi connection. You can really take this further and make a career out of that and change other people’s lives,” Cannon said.

Cannon is a Howard University alum, and during his time there, he was able to take on an internship with the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment while also being on MTV’s “Wild N’ Out” for seasons 13-16 and working behind the scenes as a production assistant.


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He said the event will also set the record straight on gaming and how important it can be in a person’s life. Cannon said gaming and technology have been important for his career in creating both opportunities and friendships.

“Hopefully, I bring a little cool factor from some of my previous work experiences. … It’s not just this nerdy world of gaming and technology, because people of all various walks of life, various ages,  we’re all going to come together, learn together and create together,” Cannon said.

According to event organizer Brenda Walker, 1,200 high school students have been invited to MET FEST to connect with representatives from colleges that offer gaming and gaming technology degrees.

“They need to know these opportunities that exist in this gaming and esports world,” Walker said.

The event will include esports competitions, chances to connect with professional esports teams and educational programs.

Cannon said he’s thrilled to be a part of the event and said even if someone doesn’t want to make a career out of gaming, they can become the “family gaming expert” like he is. He joked that he’s the one keeping his brother Nick up to speed with the latest gaming technology.

“I have to help him a little bit with some of these new devices and then with all the kids he has, they help me. I’m learning from them. So, it’s generational around here, baby, its a family thing,” Cannon said.

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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