Video games aren’t just child’s play at the Art Institute of California — Los Angeles. The design, media arts and fashion institute is opening its new Game Center with an expo focused on the world of designing and creating video games.

The gaming expo grand opening is scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at The Art Institute of California — Los Angeles, 2900 31st St., Santa Monica. Admission is free.

The gathering will feature artists, engineers, designers, educators, technical experts, programmers and professionals in the game art and design industry. There will be an exhibition of state-of-the-art tools, including hardware and software used in the creation of game art, according to Art Institute sources.

The new Game Center will be used by game art students, professionals in the fields of game development and animation, and members of the media, according to Art Institute.

The center plans to showcase popular new video games and game stations, a motion capture system and related educational materials, including books, board games, magazines and DVDs.

The Game Center will host the “Animation 21 Lecture Series” ten times per year — free gaming industry lectures that are open to the public.

Also, the Art Institute plans to hold a game industry job festival and an art festival yearly at the Game Center.

Technology industry partners with Art Institute in the creation of the new Game Center include Alias, AMD, Animation Magazine, Autodesk Inc., Avid Computer Graphics, F. Dice, (IGDA) International Game Developers Association, Luminetik Animation Studios, Motion Analysis Corp., nPower Software, Nvidia Corp., PC Unlimited, Peachpit Press, Pioneer (USA), Seagate Technology, SilverStone, Tyan Computer Corp., ViewSonic and Wondertouch.

Information, (888) 646-4610.