• Can a game help a player feel empathy with those with depression? That's the question "Elude" addresses. It was featured at the Foundations of Digital Games 2012, the Research & Experimental Game Fesival, Games for Change, ANZ 2012, and Meaningful Play 2010.

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  • "Improviso" asks whether teaching players dramatic improvisation can help train artificial intelligence systems. It was a finalist at Indiecade 2011.

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  • "A Slower Speed of Light" presents a way to intuitively understand the theory of relativity. It was highlighted at the Foundations of Digital Games 2013 Research & Experimental Games Festival.

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  • "Movers and Shakers" for Android tablets explores issues in the modern office environment.

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  • "The Snowfield" proved game narrative can be automatically generated without the need for complex artificial intelligence. It was a winner at the Serious Play Conference 2012 and a finalist at both the Independent Games Festival 2012 Student Showcase and at Meaningful Play 2012.

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  • Games created by the MIT Game Lab are featured at the MIT Museum in their Sampling MIT display: "How Can Video Games be Used in Research?"

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Learn game development at MIT this summer

MIT Game Lab to offer one-week professional development class on game development for software engineers in August.


The MIT Game Lab is for the first time providing a one-week course to expose professionals to their research and development methods for game development. This course will be held August 5-9 in historic Building 26 (birthplace of one of the first computer games, 1962’s Spacewar!). This course is intended for software development professionals aiming to understand the similarities and differences between modern software engineering and game development practices. Over the week, participants will conceive and develop prototype games in small teams, with access to modern game development tools, talks and guidance from MIT Game Lab mentors.

“Experienced software developers already have most of the technical fundamentals for developing digital games,” says Philip Tan, creative director of the MIT Game Lab, “but certain peculiar aspects of game development may catch the most seasoned professional off-guard. Games engage players by simultaneously presenting entertainment and challenge, requiring developers to take a closer look at their design practices.”

Applicable industries for this course include entertainment apps, such as mobile developers, interactive story book developers for e-readers and tablets, as well as games for serious applications, such as health care, defense, education and training.

Registration is open at http://shortprograms.mit.edu/gdse. Tuition is $3750 for the week, but MIT staff can use tuition benefits to cover the cost and current MIT PhD candidates can apply for a scholarship to attend at a discounted rate.

For the past seven years, the MIT Game Lab has made games for research, exploring areas such as artificial intelligence, complex systems, education and pedagogy, game development tools, narrative design, and player research tools. Their games have received awards for their contributions to innovative game development and have been highlighted at the Independent Game Festival, Indiecade, Games for Change, the Serious Play Conference and the Foundations of Digital Games conference.


Topics: Game design, Game Lab, Gaming, MIT Professional Education, Software development, Video games

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