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Sunday, 13 March 2011 07:46

RMIT takes games seriously with new research lab

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RMIT University will launch its Games and Experimental Entertainment Laboratory (GEElab) in its School of Media and Communication on 15 March to "research new creative design visions, products and business models while critically reflecting on the role of games and entertainment in our culture."

GEElab director and RMIT vice-chancellor's research fellow, Dr Steffen P Walz, said: "As an engine of entertainment, media and internet innovation, the GEElab will focus on next-generation entertainment visions and will work closely with industry to model the gaming prototypes of the future. Researchers will work to 'gamify' traditionally non-linear media such as TV, film and radio, creating new design strategies, narratives and service prototypes.

He added: "Our research will also push the boundaries of games and entertainment, investigating how they can be used to positively influence and change behaviour. While major institutions like the UN are already using gaming technologies to promote social change, this potential is only starting to be tapped - our work will pioneer new approaches for a more peaceful, sustainable - and playful - world."

GEElab's Melbourne headquarters will extend its reach across the region and a satellite location in Stuttgart, Germany, will foster collaborations in Europe. Deputy vice-chancellor research and innovation and vice-president, professor Daine Alcorn, said researchers would collaborate closely with sponsors from the game and entertainment industry.

GEElab will be launched on Tuesday 15 March, with a symposium at RMIT's Storey Hall: The Future of Games and Entertainment. Speakers include Gabe Zichermann, chair of the Gamification Summit, San Francisco, and professor Dr Zhao Chen Ding, director of New Medium Research Centre, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.

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