Game Theory: “Game Core” to Make People Play and Give Back

eScience Research Institute at ITMO University launches a new game accelerator. Game Core will open on September 1, 2016 for students and specialists in different fields who are interested in games. The heads of the projects talked about how they will derive practical profit from virtual games and apply them to the real life.

According to Game Core’s organizers, the main goal of this project is to make a creative atmosphere, which will attract talented students who cannot live without games but at the same time want to do valuable and useful things. Game Core works on several trial projects focusing on a wide range of purposes – from game design studying to consulting and developing new games.

Game Core will be very successful, declare its’ developers. It becomes possible thanks to a new attitude to games. Currently some stereotypes are passing away. Today a gamer is more than a person who knocks on keyboard staring at a computer.

Maria Karpova

“Games are evolving. They become more and more useful. Education and training practices is only one of possible areas to which one can apply games. For instance, “EyeWire” was developed to create 3D map of eye retina’s neurons. Instead of games with some useful functions currently one discusses gamification of common processes connected with education, work and other everyday issues. We don’t have to be afraid of virtual games, we should adopt them and derive benefit,” said Maria Karpova, head of Game Crunch, studio for developing and studying games.

According to Ms. Karpova, the game accelerator will be accessible for Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD students as well as all newcomers who want to work on games. Its’ stakeholders can organize new teams or join existing ones. Furthermore the project was created not only for technical experts – those who study arts or humanities can also apply for participation. Students will attend both theoretical lectures and practical trainings.

Game industry is changing very fast. Electronic dance floors, virtual guitars, Wii, Kinect, Leap Motion Controller and other devices help computers analyze physical motions. Thanks to them people interact not only with devices, but also with each other and the reality we live in. One of the most wonderful examples is Pokemon Go, which makes people go outside and walk a lot.

“It seems that in the future there will be more games based on augmented reality that will be more valuable for society. However such games as DOOM, Dota and Starcraft will not disappear. Their developers will present new gameplays. Thus gamers will upgrade multitasking skills and imagination,” noted Alexey Bezgodov, researcher at eScience Research Institute and developer of IFMO/GameDev, the firs ITMO’s game developing studio.

The expert sums up that computer Games are the new type of art along with theatre or cinema. This trend turns modern games into tools for education and enlightenment. There are games based on novels (STALKER, Witcher), games that “refresh” masterpieces (Assassin'sCreed:Brotherhood, BrutalLegend), “life lesson” games (Dishonored), instructive games (Heavy Rain), historical games (IL­2 Sturmovik, SilentHunter, Blitzkrieg) and even games based on philosophical concepts (Bioshock).

To develop these types of games one has to attract specialists in various fields: coders, computer graphics and virtual reality experts, specialists in 3D modeling, painters, game designers, musicians, screenwriters and game designers. That is why the educational market meets new requirements – creating courses at the intersection of sciences and even training interdisciplinary development teams. Furthermore computer gaming is a high-tech field. Thus specialists can take part in development and also apply their research concepts to this area.

“Programmers, teachers, psychologists, sociologists and even artists can find something interesting and learn a lot from computer games. Game Core studio is one of places where all of them can join a team, take part in developing and launch interesting research project,” said Mr. Bezgodov.

The heads of the studio plan to present results of their work at GEEK PICNIC and Starkon festivals as well as large workshops. The participants also want to participate in game hackathons, game jams and then share their projects using open online resources. 

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