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Interactive Games and Media

Announcing Preserving Virtual Worlds II

Preserving Virtual Worlds II: Methods for Evaluating and Preserving Significant Properties of Educational Games and Complex Interactive Environments (PVW2) is led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, and Stanford University. PVW2 plans to help improve the capacity of libraries, museums, and archives to preserve computer games, video games, and interactive fiction. Funding has been graciously provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through a National Leadership Grant.

The original Preserving Virtual Worlds project, funded by the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP), investigated what preservation issues arose with computer games and interactive fiction, and how existing metadata and packaging standards might be employed for the long-term preservation of these materials. PVW2 will focus on determining properties for a variety of educational games and game franchises in order to provide a set of best practices for preserving the materials through virtualization technologies and migration, as well as provide an analysis of how the preservation process is documented. PVW2 is a two-year project, to be conducted between October 2010 and September 2012.

Alumni and Friends Preview Blocks: The Devilish Delivery Game

Recently the crew over at Darkwind Media released a preview of Blocks: The Devilish Delivery Game, and they have been getting some rave reviews. We couldn't be more proud, both of our alumni on the design/development team (including several of the folks who make Darkwind Media a success story in the RIT Venture Creations incubator), and of their great game! You can see some of the press reviews such as GamerBytes, XBLA Ratings, Indie Games, and DIY Gamer. We've actually had several students found studios this past year, and we're wishing them well all over the country. But we just had to mention Blocks because of the local RIT connection: good luck Darkwind!

Preserving Virtual Worlds Project in USA Today and ABC News

The Preserving Virtual Worlds project, a parntership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Stanford, the University of Maryland, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Linden Lab that explores preservation strategies for games and virtual worlds was recently mentioned as a part of the coverage surrounding the Hall of Fame for Video Games initiatives. The article from USA Today is available here, and was reprinted by ABC News as well.

IGM Presents at the Adobe Education Leaders Summit 2010

IGM was well represented at the Adobe Education Leader Institute 2010 event, held in July in San Jose, California. Professor Phelps gave a presentation entitled "Adobe Tools in a Game Production Pipeline" that featured student work from IGM including the SHMUP YOU! game developed by graduate students Kelly Piering, Joe Pietruch and Michael Ey in the Masters of Science in Game Design & Development, as well as the Bad Astro project from the New Media Team Project experience that is a joint effort between the New Media Interactive Development program in IGM and the New Media Design & Imaging program in CIAS. IGM was very well recieved, and we are grateful to be able to offer our feedback directly to Adobe both on their products and strategy as through our partnership with them as an educational institution. Coming up, several IGM faculty and students will be presenting more work at Adobe MAX 2010 in Los Angeles in October, because everyone wants to see how IGM and RIT are pushing the envelope of media-centric computing...

Picture the Impossible leads to APME Innovator of the Year Finalist Award

Picture the Impossible continues to grab headlines nearly a year after release! The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle was named one of the finalists for the Associated Press Managing Editors Innovator of the Year Award based on the PTI project and our partnership throughout last year. Congratulations to the D&C, RIT, Professor Lawley and all of the IGM faculty, staff and students who helped make Picture the Impossible a success!

IGM Invades SIGGRAPH 2010

We're gearing up for ACM SIGGRAPH 2010, the magical, crazy conference on computer graphics and interactive technology. You can check out IGM in booth 119 along with our friends and partners from RIT including New Media Design & Imaging, Film, Video and Animation, and the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. It seems our students are excited about SIGGRAPH as well, especially since the Sociable and SociaLaser teams together are in the finals for the ACM SIGGRAPH SpaceTime Student Competition. WOOT! Professor W. Michelle Harris from the IGM group will be presenting some of her work as a part of the SIGGRAPH Studio (You can check out the SIGGRAPH guide to her presentation here... And don't miss the presentation of our paper on Using Semiotic Grammars for Rapid Design of Evolving Videogame Mechanics, by Professor Erik Vick and Professor Stephen Jacobs of IGM/RIT, and Rudy McDaniel from the University of Central Florida. Also, there will be an Alumni Event in L.A. as a part of the show, we hope you'll stop by and visit with us for a bit, or if you just want to check out some of the crazy stuff we are up to this summer, come by the booth! See you in L.A.!

IGM at Imagine RIT 2010

Well it's that time of year again, and IGM will be participating in the Imagine RIT festival in a variety of ways! First up is our yearly presentation of the New Media Team Projects, including SociaLaser (location number 241), Hydropic (273), Sketchbox (365), Sketchbox (365), Iron Horizon: Diplomacy is Dead (346), Bad Astro: Tangible Interface Design (235), the Boiler House: an Interactive Coffee Table (256), and Amphora: a Social Media Web Application (366), under the direction of Prof. Michelle Harris and our colleages in CIAS (Prof. Adam Smith and others).

There will also be a Jazz Improvisation with Prof. Al Biles playing with GenJam, a software package based on genetic algorithms that "learns" to trade fours in real-time. This year's addition is a visual feedback and visualization system (477). Prof. Bayliss and Prof. Schwartz have a team of students working with RIT Facilities Management on a full-featured virtual golf exhibition (location 145). Prof. Egert, Prof. Harris and Prof. Goins in Liberal Arts have been leading a team working on a Facebook game centered on Museums and Modern Art (location 192), and Prof. Schull and his team in the innovation lab will also be showing off The Word Sensorium: Poetry, Jazz, and Animation (482). Prof. Jacobs will be showing off a Mathematical Advenure game on the OLPC in the GCCIS Atrium, as well as Open Video Chat for Deaf users of the OLPC. A number of other games for education will be shown on the OLPC over in the RIT Innovation Center, and our Higher Play College Survival Card Game will be at the Venture Creations and Simone Center Business Fair. We hope everyone has a wonderful event, and a great time seeing a little bit of our recent work this year!

Odopod Comments on New Media Programs

One of the attendees of this years Creativity: Careers in Motion just blogged about New Media and RIT. The title, "If You Want A Job At Odopod, Go To RIT" says it all. Everyone in New Media is grateful for the article and the recognition of what we are trying to do academically as a bridge between computing and the arts, and we are looking forward to growing our relationship with Odopod in the future. Many thanks also to our partners in New Media Design & Imaging for their tireless efforts with Industry Day.

Hidden Agenda Facebook Game Makes the Zynga FINALS

Recently several Game Design & Development students got together to enter the Zynga Hidden Agenda Challenge, a contest that explores creating games to help educate high school students. Vivian Liao, Rachel Emery, John Lynk, Jo Collins, Matthew Everett, Priscilla Yin, Richard Senft and Matt Monasch formed a development team and took this mission to heart. They created "Dig Deep" which is a sidescrolling arcade game based on Earth Science. The objective of the game is to dig and find minerals. Once the player finds a mineral, they must identify it by performing geological tests. As the player collects and processes minerals, they can upgrade their drilling equipment and invest in more efficent and environmentally friendly fuels. The community as a whole also works to uncover new dig sites across the globe, where more valuable minerals may be found. You can read more about the game here. If you get a chance to play it you should help out the team and comment here. The team made the finals (top three), and even though they didn't win the ultimate prize, we're so very proud of their efforts! Plus, we heard that they enjoyed that trip to San Francisco courtesy of Zynga...

IGM Presents at the Rochester Museum & Science Center

On Wednesday April 14th Andy Phelps, Chair of IGM, will present a talk entitled "Education, Inspiration, Research and Play" at the Rochester Museum & Science Center as a part of the 'Science on the Edge' lecture series. The abstract for the talk reads: "Discover how games, inspiration, and invention are intertwined in today's popular culture, and how these ideas form the basis for the next generation of tools for scientific inquiry. Professor Phelps supports his theory with examples of popular games and online environments, including several developed by students at RIT." Tickets are available for $14, or $7 with student ID. Details on attendance are located here, at the bottom of the page.