UC Irvine Opens Video Game Center

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo available at
http://today.uci.edu/news/nr_gamecenter_090901.php
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
UC Irvine establishes new Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds
Center to join forces with Institute for Software Research and Game
Culture & Technology Laboratory
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 1, 2009 – UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of
Information & Computer Sciences has established the Center for Computer
Games & Virtual Worlds, led by ICS associate dean Magda El Zarki and
senior research scientist Walt Scacchi of the UCI Institute for Software
Research.
The center’s goal is to expand campuswide research activities that draw
upon UCI’s strengths spanning the social and technological aspects of
games and virtual worlds. More than 20 faculty members from computer
science, arts, humanities, social science and education will collaborate
in the center.
UCI was among the first major research universities to establish
educational and research programs in computer game culture and
technology. The UCI Game Culture & Technology Lab, launched in 2001, has
attracted nearly $5 million in external funding.
“We now realize that scientific and cultural achievements go beyond the
current concepts of what games and virtual worlds are good for, or how
they may be developed or applied,” Scacchi said. “The center will
support our research in demonstrating the sustained ability to invent
and reinvent the future of computer games and virtual worlds.”
UCI has a growing number of game-related research projects, including
game-based virtual worlds where students “play to learn” via interactive
simulations, open community-based development of games and synthetic
worlds, and gamelike synthetic worlds where autonomous characters
display emotional responses and emergent behaviors.
The Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds plans to host national
and international research workshops as well as visiting research
scholars. In addition, center faculty plan to establish industry and
academic partnerships with computer game and virtual world research
centers across the globe.
About the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences: The
Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences is the first
independent computer science school within the UC system and one of the
fastest-growing programs of its kind in the nation. Elevated from
department to school status in December 2002, information and computer
sciences at UCI is an academic community of more than 1,500 students,
more than 100 full-time faculty and staff, and approximately 6,500
alumni worldwide. With experts in areas ranging from embedded computer
systems and networking to bioinformatics and the social impacts of
computing, the school ranks 15th among all public university computer
science graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a
top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community
service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the
fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000
undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,200 staff. The
top employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual
economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit
www.today.uci.edu.
News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting
interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available
for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI
faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and
approval by the university.

game_center_elzarkiIf you’re one of those people who thinks nothing cool happens outside of LA, NYC or San Francisco, this news might just do something to change your mind. What am I talking about? Well, the University of California at Irvine has opened up a school to research video games and virtual world technologies. Don’t know exactly what that means?

Well, you’re in luck then because we’ve got all the info from the official press release. And hey, we support education so this might be something worth checking out.

UC Irvine establishes new Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds Center to join forces with Institute for Software Research and Game Culture & Technology Laboratory

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 1, 2009 – UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences has established the Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds, led by ICS associate dean Magda El Zarki and senior research scientist Walt Scacchi of the UCI Institute for Software Research.

The center’s goal is to expand campuswide research activities that draw upon UCI’s strengths spanning the social and technological aspects of games and virtual worlds. More than 20 faculty members from computer science, arts, humanities, social science and education will collaborate in the center.

UCI was among the first major research universities to establish educational and research programs in computer game culture and technology. The UCI Game Culture & Technology Lab, launched in 2001, has attracted nearly $5 million in external funding.

“We now realize that scientific and cultural achievements go beyond the current concepts of what games and virtual worlds are good for, or how they may be developed or applied,” Scacchi said. “The center will support our research in demonstrating the sustained ability to invent and reinvent the future of computer games and virtual worlds.”

UCI has a growing number of game-related research projects, including game-based virtual worlds where students “play to learn” via interactive simulations, open community-based development of games and synthetic worlds, and gamelike synthetic worlds where autonomous characters display emotional responses and emergent behaviors. The Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds plans to host national and international research workshops as well as visiting research scholars. In addition, center faculty plan to establish industry and academic partnerships with computer game and virtual world research centers across the globe.

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