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October 10, 2005
1 Min Read
The University Of Southern California's GamePipe Laboratory, which announced late last year that it had appointed Michael Zyda of America's Army as its director, has announced that it has begun work on its first R&D contract: a $272,000 effort funded by the National Science Foundation to improve K-12 biology teaching. Zyda will lead the project, a game named ImmunoAttack, in collaboration with Chris Swain, a faculty member of the USC School of Cinema-Television, and Victor LaCour, a faculty member of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering department of computer science working with the Federation of American Scientists and Brown University. The title is intended to teach real scientific information about immunology through discovery based exploration, associative reasoning, and skill-based gameplay, and the idea is to supplement and extend the chapter on the immune system of a standard biology textbook (Biology, by Neil A. Campbell and Jane B. Reece) with a dramatic videogame that presents the material in a challenging and accessible manner. "The vision for the project has been articulated by FAS and Brown," said Zyda. "GamePipe and the School of Cinema's Game Innovation Lab will provide the expertise to make this vision playable, educational, and fun." The project is scheduled to deliver the first two levels of the ImmunoAttack game for use in a test high school by March 2006. In addition to Zyda, Swain, and LaCour, the project team includes a full-time lead engineer, lead graphic designer, lead programmer, plus support personnel and student designers and programmers.
About the Author(s)
Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.
He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.
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