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College Creates Center For Collaboration, Serious Games

Officials from Champlain College have revealed that the university plans to build upon the success of some of its innovative academic programs with the unveiling of the E...
Officials from Champlain College have revealed that the university plans to build upon the success of some of its innovative academic programs with the unveiling of the Emergent Media Center, which aims to leverage off of concepts such as games, social networks, blogs and wikis for broader purposes such as collaborative efforts between organizations to develop serious games. Serious games projects currently under consideration by the center include games that focus on environmental management, health care and economic development. All Champlain students, regardless of their degree program, will be able to contribute to every project currently being undertaken by the center. Champlain students have already worked on various serious games; one teaches middle-school children about the dangers of mercury. The Mission Mercury animated video and accompanying game created for Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation are now available from the Center’s website. In addition, Champlain junior Renee Gillett is working on a Flash-based history game for young visitors to a traveling exhibit about founding father Alexander Hamilton. “Whether they play to have fun or play to learn, they will be exposed to information about Hamilton,” she said. Directed by Ann DeMarle, who founded Champlain College’s Electronic Game & Interactive Development program in 2004, the center is designed strengthen connections between the international game and interactive development industries, Champlain students and faculty, and businesses. Champlain’s Electronic Game & Interactive Development and Electronic Game Programming degrees were among the first bachelor’s degrees in the nation modeled after the team-based game development industry. Now the Emergent Media Center will offer support for student endeavors and faculty-led emergent media projects. The center will also help coordinate game industry partnerships and internships, sponsor conferences and speakers, and promote ties between Vermont-based and international companies. “We’re building an environment that fosters creativity, entrepreneurship and professional skills in our students in emergent media fields, particularly electronic game development,” commented DeMarle. “We want to help define future uses of media technologies and content creation.” She added: “We are truly entering a Renaissance world -- one where cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary possibilities emerge via technology, art and communications. Our center will help drive that cross-pollination of ideas.”

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