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Feature: 'A Letter to Academic Game Researchers'

In the Gamasutra feature Microsoft researcher John Hopson asks, 'Is academic research being ignored b...
In the Gamasutra feature Microsoft researcher John Hopson asks, 'Is academic research being ignored by game developers? Are game development issues being ignored by academics? And how should the two disciplines work together?' in an open letter to academic game researchers. In his intro, Hopson highlights the frustrations amongst academics that see the fruits of their research go largely ignored, or at least unimplemented, in the marketplace: "Academic interest in games has risen quickly over the past decade, but the games industry has never shown a similar interest in academic work. Every year there are books, journals, and conferences dedicated to studying games and how people play them, but most games professionals never read this work nor attend these conferences. Sure, individual designers, producers, and developers listen, but the industry as a whole has ignored an entire field of study dedicated to studying it. There have been academic panels at industry conferences, but the vast majority of the conference attendees have walked right on past. I’ve sat in these sessions and heard the researchers vent their frustrations: They’re doing wonderful stuff, why won’t the industry just listen? We have scores of smart, professional academics out there doing great work, learning and thinking new and fascinating things about games every day. This work should be having a huge impact on the games industry, the kind of impact that university researchers in chemistry or computer science have on their own fields. Why aren’t we seeing those sorts of breakthroughs improving our ability to make better games?" You can now read the full Gamasutra column on the subject, with more advice from Hopson on targeting academic research to be better understood and more easily implemented by games developers (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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