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GameLab Talks Projects, Sets Up Non-Profit

Officials from casual game developer GameLab (Diner Dash) have confirmed a number of future plans for the company, including new details on the company's upcoming downloadable PC titles and the founding of a new nonprofit for New York City youth.
Officials from casual game developer GameLab (Diner Dash) have confirmed a number of future plans for the company, including new details on the company's upcoming downloadable PC titles and the founding of a new nonprofit for New York City youth. The company, which has worked with publisher PlayFirst in the past in bringing several of its downloadable and web games to consumers, is continuing with its plans to adopt a “self-publishing, pioneering a film-based funding model.” As part of this, GameLab plans to release five new titles between now and February, including Out of your Mind, a co-production with New York City-based animation studio Curious Pictures (Codename: Kids Next Door), and Work, an office politics parody that was funded by an unnamed project investor. Other titles in the GameLab pipeline include Lego Fever, a “psychedelic” title that the company is publishing, a rhythm action game titled Downbeat which will feature 80s music, and “a retro-stylish title with Atari-style graphics and gameplay” called Arcadia. Both Arcadia and Downbeat will be published by MTV Networks affiliate, VH1. In addition, officials also revealed that GameLab was the recipient of a first-of-its kind MacArthur grant to create a new titled called Game Designer. The software will be aimed at teaching younger aspiring developers the concepts of game design by letting them create simple games. Scheduled to ship in 2008 and being created with the help of scholars from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Game Designer is in prototype stages right now and is currently being tested with children. Finally, GameLab has also created a new nonprofit called GameLab Institute of Play, which is dedicated to the notion that playing, understanding, and making games is an important form of media literacy. The company also notes that it plans to expand upon this effort with several new programs and workshops in the near future, each of which will be designed to be made available to New York City youth.

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