Tuesday, April 24, 2007

MAGIClab: Serious Games Beyond The Computer Screen

SERIOUS GAMES BRINGING A LITTLE MAGIC INTO PEOPLE’S LIVES


MAGIClab is UEL’s (University of East London) Multimedia And Games Innovation Centre: a creative PLAYroom where local groups from across the education sectors can collaborate on site with representatives from local government, business and industry, SMARTlab and other UEL researchers and game designers, theatre artists, dancers, puppeteers and educational technologists. The games played and the way users learn are all open for testing and experimentation.
As a branch of SMARTlab, MAGIC’s aim is to create a legacy of game play, communication and interaction in East London through innovative gaming projects, as designed by the MAGIC team who is highly experienced in game design, interaction and experience design, as well as in digital arts.

The focus of MAGIC will extend to the broader picture of physicality in game creation and control by encouraging people of all ages to engage in the world beyond the computer screen, to walk, run and even ‘fly’ in the Docklands and beyond, and to gain valuable exercise as well as engagement in community activism in the process. This includes physical implementations in gaming such as those activated by dance pads and other movement based tools.

Through MAGIC’s work, SMARTlab aims to create the highest quality games for people with restricted ability; to make it more mainstream, and offer different levels of complexity in the gaming market. The MAGIC research team attached to SMARTlab firmly believe that the technology interaction of online gaming can be combined with and enhanced by the skills of physical game play (sports, dance, movement and even board games and art practices).

MAGIC bring together groups with complimentary skills in various public and fine art forms – from dance and performance to fine art to community art and architecture, animation and film-making et al – to inform and inspire new forms of empowering technology tools that will be useful to the often marginalized sectors of any community.

MAGIC and PLAYroom


The PLAYroom is UEL’s new purpose built studio for game making, game play, game research and innovation for community exchange.

The PLAYroom provides SPACE for free play: projects based in the PLAYroom will focus exclusively on gaming and play, whilst emphasising knowledge transfer, partnership with the private and public sectors, commercial development, and virtual and real world community projects.

The PLAYroom is a hub of activity within UEL, drawing together researchers from across disciplines and building on UEL's existing areas of comparative advantage.They are currently developing launch projects in three areas: Immersive Play, Personal/community Fabrication; and Open Input/output devices.

They are also building flexible resources for rapid prototyping, testing, and researching new ideas in GAMES FOR NON-GAMERS and for people of all levels of physical and learning ability.