Games@GeorgiaTech is an institute-wide initiative to leverage Georgia Tech’s leadership role in video games research and education by bringing together and incubating interdisciplinary games research and academic activities across the campus. The game research community is working to bring together diverse game activities and foster greater internal and external awareness, research collaboration, and industry partnerships. Games@GeorgiaTech is designed to advance the game community through interdisciplinary research, funding opportunities, tech transfer and expansion of industry collaborations. The initiative is supported through funding by the GVU Center at Georgia Tech and the Institute for People and Technology.
Games as a Growing Part of Society
In the last decade, the interactive entertainment industry – the companies that design and develop computer games and other interactive software – has become a major cultural and economic force. One indication of this trend is that the interactive entertainment industry now surpasses the “Hollywood Box Office” in raw dollar sales, the traditional metric of consumer entertainment spending. Games have both a driver and a context for cutting edge technology research, from novel applications on mobile phones and tablets, to new interfaces and input devices, to large-scale server infrastructures for online games and virtual worlds.
Games have become a fulcrum for interdisciplinary research that encompasses a wide range of disciplines, from hardware and software engineering, to computer science disciplines such as AI and HCI, media and communications, architecture and design, behavioral and social sciences, and humanities. Game development involves both technical and creative components, computer science and engineering, HCI, art and humanities, organization and distributed communications. In the games for learning field, computer game development also often includes educational psychologists as well as subject matter experts in the domain being taught (e.g. ocean sciences, biology, etc.)
Even within Georgia Tech itself, fields like economics and public policy are increasingly turning to games as a mechanism for describing complex systems, science games are a growing area of NSF funding, and even disciplines like modern language are beginning to experiment with learning games. All of these activities require cross-disciplinary collaboration, one our significant strengths. Georgia Tech has amassed a significant degree of academic competence related to the design, development, and study of computer games across a broad range of disciplines. With a focused organizational effort, Georgia Tech can highlight and grow its leadership in this field, through better collaboration between divisions and through stronger outward-facing initiatives, increasing fundraising opportunities, and strengthening its reputation within a rapidly growing industry.