Train2Game News Student developing game to aid Alzhemiers

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The emotional impact of Alzheimer’s disease has been explored by a student computer game project, which will be revealed to the public at the Abertay Digital Graduate Show this Friday (8 May).

Alexander Tarvet developed the idea during his Game Design & Production Management degree, looking at how a game can give a unique first-person experience of a debilitating and distressing medical condition.

He was keen to raise awareness both of the impact memory loss has for the individual patient as familiar objects and people become distant, but also for the immediate family.

There will be 850,000 people living with some form of dementia in the UK by the end of 2015 according to the Alzheimer’s Society, showing how widespread this condition has become.

Alexander said: “Computer games are one of the greatest ways to let people safely explore a situation they’ve never experienced, as you’re creating a whole new world to explore. Many games deal with fantasy and fiction, but I wanted to look at something much more serious.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition for everyone affected and their loved ones, and through playing Forget-Me-Knot the player gets an immediate sense of the confusion the character feels.

“They’re in their living room, which should be a safe and comforting space, but it has become hostile and unsettling as they’ve lost memories of the personal objects all around the room.

“The player is in exactly the same position as the person with Alzheimer’s – both have to explore the room and try and piece together an understanding of photos and letters through clues left on shelves and in drawers.

“I hope the project will help anyone who plays the game to understand more about Alzheimer’s disease. Putting yourself into the shoes of the person with the disease gives a very immediate, visceral sense of how disorientating and terrifying it must be to live with long-term memory loss.”

Alexander is one of 170 students showing their final year projects in Abertay University’s main Kydd Building and the Hannah Maclure Centre art gallery, on the top floor of the Student Centre.

Train2Game News Future Internet Games Contest launched today

ficontentThe Future Internet Games Contest is being launched today by Disney and the Future Internet Consortium partners in association with Abertay University.

Ideas for games in the areas of augmented reality, blending real and virtual worlds, and city-wide play will be assessed by a panel of experts from the Europe-wide Future Internet (FI) Content initiative.

This Disney-led project comprises major European and global companies and research centres, who have joined their skills to drive innovation at the crossroads of content, media, networks and creativity.

Entries can be made at http://www.daretobedigital.com/220_Future-Internet-Games-Contest-.html until 10 June, with a £2000 prize for the winning web or mobile game – and potential opportunities to work with the Disney-led consortium.

Professor Kenny Mitchell, Research Lead at Disney Research, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for budding game developers and veterans alike across Europe to show their skills on a highly visible and important stage as part of our Future Internet Content project.”

The partnership between Abertay University and FI Content is to focus on the Pervasive Games platform, where the real world and internet experiences are playfully mixed together.

The platform focuses on multiplayer mobile gaming, using cutting-edge internet technology to enable large groups of people to play together, and moving games beyond playing on a console at home or remotely interacting with friends through social games.

Game developers are invited to think about how a mobile game can be an augmented version of the real world, offering play between real people that creates something more exciting and interactive for everyone.

Professor Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “Abertay University is delighted to work with Disney on the Future Internet Games Contest, and we look forward to seeing how game developers address this challenge.

“Games have incredible power to bring people together, to entertain and to change how we perceive the world around us.

“Future internet technologies, and the hugely powerful smartphones everyone carries with them, offer an unprecedented opportunity for designers and programmers to build entirely new ways for large groups of people to play together in the real world.”

The Future Internet Games Contest is led by Disney and associated partners in association with Abertay University.

This initiative aims at developing and experimenting across Europe cutting-edge ICT platforms devoted to applications and services in the emerging area of pervasive games for virtual and augmented reality.

For more information, and to apply, please visit http://www.daretobedigital.com/220_Future-Internet-Games-Contest.html

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 29.03.13

Pokemon It is the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game games industry news round up!

In exciting news for Pokémon video game players across Europe, The Pokémon Company International announced the long-awaited dates and locations for the Pokémon European Video Game Championships. The English competition will be held in Birmingham on June 2. Players will battle for the chance to earn a Travel Award to the 2013 Pokémon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, this August. Visit www.pokemon.co.uk for more information.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Infinite Crisis, an all-new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Turbine, the award winning studio behind free-to-play online games including The Lord of the Rings Online. Infinite Crisis is a free-to-play game that features a deep roster of DC Comics characters and is scheduled for release in 2013 for the PC.

In further news from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, they announced two of its biggest mobile games, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix, are coming to Android, exclusively in the Amazon Appstore for Android. Expanded to and completely optimized for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD offers gamers with new ways to connect to their favorite franchises.

Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network have started their Spring Sales. Xbox Live’s sale runs from March 26 – April 2, and includes such titles as Dead Rising 2, Walking Dead, LA Noire, Max Payne 3, Resident Evil 6 and some of their movie offerings. The PSN kicked off its spring sale yesterday and it is running until April 9. In addition to the sale, it’s going to have a number of limited time offers, the first of which is Killzone HD, available till the April 29. Some of its games up for sale are Rayman 3 and Trine 2.

Electronic Arts, Sega, Sony, Codemasters and more have pledged support for the first Game QA & Localisation forum, taking place June 25-26 in London. The event will focus on best practices for test plans, QA budgeting and strategy with a mix of keynotes, sessions, panels and workgroups. Paradox, Outplay, Ganz, Plarium and Abertay University are also involved with the event. Full details can be found at the official site.