Photo by Matt Treager

[email protected] is a new interdisciplinary initiative started this semester intended to draw together video game researchers at Tech.

The initiative’s being led by Dr. Celia Pearce, professor of Digital Media, and Dr. Mark Riedl, professor of Interactive Computing.

“The overarching goal of the initiative is to become a central structure that hones the skills of talented individuals from across disciplines, and to promote and cultivate an interest in advancing game research,” Pearce said.

The professors had many motivations for starting new initiative.

“One of the external goals of the new website and of the showcase, is to raise awareness in the outside world of games research being conducted here, so that when people think of games they think of Tech,” Riedl said.

Speakers from other schools and disciplines will be hosted at a series of events held this semester to help broaden the horizons of attendees.

The video game research conducted at Tech spans several disciplines. There are even literary scholars, sociologists and other educators looking into the themes implied by video game stories, changing demographic trends or new ways of engaging modern schoolchildren.

Computer science research is frequently conducted by co-opting video games to study other topics, such as artificial intelligence. These interfaces provide an intuitive method for human subjects to provide input and to compare the artificial intelligence’s performance to that of a real person.

On Aug. 27, [email protected] held a showcase event in the Tech Square Research Building to foster collaboration between departments.

The showcase event featured playable demos of several research projects, and was organized to coincide with the annual occurrence of the Digital Games Research Association Conference. The event provided an opportunity for academic and industry members of the video game community to meet and hold discussions.