The Singapore-M.I.T. GAMBIT Game Lab ("gambit" for gamers, aesthetics, mechanics, business, innovation and technology) brings together computer geeks of Cambridge and computer geeks of the Asian city-state. The point: to develop video games for the global market from the outset, not translate them from one continent to another.
Eitan Glinert, there as a master's candidate in computer science, got to thinking about one market lost in translation. "People with disabilities were being left out of progress in the gaming market," says Mr. Glinert, 26. For his master's thesis, Mr. Glinert wanted to make a game that would work equally for the visually impaired and for the seeing, so they could play together.
A team of seven other students at the lab and a professor from the National University of Singapore pitched in. The result, AudiOdyssey, can be played with a keyboard or Nintendo Wii remote.
The game stars a D.J. named Vinyl Scorcher whose objective is to get the people in his nightclub on the dance floor, by playing great music. "Choosing music as our central game theme works perfectly since both sighted and nonsighted users are equally familiar with music," Mr. Glinert says. But it wasn't enough to make the game playable by both groups; both groups had to have the same experience.
Our folks are in great company - the full list includes profiles of innovators doing work in interactive toys at Syracuse University, rotavirus vaccine distribution methods at Johns Hopkins, kitchen chemistry for middle schoolers at Georgia Tech, neuromarketing at Yale, husk power at the University of Virginia and the electric gyroscopic motorcycle from MIT freshman Ben Gulak. Congratulations to Eitan and the rest of the AudiOdyssey team!