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About the Archives

This page contains all entries posted to GAMBIT in September 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2011 is the previous archive.

October 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Friday Games 9/30/2011 - Atypical Motion-Control Games
Cabela.jpgEvery major game console has their motion-control solution now, and we figured it'd be interesting to see how some developers are trying to shake up (sic) the formulae and expectations established by the waggle business. On deck are three games that stick out (for better or worse) from other motion-control games on their respective platforms:
  • Rise of Nightmares (Xbox 360 Kinect)
  • Kung Fu Rider (PlayStation Move) (Philip forgot to bring his PlayStation Move)
  • Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011 (Nintendo Wii)
Actually, this whole session is just a badly-contrived excuse to play Cabela on the big GAMBIT screen. Friday, 4pm, 5 Cambridge Center, Third Floor, be there! (... or you can watch our live stream.)
More Undergraduate Research Positions available at the US lab! (UROP)


The US lab is hiring undergraduate researchers through MIT's UROP program for the Fall semester! Only students eligible for an MIT UROP can apply.

Apply by sending the following to Rik Eberhardt
- the position you're interested in
- resume & statement of interest -- Why do you want the position? What do you bring to it? How does this fit with your MIT education?
- your current schedule (specifically, hours you CANNOT work)

We're hosting another board and card game jam, October 8th and 9th!

Boston Game Jams logo

As promised, the next Boston Game Jam will be the Fall 2011 Cardboard Jam, on October 8th and 9th at GAMBIT.

As before, please bring your friends who love design and board or card games but whom are afraid of the whole programming/tech side of game jams. If that you, then now's your chance to bring yourself to a jam!

The beauty of this jam is that the technology barrier is waaaaaaay lower -- anyone can cut out pieces of paper, write with a pen, and organize objects on a board! We'll also be adding a bit more structure this time to facilitate play-testing and the peer feedback process.

Futures of Entertainment 5 comes to MIT, November 11-12

The fifth annual Futures of Entertainment conference is headed our way this November, featuring old friends like Henry Jenkins, Parmesh Shahani, Josh Green, Sheila Seles, Ana Domb, Xiaochang Li, and many more.

It's the conference for understanding the widening media landscape, exploring the current state and future of media properties, brands, and audiences and the way these groups interact and intersect with one another. All of these have big, long-term implications for games.

Register at Evenbrite and learn more from organizer Sam Ford below:

We're excited to announce that registration has officially opened for our fifth Futures of Entertainment conference, which will begin on 11/11/11. The conference--which will run Nov. 11-12--will be held at the Kirsch Auditorium on the first floor of the Frank Gehry-designed Ray and Maria Stata Center on the campus of MIT in Cambridge, MA.

Full details on the line-up as it stands is below. Registration is available here. Please keep in mind that seats are limited, so--if you plan to attend--register soon.

The Futures of Entertainment conference brings together professionals from academia and the marketing and media industries to discuss how communication between media producers/brands and audiences are changing, and how the nature of storytelling is shifting in a digital era.

On Friday, we will tackle some of the pressing questions and new innovations on the media horizon: new models of media creation and distribution--and challenges/questions related to participation--in a "spreadable media" landscape; new models aimed at representing fan interests in media production; innovations in crowdsourcing for content creation, funding, and distribution; the impact of location-based technologies and services; and privacy concerns raised by these developments. On Saturday, we will look at particular media industries to how these innovations are evolving: serialized storytelling; children's media; nonfiction storytelling; and music.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. until 6:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a reception scheduled for Friday evening.

Here's the full two-day lineup.

Our home department opens two faculty searches: tenure-track in games studies and tenured position in Comparative Media Studies

As a great sign that game studies is taking on a strong role at MIT, GAMBIT's home department of Comparative Media Studies has just announced two faculty explicitly for games studies and another for which games studies is a key component.

Descriptions, requirements, and deadlines are below. You'll want to act fast -- or share these with colleagues soon -- as the deadlines are almost here.

(1) Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Comparative Media Studies/Game Studies, MIT

MIT's Program in Comparative Media Studies in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science is seeking a tenure-track assistant professor of game studies to start in the fall of 2012.

Candidates should have a Ph.D. with a record of significant publication (or the promise thereof), research activity and/or design experience relevant to game studies. We seek a candidate who will connect the work of our GAMBIT and Education Arcade research labs to the classroom, and who can direct innovative and multidisciplinary research. Relevant areas of specialization include the history, theory, sociology, psychology and criticism of games and play, and expertise in one or more of the following areas: game design; game engineering; player, playing and assessment methodologies; user behaviors and game economics; data analytics; and visual, narrative, and audio design. Fluency in a broader array of humanities-based media studies and experience in game production will be considered a plus.

Applicants should have teaching experience.

Please submit a letter of application, C.V., three letters of recommendation, and work samples online by December 1, 2011 at: Hard copies of works samples may be sent to Prof. William Uricchio, Director, Program in Comparative Media Studies, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, E15-313, Cambridge, MA 02139. MIT is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

(2) Tenured Associate/Full Professor, MIT Comparative Media Studies

MIT's Program in Comparative Media Studies seeks applications for a tenured Professor beginning in September 2012.

A Ph.D. and an extensive record of publication, research activity and leadership are expected. We encourage applicants from a wide array of disciplinary backgrounds. The successful candidate will teach and guide research in one or more of the Program's dimensions of comparativity (historical, methodological, cultural) across media forms. Expertise in the cultural and social implications of established media forms (film, television, radio, audio and visual cultures, or print) is as important as scholarship in one or more emerging areas such as games, social media, media literacies, digital arts and culture, internet research, network cultures, software studies, media industries, and transmedia storytelling.

The position involves teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, developing and guiding collaborative research activities, and participating in the intellectual and creative leadership of the Program and the Institute.

Candidates should demonstrate a record of effective teaching and thesis supervision, significant research/creative activity, relevant administrative experience, and international recognition.

CMS offers SB and SM programs and maintains a full roster of research initiatives and outreach activities [see]. The program embraces the notion of comparativity and collaboration, and works across MIT's various schools, and between MIT and the larger media landscape.

Applications consisting of a curriculum vita, a statement of teaching philosophy and experience, a statement of current and future research plans, selected major publications 3 letters of recommendation should be submitted online by November 1, 2011 at: Hard copies of work samples may be sent to: Professor William Uricchio, Director, Comparative Media Studies, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, E15-313, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA. MIT is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Robotany Picked As a Finalist for IGF China!

GAMBIT's Summer 2011 Game, Robotany is a finalist in the student competition for the 3rd Independent Games Festival China (IGF China 2011) happening November 12th to the14th in Shanghai.

GDC China 2011.JPG
Congratulations goes out to Andrew Grant, Jason Begy and Team Planterra for becoming one of the six finalists in pool that amazingly contains no less than three teams from Singapore's DigiPen Institute of Technology.

The awards ceremony will take place on November 12th, 2011. Best of luck!

GAMBIT Summer Summit 2011 Video Series Begins Today!

Every summer at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, students from Singapore and the US work with GAMBIT researchers and development teams on novel game concepts, and visiting researchers spend that time research gaming related topics across a variety of fields. Back on July 6th, 2011, we drew back the curtains in the middle of the summer to provide insights into our current game development and research activities during the inaugural GAMBIT Summer Summit. Part One of this ten part weekly series begins with an opening message from GAMBIT's US Executive Director, Philip Tan who then introduces Scot Osterweil from the Education Arcade. He begins our summit with the keynote "Educational Games: Stop Being Serious".

Recent reviews of GAMBIT games

We've been in the news lately! Check out the following links:

Friday Games 9/23/11 - Jason Begy presents Radiant Silvergun

Radiant Silvergun for XBLAOne of the last Friday Games at GAMBIT last semester featured three perspectives on lab favorite Ikaruga. Now we're kicking off Friday Games at GAMBIT this Fall with its predecessor from Treasure, Radiant Silvergun!

Finally available on at an affordable price, Radiant Silvergun on the Xbox Live Arcade is an up-rezzed, faithful conversion of the Japanese Sega Saturn & Arcade original, with the addition of that must-have feature: SUBTITLES! GAMBIT Research Associate Jason Begy will reprise his performance at the Complete Game-Completion Marathon, playing the notoriously difficult and psychedelic shmup while explaining the philosophical underpinnings behind the game. Only this time, he won't have to translate all the dialogue simultaneously.

If you are intrigued by the claim that Radiant Silvergun might be "the best art game every made", a good place to start would be Jason Begy's blog post from 2009, where he lays out the history of the title and describes the basic mechanics of the game. Then come by the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab on the third floor of 5 Cambridge Center, near the Kendall MBTA station, grab a fistful of cookies at 4pm and settle in for a tale of reincarnation, redemption, and mindblowing bullet hell.

Improviso is an IndieCade Finalist!

IndieCade LogoCongratulations to Jeff Orkin, Tynan Smith, and Team Dramatics! Improviso has made it to the finals of IndieCade 2011. Out of 446 games submitted, 36 were chosen.

From the Indiecade site:

IndieCade's 2011 finalists continue to raise the bar on quality, innovation and diversity. Indie developers continue to amaze us with their creativity and resourcefulness as they redefine the video game platform and expand our minds through play. Whether, creating new twists on old mechanics, bringing new meaning to familiar genres, or inveting entirely new mechanics, this year's indie continue to push the envelope on established platforms, as well as exploring the play affordances of new technologies such mobile phones, Kinect, as the iPad, stereoscopic 3D, as well as some novel interfaces we haven't seen before.

All of the finalist games will be playable by attendees of IndieCade which takes place on October 8th and 9th. The festival will be held in multiple locations across downtown Culver City (Los Angeles). The lineup looks pretty awesome. Improviso will be in great company!

GAMBIT featured on The Feed at


The Feed at is running a series called "G4 University", with lots of articles and video interviews about starting a career in the game industry. They just ran an article about GAMBIT, featuring lots of photos from our recent appearances at PAX East and the MIT Museum.

Thanks to Dennis Scimeca for the interview!

Podcast: Scott Nicholson, "From Settlers to Quarriors: Breaking up the Monopoly with Modern Board Game Design"

Over the last 15 years, there has been an explosion of innovation in board game styles and mechanisms. The Settlers of Catan was the game that crossed the ocean from Germany to the U.S. in the late 1990's and kicked off this new era in board gaming. These modern board games, or Eurogames, are more engaging experiences and based less on luck than the typical roll-and-move board game design prevalent in the 20th century.

Listeners will learn about a variety of game mechanisms through discussions of exemplar games and see how these games relate. Many of these mechanisms are appropriate for digital games as well as tabletop games, so listeners will improve their toolkit of mechanisms for their own design work.

Dr. Scott Nicholson is a visiting scholar with MIT Comparative Media Studies for the 2011-2012 academic year, working with the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and The Education Arcade. He is an associate professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, where he has focused on games in libraries and game design as a pedagogical tool. He was the host of Board Games with Scott from 2005-2010 and is the designer of Tulipmania 1637, a board game published in 2009. In addition, he is the author of Everyone Plays at the Library: Creating Great Gaming Experiences for All Ages, published in 2010 by Information Today.

Download audio!

Watch on YouTube!

From Theory to Design to Research. Seven Steps of the Game Development Circle of "Afterland"

How does the development circle of a theory-based video game look like? This video outlines seven steps of the development process the recursive learning game Afterland designed at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab in 2010. The game uses subversive game design elements to challenge players' expectations and force them to rethink their conceptual framework. Afterland is an atypical video game, because it is both research-based and grounded on a learning theoretical framework called "recursive learning". To provide insights into the theoretical background and the application of pedagogical theories to the game design process this video offers a deeper look behind the scenes. The leading researcher Konstantin Mitgutsch and the game director Matthew Weise are reflecting and revisiting the process of developing the development circle of the game. Video Produced by Generoso Fierro, Edited by Garrett Beazley

Boston area high school students invited to learn about game research at MIT with director of Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab 10/19/11

WHAT IS GAME RESEARCH? How are videogames developed? What has changed in the decades since they were invented? How do they connect with other kinds of games and industries? Learn about the history of videogames at MIT and today's challenges of making interactive digital entertainment. This whirlwind tour of technology, artistry, and entrepreneurship will discuss the complexities of the massive videogame industry, highlighting some of the innovations that have expanded the medium and the researchers who push the boundaries today.

On Wednesday, October 19th 2011 at 5PM in room 3-133 on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Philip Tan, U.S. Executive Director of the Singapore-MIT Game Lab, will be speaking to Boston area high school students on the aforementioned subject. Entitled "What Is Game Research?", the 45-minute talk will be followed by a question and answer session.

RSVP is required as seating is limited. Doors open at 4:30PM. To RSVP, please contact GAMBIT Communications Director, Generoso Fierro


"GAMBIT is a great demonstration of a successful collaboration, not just between countries, but between students, faculty, and industry," says Professor William Uricchio, Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies program, of which GAMBIT is a part. "More than just teaching students how to develop games, GAMBIT provides an opportunity to rethink the types of games that can be made. More than just taking a course, the students are an integral part of the research process. Research publications, new start-up companies, and ongoing collaborations with the Singapore-based games industry all work together to push the envelope of games with the GAMBIT imprint of innovative thinking."

The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab is a five-year research initiative that addresses important challenges faced by the global digital game research community and industry, with a core focus on identifying and solving research problems using a multidisciplinary approach that can be applied by Singapore's digital game industry. The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab focuses on building collaborations between Singapore institutions of higher learning and several MIT departments to accomplish both research and development.

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