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A Busy Year for American University's Game Lab

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Students playing each other's games at a Game Lab showcase

American University's Game Lab, which serves as a hub for experiential education, persuasive play research, and innovative production in the fields of games for change and purposeful play, has had a productive year.

  • Game Lab moved into its new home in the Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building on the university's East Campus. It includes a spacious reception area with an 8' diagonal, 4K touch screen monitor that allows visitors to play several of the Game Lab's productions (Factitious, Hurl the Harasser, and Function Force). The central room of the Game Lab is completely configurable; it includes one 85" 4K monitor, three moveable two-sided whiteboards, as well as three moveable hybrid whiteboards with 32" monitors.
  • A " community phone booth" developed by professor Ben Stokes will be showcased at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum's latest exhibit, "A Right to the City." It allows callers to hear voices from the exhibit, and contribute their own stories.
  • Director Lindsay Grace and professor Bob Hone of the Game Lab will be presenting at the Games for Change Festival this year. Game Lab will hold a cocktail hour as part of the event on June 29.
  • Grace will also be on a panel about negative effects of the World Health Organization's recent classification of a gaming disorder with alumnus Kelli Dunlap.
  • Grace will also be speaking at Eyeo Festival, a festival focused on the intersection of art, data and creative technology.
  • Grace spoke on bringing education across boards for the Game Developers Conference (GDC), which offered a solution to a problem related to the travel ban.
  • Cherisse Datu, an alumnus, is now working at Bethesda Softworks a video game publishing company in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Kirby Cofino, a graduating student in the MA program, finished his conference associateship at GDC and is now a UX Consultant with ETS.
  • Ryan Seymour, who is graduating from the MA program, will be working as Education Technology Specialist at the Smithsonian Science Education Center.
  • Grace was appointed as the vice president of the executive committee of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA).
  • The Game Lab launched a new graduate program, MFA in Games and Interactive Media, to complement its MA in Game Design and certificate programs.
  • Grace has just released a new game, Art Heist, in which you're part of a white-hat contract team that can steal just about anything. The game is designed around original blueprints and floorplans of real museums.

The program has been on the Princeton Review's list of top 25 Game Design MA programs every year since it was launched four years ago.

AU's location in the nation's capital allows for unique partnerships and collaborations with cultural institutions and government agencies that national impact.

The program is offered through a partnership between AU's School of Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences.