New Gambit benefits game and media students
Tue, Sep 01, 2009

Since running yearly summer internship programmes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2007, the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab (GAMBIT) has trained 77 students from various local tertiary institutes in games research and development.

Of these, 41 of them have since found employment as artists, programmers or game designers in games and media companies such as Ubisoft, Boomzap, Double Negative and NexGen Studio.

These developments were announced at a GAMBIT media briefing today where 40 new students showcased their six newly developed game prototypes to the media. These students had just returned from a nine-week internship programme at MIT.

Mr Lim Chong Jin, Deputy Director of Projects and Capability Development said: "The GAMBIT internship programme has developed a fertile ground for new insight, inspiration and imagination for the games and media industries.

"A survey of the GAMBIT alumni from Temasek Polytechinic reveals that many have not only found employment but are working in some of the best games and media companies."

A pioneering collaboration between the Media Development Authority (MDA) and MIT with support from the National Research Foundation, GAMBIT is a five-year research initiative that addresses important challenges for the digital game industry, with a focus on possible applications by Singapore's digital game industry.

It involves a summer internship programme where local tertiary students are attached to MIT to create innovative games based on research topics.

GAMBIT has also published 25 summer game prototypes (http://gambit.mit.edu/loadgame/index.php). Of these, several have won accolades.

CarneyVale: Showtime was among the "Top 10 Independent Games Showcase Winners 2009" by PAX 10 (Penny Arcade). It was selected by game industry experts from over 150 submissions of independent games worldwide.

The game will be showcased at 2009 Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, a prestigious international event that highlights the best of indie games.

Last year, CarneyVale: Showtime beat 350 entries from 10 countries to win the grand prize Microsoft's "XNA Dream-Build-Play" Challenge 2008.

It became the first Singapore game that was published on Microsoft's Xbox Live XNA Community Games Channel. It is now the top five most downloaded games on the channel with 48,000 downloads to date.

Another noteworthy games is mobile game Backflow which was a finalist in two categories at the 2008 Independent Games Festival (IGF) Mobile competition.

GAMBIT also develops research, connections and multi-disciplinary approaches to research problems that can be applied on Singapore's growing games industry.

It has so far published 41 research papers and publications in well-respected journals as well as leading game publications and portals such as Gamasutra, Game Developer magazine and Game Career Guide.

Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA said: "The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab has accomplished a remarkable feat by achieving all these within a short period of time. It is encouraging to know that some of the major game companies like Ubisoft have approached GAMBIT regularly for recommendations on students that they can recruit"

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