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Providing the skills required for innovative mobilegame development using industry/academic partnerships

Author(s): Reuben Edwards | Paul Coulton

Journal: ITALICS
ISSN 1473-7507

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Mobile games education | Symbian | J2ME | Flash Lite

Mobile game development is seen as an area likely to exhibit increasing influence on the structure of the games industry although many current pc/console game developers are struggling to adapt their existing practices to this new medium. This is due to both the physical restrictions of the mobile phone and the mobile network as a development environment and the very different demographic of mobile gamer. They are generally ignoring the inherent features of mobility, almost universal connectivity, context, location, and proximity available on mobile phones and thus the possibilities of creating new game genres. Academia is well-placed to teach the skills required to produce the innovation in mobile games development through burgeoning research in pervasive and mobile computing. However, they must also overcome the prejudices of the game industry which has often criticised academic games courses for failing to give students a true insight into its day to day operation of the industry and in particular the commercial pressures of working to budgets and timescales. In this paper we describe the structure around out MSc in Mobile Game design and M-Commerce Systems which encourages innovation and entrepreneurship within an academic environment by employing an industrial approach to academic game development through collaborative partnerships with industry and the provision of a direct route to market.
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