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New Meetup: Philip Tan, Video Game Research with GAMBIT @ MIT Museum's Second Fridays

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:17 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Philip Tan, Video Game Research with GAMBIT @ MIT Museum's Second Fridays

When: Friday, November 12,[masked]:00 PM

Where: MIT Museum
265 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

This month's program of the MIT Museum's Second Fridays has the theme Video Games at MIT.

From 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm drop in and explore, according to the MIT Museum website "GAMBIT?s latest and greatest games, and chat with game developers about what happens 'behind the screens' at GAMBIT". GAMBIT appears to be a student program partnered with MIT and the government of Singapore so that undergrads and grad students in Singapore and the United States can research the next generation of computer games.

From 6:00 pm to 6:20 pm , Philip Tan, US Executive Director of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab will be talking about "the process of experimental game development at MIT". After the talk we can wander around until we all feel like grabbing dinner somewhere.

You can go to GAMBIT's website at to play some of their Summer 2010 prototypes.

Where to Meet:

T.J. Maher will probably be wandering around the MIT Museum sans-nametag (he doesn't want to mistaken for a tour guide) but will be wearing a small MEETUP sticker in its place and will have a large red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag starting at 5:30 pm. Feel free to drop in!

He was thinking of passing around small round MEETUP stickers people who show up could wear so other members who drop in can find us.

We should probably grab seats at 5:50 pm as a group for the lecture. After the lecture, we can wander around until we get bored and or/ get hungry between 7:00 pm and when the MIT Museum closes at 7:30 pm.

About that evening's program:

"The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab does real research using video games. Meet developers and researchers from MIT, the Berklee School of Music and the Rhode Island School of Design as you get your game on in this immersive, hands-on evening at the MIT Museum. Test drive innovative new video games, explore MIT?s history of games, and find out what researchers are learning about the artistic, creative, business and social aspects of video games".

About Philp Tam's talk "A Wedge and a Needle: Game Development at MIT"

"How did MIT make it possible for us to play with a computer? Philip Tan, US Executive Director of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, will talk about the innovations that research institutes and universities have brought to video games. This presentation will focus on the role that MIT has played in the very earliest computer games in the 1960s to the mega-hits of today. From the first game controllers to virtual instruments, from interactive fiction to immersive simulations, Tan will describe the process of experimental game development at MIT".

About Philip Tan Boon Yew:

"Philip Tan is the executive director for the US operations of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a game research initiative hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is concurrently a project manager for the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore.

"He has served as a member of the steering committee of the Singapore chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and worked closely with Singapore game developers to launch industry-wide initiatives and administer content development grants as an assistant manager in the Animation & Games Industry Development section of MDA. He has produced and designed PC online games at The Education Arcade, a research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that studied and created educational games. He complements a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies with work in Boston's School of Museum of Fine Arts, the MIT Media Lab, WMBR 88.1FM and the MIT Assassins' Guild, the latter awarding him the title of 'Master Assassin' for his live-action roleplaying game designs. He also founded a DJ crew at MIT."

Article found in Boston Innovation.Com:
MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Gearing Up to Find the Future of Gaming Again
by Kyle Psaty | May 19th, 2010

"We?ve told you before about some of the unique games developed across the Charles River at MIT?s gaming research center, called the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. I sat down with GAMBIT Executive Director Philip Tan recently to talk about what GAMBIT has planned for their annual, summer-long development camp, which seeks to research gaming in realms not yet explored.

? 'We are gearing up for the summer program, which starts in the first week of June,' said Tan. 'I?ll be preparing the students in Singapore while U.S. students from all over the country gather at MIT. Then everyone comes together at MIT. We?ll be working in six teams of ten students, probably on six different games. The program lasts nine weeks.'

" 'At it?s core, GAMBIT is a collaboration between the Singaporean government and MIT that researches the future of gaming ? touching on theories and methodologies not yet well-developed enough for the private sector to pursue. The group is at the cutting edge of gaming and has been since its inception in 2006.

" Said Tan: 'What we hope to be able to do at GAMBIT is take some of the risks the gaming industry would like someone to take but not themselves. We can try things because we?re not afraid of failing. And then, the gaming industry can take a look at our ideas, play our games and decide what they want to rip off. Then they can go forth and prosper, because we?re publicly funded.'

"GAMBIT ? which stands for Gamers, Asthetics, Mechanics, Business, Innovation and Technology ? has a partnership with Singapore to work on projects aimed at revealing all kinds of things about how gaming can grow, change and be deployed.

" 'The name is really long,' Tan chuckled, 'but the whole point is to get people to realize that we?re not just a tech lab and we?re not just a humanities lab even though we?re under the humanities department. We have a very large scope of things we could explore. For example in business, we work closely with folks over at the Sloan School of Management to think about how the game industry is run and how game companies are run, and think about how people can do that better to keep this industry sustainable.'

"This summer?s GAMBIT Game Lab program will include 39 undergraduate students and a handful of grad students from Singapore. The rest of the development roster, which includes artists, programmers, game designers, sound designers, producers, quality assurance leads and others, will be filled by American students. [...]"

About MIT Museum's Second Fridays:

"Jump-start your weekend at the MIT Museum during our monthly free evening. Mingle with friends in the Museum's unique galleries with displays of holograms, kinetic sculptures, historic robots and some of the latest research coming out of MIT".

From the MIT -> Tech TV website:

* The History of The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Part 1 (22 minutes):

* The History of The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Part 2: (33 minutes):

* The History of The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Part 3 (20 minutes)

Calendar of Upcoming Events @ MIT Museum:

Directions and Parking:

"Take the Red Line to either Central Square Station (a 10 minute walk to the Museum) or Kendall Square/MIT Station (a 15 minute walk to the Museum).

"From Central Square: Walk down Mass. Ave. toward Boston and the main MIT campus. The Museum is on the left at the corner of Front St.

"From Kendall/MIT Station at the east end of campus: Walk down Main St., away from Boston, to Windsor St., turn left, take the second right onto Front St., and continue to the museum entrance".

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