Just Press PlayJust Press Play adds a game layer to our undergraduates' daily life.See More
Mindgamers in SchoolA therapeutic, physiologically-controlled videogame for use by people diagnosed with anxiety and/or autism spectrum disorder.See More
qltThis project seeks to integrate social and rich media into a usable, rich learning experience using open source LMS.See More
Chain Gang ChasePlay with up to seven friends as convicts chained together, running for freedom, in this couch co-op for OUYA, desktop, and mobile.See More
Games, Gender & STEMSBIR work with Second Ave LearningSee More
The MAGIC Center is a project driven place. Nearly everything we do is based in part (or in total) on the act of making things. In fact, this is our primary academic purpose on the RIT campus with respect to digital media: to preserve (as Ian Horswill of Northwestern so eloquently put it) "making as a mode of inquiry:" We make things in order to understand something, be it technical, social, or expressive. We make things to convey meaning, to impart message, and to reflect upon the human condition. Trying to understand digital media and its applications without making things is impossible: the act of creation is what informs our understanding of how things operate and the effects they have upon us.
There are many myths of making, chief among them the lone creator locked away from society focused on his or her craft to the exclusion of all. In today's world of digital media, creators are in constant contact and collaboration around the globe, exchanging ideas, content, source code, and materials. They are continually tinkering, breaking, improving, and remixing. The making of things is not a single, finite step, but a cyclical process that builds upon itself, upon every iteration and milestone, every release, in a symbiotic way between the author and the public. When we say the MAGIC Center is a place for making things, we mean just that: it is a community, first and foremost: a community that promotes the making of things as a core value.
Finally, we would note the critical role of the public, of the 'other', with our work. Without a public, without an audience, there can be no Art. But higher education has been guilty at times of failing to communicate directly with the public about its research and its findings. Too often, we define prestige or merit by communicating in channels outside those typical of public discourse or in language designed to make clear the unwelcome nature of outside critique. MAGIC holds to the tenet that it is our obligation to engage the public and our community directly, to develop our work in a transparent and educational fashion, and to distribute our findings widely as an intellectual contribution to both the academy and the world, in formats that are easily understood and replicable. Doing so does not cheapen or demean our work, indeed quite the opposite: there are reasons that maker culture is so intertwined with the open-source aesthetic and ideal of the commons: they inform each other in practical, concrete ways that enable quicker, more productive cycles of knowledge creation.
Our goal in MAGIC is to learn by making things, and to contribute that knowledge to others such that we might learn from them in return. That is our obligation both as academics, and as artists, but above all as makers of things.