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MAGIC News & Press Announcements

RIT named one of three Digital Gaming Hubs in New York state

Rochester Institute of Technology has been named one of three Digital Gaming Hubs in New York state by Empire State Development. The Digital Gaming Hubs, which also include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and New York University, will receive $150,000 each, per year for three years.

Full Article from RIT News

Super Daryl Deluxe

Super Daryl Deluxe takes top prize at two national competitions! Read about the Super Daryl Deluxe team in the RIT Research Magazine.


MAGIC Virtual Reality Lab

RIT students and faculty working in a variety of disciplines have studied virtual reality as a way to enhance the user experience in game design and development, film and animation and imaging science. In January, the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC) will serve as a home base for developers and practitioners who are at the forefront of emerging virtual/augmented reality technology.

Full Article at RIT News

RIT announces investments in MAGIC Spell Studios

RIT today announced $12 million in funding from New York state, $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems Inc. that will be used to grow MAGIC Spell Studios, a university program that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging sciences projects. That money will be added to the $1.5 million RIT has already received through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which named MAGIC Spell Studios as a priority project.

Full Article at RIT News

A.V. Now Available on STEAM

MAGIC Spell Studios helped launch A.V. The Game on Steam! You can read more about our work in supporting this project and launching a commercial title on behalf of our recent alumni in the university press coverage. And be sure to go play the game on STEAM, it’s a really unique and interesting experience!

MAGIC Launches Research Initiative on Religion, Culture & Policy

In support of the efforts of Assistant Professor Owen Gottlieb and his collaborators that span academic and industry partnerships, and to better facilitate his explorations into the ways that games and digital media can education, inform, and encourage religious literacy and cultural understandings that impact policy, practice, and community, we are delighted to announce the formation of the MAGIC Initiative on Relition, Culture & Policy. More on this initiative and the research projects associated with these efforts is available on the initiative page at the MAGIC Center.

MAGIC Serves as Founding Member of HEVGA

Aspen, Colorado — July 1, 2014 — Announced today at the Aspen Ideas Festival, The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (The Alliance) will provide a platform for leading academics to showcase the critical role video game programs are playing in educating and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. The Alliance will afford its members, including professors and other campus leadership, an opportunity to share and highlight best practices, publish research, initiate and strengthen industry connections, and educate and engage policymakers and the media.

The first-of-its-kind alliance will be led by and open to university faculty, director of game design programs ,departmental heads, and other campus leadership The founding and executive committee members include Constance Steinkuehler, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the UW-Madison Games+Learning+Society center; Tracy Fullerton, Associate Professor and Director of USC Games at the University of Southern California; Andrew Phelps, Professor and Director of the Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Center; Drew Davidson, Professor and Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University; and Katherine Isbister, Associate Professor and Director of the Game Innovation Lab at New York University. The full list of current Charter Members, as well as more information on The Alliance can be found on www.HigherEdGames.org.

MAGIC Affiliate Presents MAGIC at the New Media Consortium Summer Conference

MAGIC was the source of much discussion at the annual New Media Consortium Summer Conference in Portland. Professor Al Biles, magic affiliate and faculty in the School of Interactive Games & Media gave the a presentation outlining the center, its goals, and its unique model of faculty participation and engagement in support of multi-disciplinary activity. You can find his presentation here, and we are grateful to NMC for hosting us.

MAGIC Affiliate Dr. Elizabeth Lawley awarded Fulbright Scholarship

MAGIC is pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Lawley, a Professor in the School of Interactive Games & Media and and Director of the Lab for Social Computing at MAGIC has been awarded a Fulbright to further explore games and social applications at our campus in Dubrovnik next Spring. The entire center wishes her many congratulations for this recognition and support of her ongoing work in this area. You can follow her plans and adventures on her Dubrovnik Diaries.

MAGIC to host Adobe Vice President of User Experience Michael Gough for Imagine RIT

When we at MAGIC think of Imagine RIT, we think of creativity. In particular, what I think of most is the creative process that we all go through to produce the work, experiences, and exhibits that we display during the festival. Walking around campus that day, it isn’t just the things that you see and experience-it’s the culmination of a year of production, a year of learning, a year of new things and experimentation. In addition to numerous other exhibits and displays that MAGIC is engaged in at Imagine, all of us in the Center felt that it would be ideal if we could find some way of reflecting on the process leading up to this day, of exploring our views on what creativity is and how it works, and to do something that would be of interest to those of us interested in digital media and its production. (more…)

MAGIC Director Andrew Phelps named kick-off speaker for Mathematics Awareness Month Series at St. John Fisher College

When we think of mathematics, we think of calculation, of order, of precision, and perhaps of functional tools to get work done. Spreadsheets, architectural plans, number-crunching big data for encrypted communications or a cure for cancer, mathematics is serious and mathematics means work. When we consider math in terms of the Arts, we might think of music as an oft-touted example, or maybe as a basis for simple games such as flashcards or Monopoly, but they are tangents, not deep drivers of the field. This talk, then, seeks to dispel all of that. The focus of this presentation is on mathematics as a tool for play, for entertainment, and magic in the modern era. In virtual worlds like Titanfall to feature Hollywood productions, recreational mathematics form the core of our entertainment landscape in a variety of ways. From fractals and analytic geometry to trigonometry, calculus, and discrete mathematics, human beings incorporate our best understanding of mathematics to create our play spaces and tell each other stories. In the legacy of Martin Gardner, this talk explores the ways we use mathematics to engage, entertain, play and learn in the world today, with appreciation and respect for his work in promoting recreational mathematics throughout his career. Come explore the magic of math, and the creativity inherent in calculation. Director Phelps will present this talk on Thursday, March 27th at St. John Fisher College in the Skalny Auditorium as the kick-off event for their series on Mathematics Awareness Month.

MAGIC affiliates create first interdisciplinary Minor in Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture

The FOSS@MAGIC initiative is pleased to announce the creation of the Minor in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Free Culture. This unique offering was developed in part by Stephen Jacobs, Professor in the School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM) and Associate Director of the MAGIC Center, as well as Dr. Amit Ray (associate professor of English and an affiliate of the Center), Dr. Jonathan Schull (research scientist in the MAGIC Center), and Mr. Remy DeCausemaker (lecturer in the School of IGM as well as the FOSS@MAGIC Research Coordinator), and is a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration spanning colleges, curricula, and research throughout the campus. Offered by IGM, the minor allows students from any discipline to gain expertise as contributors to FOSS and Free Culture communities. Our FOSS efforts have received support from Red Hat, Inc. and we are working in partnership with Red Hat’s University Relations lead, Mr. Tom Callaway to use MAGIC and IGM’s FOSS programs and activities as models for other academic institutions.