The organisers of eGames a two-day international conference on mobile and serious game, scheduled to be held 10 - 11 December at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, has partnered with staff from De Montfort University in the UK to assist in the debate over the current and future needs of the Gulf's gaming community.
Recognised as gaming industry experts, Michael Powell, Steve Abrahart and Chris Hinton from De Montfort University's Faculty of Art & Design, will deliver a full-day gaming workshop - aimed at the Omani youth market - at the Middle East College of Information Technology on 9 December.
According to Mulki Al Hashmi of KOM's Marketing Department and eGames Workshop Co-ordinator: 'The workshop will cover storyboarding, character design and development, animation, narrative storytelling and visual effects. We're delighted with the tremendous response that this full-day program has received from the local student community.'
The De Montfort University trio will also deliver a conference panel on Designing Learning Based Games. Michael Powell said: 'Computer games are getting serious. Not only as a modern popular entertainment format, but also as a powerful vehicle for education, cultural dissemination, training, public policy, healthcare, simulation and many other applications which fall outside the entertainment norm.
'Historically, educational games have been a bit like a cabbage sandwich - not very tasty. Indeed, more people in education and training are discovering the real potential of games. This is what we intend to highlight in our session.'
De Montfort's Chris Hinton, commented: 'Our involvement in the eGames workshop and conference re-enforces the University of De Montfort's mission to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter into the games industry and I and my colleagues are delighted to be appearing as workshop presenters and guest speakers at eGames.'
He added: 'We fully support eGames as it provides a unique opportunity for both experts in the industry, business and educators to exchange ideas and perspectives as well as sharing understanding and best practice relating to the future of the Gulf's gaming community.'
eGames is the first conference in the Gulf region that brings together game developers, telco providers, publishers, game producers, educators, marketers and other professionals interested in the mobile and serious gaming space,' said Mohammed Al Maskari, Director General, Knowledge Oasis Muscat and organizer of the annual eGames program.
The conference will feature debates with international speakers sharing their views on the future of mobile and serious game development. In addition to De Montfort Unversity staff, Ericsson, Nexgen Studio, Oman Mobile, The Consultants-E, Nawras, Sun Microsystems, Game Frontier and the Serious Gaming Department from Coventry University will lead discussions on mobile game development; telcos and mobile entertainment; serious gaming and its applications to education and business; and competitive computer gaming and eSport.
'We saw from last year's conference that eGames appeals to business, government and education - if you're a tour operator or running a government department, a bank, an insurance agency, a college or even an oil company you should be interested in learning how to leverage mobile and serious gaming not only to promote your products, services and brand but also train your staff - gaming is the next frontier for training and marketing,' said Al Maskari.