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MIT, Singapore set up game lab

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said Tuesday it teamed up with a Singapore-based group known as the Media Development Authority to establish an international game lab. The focus of the lab, called the Singapore-MIT International Game Lab (SMIGL), will be to research and develop game technology--including new genres, multicultural vocabularies and gaming's societal effects--and create academic programs in the field, among other goals.

The lab, which will have offices at MIT's Cambridge, Mass., campus and in Singapore, will be lead by the directors of MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program, Henry Jenkins and William Uricchio. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are excited by ... the opportunity to push game research and the industry in new directions, and we very much look forward to initiating an international dialogue among leading scholars, designers, students and gamers," Uricchio, a specialist in trans-national media distribution, said in a statement.

Singapore's MDA was formed in 2003 by several leaders in the country's film, broadcasting and publications industries, with the aim of establishing Singapore as a major player on the global media stage. By teaming with MIT, a U.S. tech pioneer, MDA hopes to boost the country's influence in gaming.

"Over the next five years, we expect some 300 of our best talents from the industry and academia to take advantage of this unique opportunity to work closely with the best research minds at MIT," said Michael Yap, executive director of the Interactive & Digital Media R&D Programme Office, which is part of MDA.