Mason and Prince William County Open Doors to New Simulation and Game Institute

Posted: January 22, 2014 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: January 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

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By Catherine Probst

 

students working on game design

A new Simulation and Game Institute will open on the Prince William Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn

George Mason University and Prince William County will officially open the doors to a new Simulation and Game Institute located on George Mason’s Prince William Campus within Innovation Park. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 27, at 10:30 a.m. in the Mason Enterprise Center in Bull Run Hall.

Housed within the Mason Enterprise Center’s 4,000-square-foot facility, SGI serves as the applied research, business development and corporate education arm of the Computer Game Design Program in Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The new location serves as one of four international affiliates of the Serious Games Institute, which is an operating division of Coventry University in England. Other affiliates include locations in Singapore, South Africa and Mexico.

“The establishment of SGI in Prince William County will allow Mason to support this rapidly growing academic and commercial market in the area of game design,” says Scott Martin, director of the computer game design program at Mason and SGI. “We’re happy to be partnering with Prince William County where there is a highly educated workforce that is already contributing to advances in related technologies.”

The new facility will offer cutting-edge game design research and development, simulation and game training and certification; visualization and simulation software development and rapid-prototyping. The facility will also provide offices, studios, research space and a product development lab for individuals, entrepreneurs and companies in the field of simulation, modeling and game design.

The space will also provide access to leading commercialization and marketing channels; student development talent; research faculty; industry experts; mentors; business counseling support; and the potential of financial investment from foundations and equity partners.

In October 2013, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors granted $32,000 from the County Economic Development Opportunity Fund to the George Mason University Foundation Inc. to help establish SGI. Emerging companies chosen to reside in SGI will receive business assistance services through the Mason Enterprise Center and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

“The Mason Enterprise Center is very excited about welcoming and becoming the new home for the Serious Games Institute,” says Keith Segerson, executive director of the Mason Enterprise Center. “Furthering its mission to provide support for businesses in the community, the Mason Enterprise Center will play an important role in direct business counseling and consulting for each company in the SGI supporting their growth and eventual graduation and relocation into Prince William County.”

The six emerging businesses already accepted into the institute are Bruxe Studios; Little Arms Studios; Prime Health PC; WellBee LLC; Zaah on Campus LLC; and the American Association of Colleges and Pharmacy – Education Development Co.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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