KAZIMIERZ WIELKI UNIVERSITY (Poland)
UKW is a public state-funded university, the largest in the city of Bydgoszcz and second largest in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province. It employs ca. 700 academic staff (including 160 professors) and teaches 10.000 students, offering 50 majors with 100 specialisation tracks (Bachelor, Master, PhD). The former Faculty of Humanities (as it was at the time of writing of the grant proposal – fragmented into smaller units since October 2019), whose staff will be involved in the project, was rated as an “A Class” academic unit in the recent (2017) evaluation by the Ministry of Science & HE. The Faculty is among the Polish pioneers (2010+) in edu-gamification in English Studies, and runs the first degree programme in Poland focused primarily on game design (2013+).
The Game Studies & Design programme within 2nd Gen Humanities has received three HE grants from the National Center for R&D. Two grants supported industry internships and traineeships. The third one will support an innovative dual work-study Bachelor degree in Game Studies & Design, to be launched in October 2019. It is the first and only games-ed programme in Poland to be delivered in the dual work-study format, including no less than 12 months of industrial placement.
Game Studies & Design [GS&D] B.A. programme (part of 2nd Gen Humanities) since 2013, run in extensive collaboration with the game industries and resulting in high full-time employability of students even before graduation (56%). Nearly all of the teaching staff at GS&D have some degree of game industry experience outside the university, with some of them actually coming from full-time game jobs to teach part-time at UKW. GS&D staff has long been involved in exchange of knowledge and practice with other HEIs, including a series of publications on curriculum development for games (see >Downloads) Besides GS&D, edu-gamification solutions have been tested at English Studies and Applied Linguistics B.A. and M.A. since 2011, with a team of English teacher/researchers specialising in games research approached from the angle of literature/culture studies. In GAMEHIGHED, both GS&D and Eng.St. will be testing grounds for tools and ideas developed in the project, ranging from field-tests of lesson plans to the implementation of new curricula.
BAHÇEŞEHIR UNIVERSITY (Turkey)
Bahçeşehir University (BAU) with 4 campuses in Istanbul consists of nine faculties, a school of languages, three vocational schools and four institutes have approximately 25,000 students and 1050 lecturers providing more than 100 programs. BAU has more than 193 international partners and strives to be one of the leaders nationally, it offers teachers, researchers and students rich opportunities to gain international experience. BAU was granted the award of the championship as two times in a row in the “Education Export” category in the Awards of 500 Major Exporters of Turkey given by the Turkish Exporters Assembly within the years of 2017 and 2018.
Bahçeşehir University Technology Transfer Office (BAUTTO) is responsible for the management of all administrative, financial and legal aspects of projects by the professional BAUTTO team. BAUTTO will support Güven Çatak during the implementation of the project. Güven Çatak is the founder director of Bahçeşehir University Game Lab (BUG) which started as a community hub for the İstanbul indie game scene and transformed into an education platform first of its kind in Turkey including Game Design undergraduate and graduate programs; a pre-incubation centre and a virtual reality lab, part of VR First network. Besides education BUG structure is also focusing on industrial and R&D projects with its students, lab residents and partners.
As Bahcesehir University Game Lab (BUG) team, we will share our experience of how we convert the synergy of a community centre into undergraduate and graduate academic programs on Game Design which are first of their kind in Turkey and the Middle East. Building up a game developers community and using the mechanics and dynamics of it as foundations of academic programs is an important experiment and experience for starting academic programs on game design and development at regions where the related industry hasn't been established or in a developing process. Case studies will be analyzed, necessary field trips will be organized to companies and institutions which are already inspiration sources for the BUG structure and several workshops will be executed to kickstart the process of building up an infrastructure.
Recently BUG Lab has started two Erasmus+projects:
- Social and Physical Inclusion of Paraplegic Youth by Using Virtual Reality
- Practicing Universal Design Principles in Design Education through a CAD-Based Game
UNIVERSITY OF JYVASKYLA (Finland)
The University of Jyväskylä JYU is an internationally renowned research university and an expert in education that focuses on human and natural sciences. The University is strongly linked to top national and international research, business and innovation communities. JYU can be found on lists of the Times Higher Education, CWTS Leiden, Best Global Universities and QS World University Rankings and has received “HR Excellence in Research” award.
The Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies (DMACS) is a unit with 50+ staff members and approx. 900 students (of which more than 100 PhD students) and 8 major disciplines. JYU offers a multidisciplinary educational environment with extensive research and training experience. JYU is a forerunner in Open Access publishing. JYU has an excellent Open Science and Digital services. Experienced Research and Innovation Services personnel, lawyers and financial administration experts support to the project management. DMACS houses computer labs, VR developer sets, motion capture lab, and is currently negotiating of receiving a collection of 40 historical game consoles + peripherals + 200+ games which would be available for teaching and research purposes.
Team of 10 game researchers, with backgrounds in art education, communication, computer science, cultural studies, game journalism, history, literary studies, media studies, musicology, philosophy. Focus areas in game studies: eSports; eSports spectatorship; forms of games; game ontology; ludo-narratives; role-playing games; streaming and Let’s Play videos; transmedia games.
Joint live streamed course Game Research in Finland, jointly with Universities of Tampere and Turku in the Spring 2018. Longstanding contacts with the ITU Copenhagen Game Research Center, University of Tallinn Baltic Film and Media School, University of Bergen Games and Transgressive Aesthetics Research Group. Contacts also with Cologne Game Lab, University of Malta Institue of Digital Games, City University of Hong Kong School of Creative Media, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Institute of Visual Design, MIT Media Lab, UC Santa Cruz Playable Media.
In Finland joint CoE in Game Culture Studies with University of Tampere and University of Turku game studies groups, Aalto University Games Research. The game studies research staff has a wide experience of teaching game development and game studies courses in various universities, also outside of Finland. Project course on News Games has been run on three consecutive years, and Project Course on Gamified Music Education Applications with Augmented Reality Technologies run once. It is also planning a joint research and education project focusing on eSports communities, with the Jyvaskyla Polytechnic University.
JYU is running small game-focused edu-programmes, which will be a testing ground for GAMEHIGHED-created ideas, tools, methods, resources etc.:
- Game Studies and Game Design, 25 ECTS
- Games and Gamified Systems, specialization area within MSc in Mathematical Information Technology
- 1-2 master’s level game studies courses annually
JYU will consider launching an International Master’s Programme in Game Studies as part of the project.
CHARLES UNIVERSITY (Czech Rep.)
Charles University was founded in 1348, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. Yet it is also renowned as a modern, dynamic, cosmopolitan and prestigious institution of higher education. It is the largest and most renowned Czech university, and is also the best-rated Czech university according to international rankings. There are currently 17 faculties at the University (14 in Prague, 2 in Hradec Králové and 1 in Plzeň), plus 3 institutes, 6 other centres of teaching, research, development and other creative activities, a centre providing information services, 5 facilities serving the whole University, and the Rectorate - which is the executive management body for the whole University.
The key priority of Charles University is to continue to enhance its prestigious status as a research university. To achieve this aim, the University focuses strongly on research activities. Charles University can boast a number of outstanding research teams which are involved in close collaboration with international research institutions. Students can also become involved in the University’s research work at each of the individual faculties. The University is the best-performing research institution in the Czech Republic; this is reflected in the analyses of research output carried out by the Czech Research, Development and Innovation Council. Having amassed almost half a million points for its research activities (according to the current national research assessment methods), Charles University is far ahead of the institution occupying second place.
For many years Charles University has been keen to incorporate the results of its research and development work into its teaching, and to ensure the greatest possible involvement of research staff and students in Czech and international projects. The success of the University’s research policy is reflected in rankings based on research achievement, which demonstrate that the University can compete strongly with many prestigious institutions outside the Czech Republic. Charles University staff have participated in a range of major international research projects – including the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) programme. The creativity of the University’s staff and students is reflected in a huge range of research and applied projects, as well as in valuable works of art and a wealth of publications. The University has more than 7,900 employees; of this number, almost 4,500 are academic and research staff. Charles University has nearly 50 000 students - roughly a sixth of all students in the Czech Republic – enrolled in more than 300 accredited degree programmes that offer over 630 different courses. More than 20,000 students are studying in Bachelor’s degree programmes, almost 25,000 in Master’s programmes, and 8,000 in PhD programmes. The University has over 7,000 students from other countries. Every year, just under 9,000 students complete their studies; Charles University graduates enjoy one of the highest employment rates of any population segment in the Czech Republic. Every year a diverse range of lifelong learning courses are attended by more than 16,000 participants. Charles University collaborates with a broad spectrum of renowned universities from all over the world, and one of its priorities is to enable every one of its students interested in studying abroad to spend some time in another country. International cooperation has significantly strengthened the University’s international profile; these international links have also supported the University’s efforts to achieve high standards of excellence in joint international research projects, its participation in many prestigious international organizations and university networks, and its active support for international student and academic staff mobility.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2016–2017 ranked Charles University in 305th place among its five hundred ranked universities, making it the only Czech university to feature in the top five hundred. The Academic Ranking of World Universities - the “Shanghai League”, which every year compares more than 1,000 of the world’s best universities (selected from a total of over 17,000 institutions), has repeatedly included Charles University in the third hundred, i.e. among the 2 per cent top universities in the world and one of the 100 best universities in Europe
Charles University runs the Game Development curriculum as a specialization for the Computer Graphics and Game Development master’s degree program offered as part of the two-year-long Computer Science graduate studies program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. We cooperate with different faculties and universities to foster interactions with students from different disciplines (design, new media, graphics, music, etc.). Students study the same courses where they form heterogeneous teams that cooperate on the development of a single game. Regarding teaching and projects, we regularly cooperate with the Czech Game Developers Association, industry partners (Warhorse Studio, Bohemia Interactive, Bohemia Interactive Simulations, 2K Czech), and regularly send students to showcase their games at international business and educational conferences (GDS, White Nights Prague, Cyberspace). All key individuals involved in this project were also crucial members of the development team of the award-winning educational simulations Czechoslovakia 38-89 (Winner of Games Learning Society Showcase 2015, Winner of European Conference on Game-Based Learning 2015) and of the award-winning game Attentat 1942 (Most Amazing Game at AMaze Festival 2018 in Berlin, Best Learning Game at Games for Change 2018 in New York, Best Czech Game of the Year 2017).
Czech Game Developers Association (GDACZ) is a non profit organisation, that connects and represents companies and individuals making video games. Among our members are major and most successful studios as well as startups from Czech Republic. Our company members employs more than 900 people, which represents around 60 % of the whole czech game development market. The Association itself has only two paid staff members. Main focus of this Association is to protect and promote the interests of our members, as well as monitor and analyze Czech game development industry. The Association also helps to implement beneficial projects for Czech gaming scene and works on better conditions for game development through negotiations with government departments for education, culture, industry, trade and foreign affairs.
Our main areas of activity are:
- collecting and publishing data on game development industry
- helping to implement beneficial projects for game developers
- working on better environment for game development
- negotiating with government departments for education, culture, industry, trade and foreign affairs
- protecting and promoting the interests of our members
- cooperating with industry organisations (local and international) as well as state and educational institutions to help game development environment
We regularly cooperate with Charles University in Prague as well as other schools creating a contact point between them and game development companies. We also provide a feedback and consulting for the educational institutions about what are the needs of the game development industry, where should the education go and what are the key areas necessary for companies to focus on. Our past activities consist of:
- providing experts from gaming companies for Charles University to have seminars and practical lectures
- selecting game development veterans and experts to serve as mentors for student teams to help and guide them with their student projects
- helping students to attend various game related events such as conferences and trade shows
- as part of our partnership with GDS conference in Prague, we provide for selected student teams exhibition space and booth to showcase their projects to professional public
- connecting students with gaming companies and in some cases getting them job in game development
We can serve as an industry organisation providing valuable feedback on what the game development industry wants and what are the current needs of game development companies. The senior & regular staff in game companies associated in GDACZ have extensive experience in professional education in the workplace, serving as mentors, instructors and supervisors of juniors and trainees. This makes them uniquely qualified to evaluate the career-orientation of GAMEHIGHED outputs and facilitate transfer of gamedev innovations to the consortium.