Whether it’s blasting down aliens, solving puzzles or exploring fantasy worlds, video games offer a myriad of ways that players can engage, and they’re just good fun. But beyond the obvious joy of connecting with something interactive and exciting, there’s something deeper to them that we recognise at the Singapore campus of James Cook University.
As Dr Roberto Dillon, Associate Professor of Information Technology at James Cook University in Singapore, puts it, “Game development merges technology and design in a unique mix that makes both teaching and learning a truly rewarding experience.”
(Associate Professor Roberto Dillon with some participants in the 5th Retro Inspired 2019 Game Jam)
For example, our yearly Retro Inspired event provides participants with the opportunity to have hands-on experience developing a video game in the 24-hour Game Jam. This allows them to forge a more profound understanding of the challenges in game development, like limited resources and a tight schedule, which is particularly useful for those who study the subject.
Jimena Muchsel, a student pursuing a Master of Information Technology (Majoring in Interactive Technologies and Games Design) at James Cook University in Singapore, shared, “In the short time I’ve been here at James Cook University, with practically no knowledge in IT, I’ve picked up Python, XML, worked through a Hackathon, finished a 24-hour game design competition and completed a full 3D horror game (which might go on sale in future)!”
What’s more, the Singapore campus of James Cook University happens to be the host of Singapore’s only video game museum. The JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games recently moved into a fancy new abode — complete with colourful shelves, informative posters and large glass windows so that onlookers can easily catch a glimpse into the history of gaming.
(Associate Professor Roberto Dillon and student Jimena Muchsel in the JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games)
The museum’s collection includes well-known retro consoles such as the original Xbox and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), to more obscure ones like the Vectrex and the Magnavox Odyssey, along with their accompanying games and related paraphernalia.
Our appreciation and celebration of video games extends to other efforts as well, such as our involvement in Southeast Asia’s Premier Game Convention — GameStart Asia — typically held in October each year.
(The “Retro City” display, with contributions from the JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games, at GameStart Asia 2019)
An array of retro video game consoles — courtesy of the combined efforts of the JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games, No Average Joe and RetroCade — allowed convention attendees at GameStart Asia 2019 to savour a taste of gaming’s past, with arcade classics such as Fatal Fury and Samurai Shodown.
Back in July 2019, the Singapore campus of James Cook University was also the official sponsor of the Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) for Singapore 2019. The competition was held on campus, which saw a number of people turn up to try their hand at the classic game.
(The finals of the Classic Tetris World Championship for Singapore 2019 at the Singapore campus of James Cook University)
While not everyone was a Tetris expert, the top players at the competition were racking up scores at around half a million points. Ultimately, Paul Yeo, who had only just started playing Tetris six months prior to the competition, emerged the winner of the Singapore championship. He went on to the CTWC World Finals in the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, where he finished in 23rd place with a score of 811,040.
This incredible feat reminds us that, more than anything, video games hold endless possibilities. With all these exciting events and initiatives at James Cook University in Singapore, you just might discover something that will inspire you.
Find out more information about our Games Design courses here.
Check out the highlights of the 5th Retro Inspired here.
Associate Professor Roberto Dillon email@example.com
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