23 November 2006

De Montfort University Links with KOM

The organisers of eGames (www.egamesoman.blogspot.com), 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 (pictured), 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.

18 November 2006

Get an eGames Discount

Conference & Workshop Registration Fees

If you register for eGames before 22 November you will qualify for a 15% discount on the conference delegate fees.

Workshop: The eGames pre-Conference Workshop (Saturday 9 December) is free of charge. However, it is limited to 100 attendees and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. If you want to attend, e-mail your name and contact co-ordinates to: mulkie@kom.om

Conference: eGames is a not-for-profit event, however to help cover general expenses the registration fees are:

  • RO150 (US$380)
  • RO125 (US$325) for public sector employees
  • RO50 (US$130) for full-time tertiary students and academic staff

Fees include all sessions, documentation, food, refreshment and the Gala Dinner.

To register for the Conference contact Ibtisam Al Faruji on: ibtisam@kom.om

Nexgen Studio Presents at eGames

Muscat – Singapore-based Nexgen Studio (www.nexgenstudio.com), one of the world's leading gaming companies, today announced that CEO Alvin Yap, will present at the eGames Conference, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10 – 11 December.

Nexgen Studio works very closely with Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore. Together, a beneficial mutual relationship has been created, harnessing the strength of R&D work from academia and industry knowledge and applications from Nexgen Studio. Collaboration work ranges from animation algorithms to artificial intelligence.

"Alvin will talk about the challenges facing mobile games development and distribution. He will also touch on the cross pollination of converging technologies and business models," said a Nexgen Studio spokesman.

eGames is organized by Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) in partnership with Ericsson, Oman Mobile, Sun Microsystems, Middle East College of Information Technology, TIGA, and The Knowledge Mine business incubator program.According to Mohammed Al Maskasri, Director General, KOM: "The two-day conference will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear from leading game developers, telcos, marketers and trainers and get their perspective on the growing opportunities within the increasingly viable and lucrative mobile and serious gaming industry." Conference sessions include:

The conference will grant attendees access to a high level, influential line-up of speakers including representatives from Oman Mobile; Ericsson; Sun Microsystems; Terris-Hill Productions; Game Frontier; Nexgen Studio; Yahoo!; De Montfort University; Motorola; and Nawras.

16 November 2006

TKM Looks for eGaming Start-ups

Education and mobile games may seem like an unlikely match but an initiative run by Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) is trying to persuade students to consider a career in the games industry.

In partnership with Ericsson, Oman Mobile, Infocomm, Sun, ANGILS, Oman Economic Review, TIGA, the Middle East College of Information Technology (MECIT) and the Knowledge Mine business incubator program, the Rusayl-based technology park will run eGames: The State of Play (
www.egamesoman.blogspot.com) 10 – 11 December 2006, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

eGames is a two-day gaming conference that will focus on mobile and serious gaming. As well home grown gaming experts the event has also attracted speakers from Sweden, the UK, Korea, Singapore, the UAE, Oman, Canada and Spain, so attendees are assured of walking away having shown, discussed and seen state of the art innovation in the mobile and serious gaming industry.

“We’re looking at mobile gaming as revenues from this sector are expected to grow from US$3bn in 2006 to US$10bn by 2009, this increase is being driven by continued growth in subscriber numbers, an increase in roll-out of 3G services, falling game prices and a new generation of made for mobile games,” said Mohammed Al Maskari, Director General, KOM and organizer of eGames.

“Mobile games have come of age. They’re no longer the poor relations of console and PC games. They are a different family of entertainment products with their own set of characteristics,” continued Al Maskari.

“If we look further down the line, I see continued growth of mobile subscribers in Oman and across the Gulf, and given the global mobile gaming growth projections the revenue streams for the region’s telco providers and mobile game developers will soar,” he added.

In addition to the conference, KOM is also organizing a one-day gaming workshop in partnership with MECIT. The workshop is aimed at college students and will be run by staff from the Faculty of Art and Design at De Montfort University in the UK. According to Al Maskari the workshop is intended to promote the games industry as a career option to students. "When we go to colleges, we find it’s not something students have thought about doing," said Ibtisam Al Faruji, KOM’s Head of Marketing. "We want to encourage students with an interest in drawing, animation and story writing that the gaming industry is something they could get into. In fact, we’re very keen to attract gaming start-ups to set-up in the Knowledge Mine business incubator program," she said.

On the question of financing a gaming start-up, Al Maskari said: “For people with truly inventive, credible investments, approaching angel investors, venture capitalists and similar routes of funding isn't as hard as the impression people have of it. If you are credible and have done the required thinking, pretty much anyone will talk to you."