Search the Site
Keeping up with the BGNlab
Related Resources
Wednesday
Apr062016

Assistant Professor position in Game Design and Development

Subject to budgetary approval, we have just begun the search for a new Assistant Professor to join us at Wilfrid Laurier Universtity in Brantford, Ontario.  Here is the information about the position.        

Position Title : Game Design and Development Assistant Professor

Faculty/Academic Area : Faculty of Human and Social Sciences

Department : Game Design and Development

Campus : Brantford

Position Summary : The Game Design and Development Program at Laurier University in Brantford, Ontario invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin July 1, 2016, subject to budgetary approval. To be considered, an applicant must possess a PhD or will nearly have completed a PhD in a relevant discipline with practical experience in digital game design and project management. The academic home for this position is in the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences.

The ideal candidate is a scholar with demonstrated experience in designing imaginative and innovative digital games and experience or knowledge of project management in the games industry. It is preferred that the candidate has experience in designing and developing mobile games with real-world impact.  This faculty member would be responsible for leading the digital game design and development streams and would work with students seeking to create digital games and prototypes.  The candidate will be expected to teach/develop courses in Project Management, Interface Design, Ethics in Gaming, and the Capstone Project in Gaming.   

The applicant should have an active research program, with evidence of research excellence, strong potential to attract external funding, and a commitment to mentorship of students though their research program.  The successful candidate would be involved with the Brantford Games Network and the BGNlab, which connects Game Design faculty and students to the community (http://bgnlab.ca).  In addition, there will be connections between the research and design interests of the candidate and other programs at the WLU Brantford campus. This candidate will exhibit a passion for the power of games to change the world and help push the Game Design and Development program and WLU toward being a leader in the field.

The Game Design and Development Program is a new and rapidly growing program on the downtown Brantford campus.  The program offers a Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts and prepares students to work within educational institutions or with corporations and non-profit organizations with the goal of initiating positive change; students will be able to create games and interactive experiences that make a difference.  There is an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects between members of different programs and faculties on the WLU Brantford campus. 

Applicants need to submit a complete application package consisting of:

  • ·       a cover letter outlining qualification for the position and fit with the Game Design and Development program at Laurier;
  • ·       a curriculum vitae;
  • ·       a two-page statement of current and prospective research interests;
  • ·       a two-page teaching dossier including teaching philosophy and teaching interests;
  • ·       a portfolio containing up to three pieces of academic research and/or documentation about games designed by the candidate;
  • ·       the names of three referees willing to provide a letter of reference.

Application packages may be submitted electronically to the Chair of the Program, Dr. Scott Nicholson, at LBGDDhires@wlu.ca.  Applications are due by May 31, 2016.

Please Note :
Laurier University is committed to employment equity and values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including persons of all genders and sexual orientations, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, and persons of a visible minority.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.  In accordance with the requirements of Employment and Social Development Canada and Citizenship and the
Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada the successful applicant will be required to prove they are legally able to work in Canada.

Members of the designated groups must self-identify to be considered for employment equity. Candidates may self identify, in confidence, to the Dean of the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Dr. Lauren Eisler (leisler@wlu.ca).  Further information on the equity policy can be found at: https://www.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=2465&p=10545

Applicants are encouraged to address any career interruptions or special circumstances that may have affected their record of research and teaching, in accordance with SSHRC and NSERC definitions and guidelines. To obtain a copy of this job description in an accessible format, please contact Nancy Lambert at nlambert@wlu.ca or by phone at 519-756-8228 ext. 5778.

 

Wednesday
Feb242016

Events at the BGNlab in March and April

Here are some upcoming events at the BGNlab that are open to the public:

March 31, 10:05-11:20  Board Game Fair

  As above, the students of the Analog Game Design class will be demonstrating their Board games in a game fair.

April 5   5:00-7:00 PM    Best of the Year Game Fair

  The best games from the Game Design students will be exhibited at the Best of the Year Game Fair.  Come and see the top-voted games from throughout the year!

April 7  10:05-11:20  Fake Casino

  Come and play some new Casino table games designed by students in the Analog Game Design class. You’ll be given a stack of chips to try out these games of skill and chance!  The students are competing for which table can take in the most money, so come and make them earn their chips!

Saturday
Feb202016

BGNlab's First Freeplay Friday a Success

Friday, Februrary 19th marked the first "Freeplay Friday" event held at the BGNlab here in Brantford, Ontario. During a Freeplay Friday, the BGNlab is open to the public. The community is welcome to come in and play with BGNlab's extensive board game collection. People of all ages are welcome to attend, including minors with appropriate supervision.

 

Attendees of this Freeplay Friday were able learn new board games with professor Scott Nicholson and the Game Design program's students. Around 15 students and community members dropped in throughout the day. Featured games included Nippon, a historical board game about Japan's industrial revolution; Dale of Merchants, a simplistic card game about deckbuilding in order to create sets of cards; and 1846, a complex train track building game with a stock market.

 

The Freeplay Friday was originally scheduled from 10am-6pm. Even so, players were so interested in the featured games that they chose to continue longer into the evening. It is expected that the next Freeplay Friday, whose date is to be determined, will draw in larger numbers of community members.

 

Stay tuned for more information about future Freeplay Fridays, and how to get involved in BGNlab events!

Thursday
Jan212016

Breakout EDU Game Jam Wrap-Up

The Game Jam on January 9th was BGNlab's first large community event. Approximately 25 people attended, with numbers split evenly between community members and Wilfrid Laurier University Students. Of the community members, 4 out of 5 were educators from other institutions, including local high schools and colleges. The remaining community members were elementary students from Grades 4-6.

The attendees were split into four groups, which each created an educational game with the Breakout EDU boxes. Each group chose a different topic when creating their Breakout EDU box. One group made a set of educational puzzles to teach students about statistics. Another group made a game discussing harassment and bullying from a sociological standpoint. The third group turned their Breakout EDU box into a game designed to get students engaged with environmental conservation. The fourth and final group created puzzles which taught students about the BP oil spill and the ways BP covered up information after the event.

In total, 31 different sites registered to join in the Game Jam event virtually from locations around the world. The event was livestreamed on Twitch.tv, which is a website dedicated to displaying live videos of video games and other creative content such as the Game Jam event. During the Game Jam, Scott Nicholson, Professor of Game Design and Development, broadcast announcements and updates on the Twitch.tv platform.

After the event, Dr. Nicholson reached out to the sister Game Jam events around the world. Six of them replied with the results from their events. Some examples of games developed by these international groups include games about transcontinental railways in the United States, the history of Puritains in New England, and how forensic evidence is used. The content created by this international event has been already used by one teacher in Japan, who then ran their own independent Game Jam a few weeks later.

There were two newspaper articles about the event, one by the Brantford Expositor and another by Brant News. A summary of each article is available on this website, as well as direct links to the news articles.

 

Brantford Expositor, Jan. 10th:  http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2016/01/10/puzzle-makers-get-their-game-jam-on

 

Brant News, Jan 18th:  http://www.brantnews.com/news-story/6237385-laurier-game-jam-brings-fun-hands-on-approach-to-education/

Monday
Jan182016

Brant News Applauds BGNlab's Game Jam

The Breakout EDU Game Jam event was covered by Brant News on January 18th, 2016.

 

Mike Peeling, reporter and photographer, attended the Laurier BGNlab Game Jam on January 9th. His article, "Laurier Game Jam Brings Fun, Hands-On Approach to Education", draws attention to the educational aspects of the event. The event had four teams create puzzle games for elementary school students using the Breakout EDU model. The Breakout EDU model, which requires students solve puzzles in order to open a locked box, draws heavily from "escape games". In an escape game, teams must work together to solve codes, riddles, puzzles, and locks in order to escape a room. In an elementary school setting, a Breakout EDU box teaches quick thinking, cooperation, and problem solving in addition to Ontario curriculum guidelines.

Participants who attended the event at Wilfrid Laurier University's Grand River Hall (The location of the BGNlab) were able to connect digitally with Game Jam events from the U.S., England, France, Guatemala, Japan, and a variety of other locations. Scott Nicholson aims to host another Game Jam next year in partnership with a local organization. This Game Jam would have a very different activity to enjoy, in addition to being a family-friendly event. 

Breakout EDU's website features a number of games and templates, as well as the option to buy ready-made kits. Many of the activities they have created are available online free of charge and list the materials necessary to play. 

To find out more about Breakout EDU, check out their website here.

Full news article by Mike Peeling:

http://www.brantnews.com/news-story/6237385-laurier-game-jam-brings-fun-hands-on-approach-to-education/