Thursday, March 06, 2008

eGames Conference Under Minister Maqbool

Knowledge Oasis Muscat’s annual eGames ( has officially launched today with an impressive line-up of leading international experts and developers of serious and mobile games. Held under the patronage of HE Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, Minister of Comerce & Industry, eGames is scheduled to be held on the Rusayl-based technology park 31 March – 1 April and is the Gulf’s only annual serious gaming conference.

David Wortley (pictured), Director of the Serious Games Institute at Conference University and a presenter at eGames said: “The existence of KOM’s eGames event illustrates the Omani government’s interest in the serious games market and its applications to important sectors such as tourism, heritage and culture, health, defence and education.”

The serious games movement has opened up a hitherto-untapped pool of expertise to the global interactive 3D community as a whole, enabling the industry to exploit multidisciplinary skills in arts, science and technology, heritage, human factors. “Indeed, if we take on board the lessons learned from the highs and lows of the Virtual Reality experiences of the 1990s, then serious gaming is set to revolutionise the way in which Oman attracts tourists, promotes its cultural assets, teaches its medical students and trains its military personnel. The applications are astounding,” comments Wortley.

Meanwhile, Susie Houh of Ericsson endorsed serious games in corporate learning, by saying: “Serious Games represents the next evolutionary step in the field of technology-enabled learning, bringing new levels of engagement, motivation and context to the learning process. However, Serious Games isn’t just about advancing learning through technology, its also about unlocking business advantage through creating effective training programmes that can be deployed faster and enable staff to perform better. Ericsson is thrilled to be involved with eGames and given the international line-up of European and US speakers I fully expect this year’s event to be a tremendous success.”

“As the established leader in creative gaming and arts education, we are very excited to play an integral role in the conference this year,” said Professor Lizbeth Goodman, Founder and Director of the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute and the MAGIC Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre, Gamelab and PLAYroom at the University of East London. “This is an international event delivered exclusively by serious games experts who are targetting people in the tourism, heritage, culture, health, defence and education sectors. This event offers Oman’s public sector an exciting opportunity to learn about serious gaming and understand how it can help promote Oman’s rich heritage and tourism offer as well as educate children in schools.”
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