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Launch of Serious Games Trade Body, ANGILS, Supported by Eminent Industry Players

Leading serious games practitioner Professor Bob Stone is named as Founding Chairman of ANGILS …. enjoys support of BP, NCR, Cisco and leading serious games gurus from US and Europe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

27 Oct 2006

ANGILS - the Alliance for New Generation Interactive Leisure and Simulations - has officially launched today with an impressive line-up of support from leading experts and commissioners of serious games. It is the first trade body representing the business interests of serious games.

Founding Chairman Professor Bob Stone of Birmingham University is joined by an Advisory Council that includes: Joe Little of BP; John Newton of NCR; Mark Oehlert of Booz Allen Hamilton and Paul Hollins of the UK's Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards, with confirmation from Nader Nanjiani of Cisco USA along with key representatives from the games and defence communities, to be announced soon.

Martine Parry, ANGILS' founding CEO said: "The existence of ANGILS illustrates that the serious games market is maturing. It's becoming clearer where the benefits and opportunities are across technology and skills transfer between the games and knowledge sectors. This is a two-way street, with the game industry benefiting from access to a relevant pool of talent, new projects, new markets and emerging technologies that can help address the issues with next-gen games development. The knowledge industries meanwhile have greater and more cost-effective access to the tools, programming and design know-how that they need to fulfill their requirements for immersive and /or engaging environments, whether simple Flash-based learning games or rich virtual worlds."

Professor Bob Stone, Founding Chairman said: "The serious games movement has opened up a hitherto-untapped pool of expertise to the global interactive 3D community as a whole, enabling us to exploit multidisciplinary skills in arts, science and technology, heritage, human factors, AI - to mention but a handful - very early on in the evolution of this exciting field. If we also take onboard the lessons learned from the highs and lows of the Virtual Reality "era" of the 1990s, then serious gaming is set to revolutionise the way we work, learn and communicate."

Meanwhile, John Newton of NCR endorsed serious games in corporate learning, by saying: "Serious Games represent 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, it's also about unlocking business advantage through creating effective training programmes that can be deployed faster and enable staff to perform better."

ANGILS will be announcing its Founding Company Members soon, along with news of the showcase that is being held at Digital Hollywood Europe on 29th November in London.

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ABOUT ANGILS

ANGILS is a non-profit-making organisation based in the UK, originally launched in 2003 as a network for individuals interested in application of games and other innovative 'knowledge economy and games' technologies and skills in non-games industry applications. ANGILS is now transitioned to a trade association by offering membership to organisations in addition to individuals.

ANGILS is focused on the business-related issues of: 1. serious games and 2. emerging technologies and techniques from the digital entertainment sector (such as search and AI), applicable to a wider audience.

Back in 2003, the term Serious Games was not in wide circulation and meant little outside the USA. Now the team at ANGILS and the wider community believe that the time is right to transition to a trade association to promote the serious games community across Europe - and other territories.

More www.angils.org

ABOUT PROFESSOR BOB STONE

BSc (Hons), MSc, C.Psychol, AFBPsS, EurErg, FErgS, FIoN, FVRS

Professor of Interactive Multimedia Systems within the University of Birmingham's School of Engineering, Head of the Applied Computing Research Centre and Director of the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team.

Bob Stone has a long and distinguished career in the fields of simulation and virtual reality and is a human factors expert working with the MoD and DoD in their utilization of serious games. His early efforts in helping the Russian Cosmonaut Training Centre to exploit desktop VR to model the Mir Space Station earned him the title of Academician of the Russian International Higher Education Academy of Sciences.

As well as his academic appointment, Bob is the Research Director for the UK's Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre (HFI DTC), conducting field studies and research into rapid task analysis for simulation, human factors and defence medicine and serious gaming.

He has recently become a consultant for the US Office of Naval Research-funded Pulse!! trauma training project, forging collaborative links between the HFI DTC and medical/human factors colleagues in America. He sits on the UK Simulation & Synthetic Environments National Advisory Committee (SSENAC), is a co-founder of the UK Serious Games Alliance with Blitz Games, and a member of the serious games advisory COTS Evaluation Unit, sponsored by the MoD's Directorate of Analysis, Experimentation & Simulation (DAES).

ABOUT THE ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS

John Newton, Product & Technical Education Director at NCR Corporation

John has global responsibility for consulting with the business and implementing training programs that support the deployment of NCR's Products and Solutions. His aim is to target education at key roles within the company to ensure that training has the maximum business impact for NCR.

John strongly believes in bridging the gap between academic research and its commercial application in the field of education and training - particularly in the area where education converges with technology. The results of this work are responsible for driving the innovative education solutions that ensure NCR realizes the full potential of its most important asset - its people.

Whilst at NCR, John has had work published on: The selection and use of authoring software, applying human-factors to computer assisted learning, advanced training delivery methods and authoring for the internet. He has also represented NCR as a speaker at numerous Training and HR related conferences.

Joe Little, BP Digital Communications & Technology - Chief Technology Office

The group looks at new and emerging technologies and seeks to accelerate adoption of those technologies within the group where there is real business value. His specialisation is in collaboration and social networking focusing on the adoption of blogs, wikis and podcasting initiatives in the group. Joe also specialises in Rich Internet Applications and has more recently focused on researching potential technology transfers from the Game Industry including marketing in games, learning through games and new approaches to simulation, modeling and visualisation.

Mark Oehlert, Learning Strategy Architect, Booz Allen Hamilton

Mark Oehlert is an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology consulting firm. He works on the Learning Team and provides leadership and strategic insight on a number of issues including game-based learning, emerging technologies and strategic planning. Before returning to Booz Allen, Mark served as the Director of Learning Innovations for the MASIE Center.

At the MASIE Center, Mark worked directly with senior learning and training leaders from over 200 Fortune 500 companies. He has co-hosted, along with Elliott Masie, the successful Extreme Learning Workshops - helping corporate leaders sharpen and focus their awareness of important trends and technologies and has worked closely with the MASIE Center CONSORTIUM's Gaming On-Ramp group to help corporate learning and training leaders explore the possibilities of learning in virtual worlds.

Paul Hollins, CETIS

Paul joined the team at the centre for educational technology interoperability standards (CETIS) in 2003 and has extensive management experience in creative media and education gained through a combination of working for an international video games publisher and with an eLearning content and assessment vendor. Paul's PhD research interests lie in the identification, development and application of new pedagogies in digital gaming and "synthetic" worlds. He has written and presented on these issues and on the potential impact on learner expectations and experience. Paul is particularly interested in how technology can be applied to provide rich learning experiences for today's students. He is an MBA graduate from Leeds Business School and has recently completed a MSC in Teaching and Learning with ICT.

Nader Nanjiani, Manager for Unified IP Communications at Cisco Systems, Inc

Nader has worked in the area of marketing and e-learning for more than a decade. Nader co-authored "The Business Case for E-learning" from Cisco Press and has published numerous articles on marketing, web communities and learning topics. While at Cisco, Nader launched a successful online community for Cisco certified individuals which enrolled more than 50,000 members within its first year of operation. Besides online communities, Nader introduced learning games at Cisco as a means of communicating a business proposition to technical audiences. His efforts secured Cisco a Corporate University Exchange industry award for on e-learning best practices.

ABOUT MARTINE PARRY

Martine has held senior positions in the knowledge and IT industries for 20 years and has been involved with the key elements of serious games over that period. She is founding CEO of ANGILS, and runs Apply Group, a leading marketing consultancy.

Over the last 6 years she has worked with the games industry on projects across market analysis, conference production and business development. She has worked with Metrowerks and Games Investor on market intelligence reports on mobile games and MMOs, was Conference Director for GDC Europe 2004 on behalf of CMP and was instrumental in building Tiga as a successful trade association at its inception. She also produced the CGI Festival and works with the film and advertising CGI community.

Following graduation in Physics from Kings College, London University in 1986 and a spell as a Software Research Engineer in Computer Vision Systems at GEC-Marconi, Martine developed markets for AI, visualisation, simulation, pattern recognition and performance support tools and service organisations, across sectors including defence, the intelligence community, energy, telecommunications, health and finance.

She has also worked within corporate learning, scoping 'blended' learning solutions for companies including Barclays Bank and Ford and always likes to be at the cutting-edge of the application of techniques and technologies to solve challenging issues.

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martine@angils.org

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