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UK gets new trade body for serious games

A new UK organisation designed to represent the serious games industry has officially launched today, with Professor Bob Stone of Birmingham University taking on the role of chairman.

A new UK organisation designed to represent the serious games industry has officially launched today, with Professor Bob Stone of Birmingham University taking on the role of chairman.

The Alliance for New Generation Interactive Leisure and Simulations was first established in 2003 as a network for those interested in how games could prove useful in other industries.

ANGILS has now become a trade body, offering membership to organisations as well as individuals, with a focus on serious games plus the emergence of new technologies in digital entertainment.

Members of the organisation's Advisory Council include BP's Joe Little, John Newton of NCR, Mark Oehlert of Booz Allen Hamilton and Paul Hollins of the UK Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standarts. More members, including key representatives from the games and defence communities, are due to be announced soon.

"The existence of ANGILS illustrates that the serious games market is maturing. Itâs becoming clearer where the benefits and opportunities are across technology and skills transfer between the games and knowledge sectors," said founding CEO Martine Parry.

"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."

Founding chairman Bob Stone added: "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."

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Ellie Gibson avatar
Ellie Gibson: Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.