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April 2, 2007

Workshop to offer instruction on how to create instructional video games on cell phones

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is offering a free workshop on April 27 for those who want to learn how to incorporate video gaming using mobile phones into classroom instruction.

The mobile 3-D workshop will from  9 a.m. to noon in Knoy Hall, Room 346, and is open to the first 20 who sign up. The session is structured for programmers and educators who have familiarity with Java and one of the major 3-D animation packages, such as Maya, 3DS Max, LightWave 3D and Softimage.

Each attendee will receive a 3-D-capable cell phone and will learn about the various programs and steps necessary to develop and deploy games on phones.

Topics the workshop will cover include:

*  How to create art assets and program a game using Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 2.0 and M3G.

*  How to set up and deploy an animation using a 3-D animation package.

*  How to deploy a game on a cell phone.

*  An overview of the issues that are involved in developing and making a game work on the major cell phone carriers' networks.

Carlos Morales, an associate professor of computer graphics technology at Purdue, is one of the session's leaders. He teaches mobile game development and developed console games for Microsoft's X-Box and High Voltage Software. He also co-authored "Mobile 3D Games: From Start to Market."

David Nelson, a graduate student in computer graphics technology who specializes in the development of educational games, also will lead the session. He is currently leading a team of developers that is creating mobile games as part of an educational grant. He has worked for MorVid Games and co-authored "Mobile 3D Games: From Start to Market" with Morales.

"Using gaming technology, especially through mobile devices, is a great way to relate to students and increase their interactivity with the material," Morales said. "It doesn't replace traditional learning, but it can go a long way toward helping students retain information better."

Morales said mobile games can be developed for any kind of class, from history to chemistry.

"There are a lot of faculty who are very interested in learning more about this technology and how it can help improve the learning environment," he said. "These sessions are especially useful for faculty who want to know if bringing this technology to their students is something they'd like to do, and then we show them how to make that happen."

More information on the workshop is available at http://www.e-games.tech.purdue.edu/Mobile3DWorkshop.asp. To register, contact Morales at morales@purdue.edu.

The mobile 3-D workshop is sponsored by E-Games (Educational Games at Purdue), the Envision Center and Discovery Learning Center.

Morales also is leading a session that provides a more general overview of developing mobile educational games.

During the Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference, sponsored by Information Technology at Purdue, he will present "Implementing Unconventional Learning Technologies." The Wednesday (April 4) session will be offered from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 322. More information on this workshop is available from the conference Web site at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/tlt/conference/index.cfm

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Source: Carlos Morales, (765) 494-7204, morales@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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