Game Innovation Lab, NYU-Poly

How do you describe your lab to visitors?

The Game Innovation Lab is an interdisciplinary research and teaching space where we take games as an innovation challenge for advancing computer science and engineering as well as design. We designed the space to be highly reconfigurable, with affordances for creativity and collaborative work, such as white-board walls and scribble-able coffee tables, as well as a more playful “living room” area for meeting and brainstorming. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art game hardware and software that researchers and students can use to prototype projects.

What is a unique feature of your lab?

Our lab has a unique public presence in the university, because of its wall of large windows looking out into the urban plaza that NYU-Poly calls home. We have a large, 4x6 monitor display wall that faces out onto the plaza that we use to run public games and other installations. We recently hosted part of the World Science Festival both inside and outside the lab—the space design makes this mixing of exterior and interior possible, allowing us to try out ideas for engaging the public.

How many people are in the lab, and what is the mix of backgrounds and roles?

We typically have 10 to 15 graduate researchers with access to the lab, working on active projects, led by four participating faculty sponsors. Three of these faculty members are from the computer science department, and one is from electrical engineering. The students come from these departments as well as digital media at Poly, and we also have students involved in the research from other schools of NYU, including the Tisch School of the Arts, the Gallatin School, and the Steinhardt School. Plus, we have an artist in residence.

The lab hosts two to three courses each term—a mix of CS courses, such as mobile app development and HCI, and games-related digital media courses, such as game development. These are primarily graduate courses, but we do get a handful of undergrads in the lab, too.

(read more...)