Monday, March 23, 2009

Gaming Industry in Pittsburgh

No, I'm not offering an update on the new casino. I merely want to point out the connections between Pittsburgh and the United Kingdom in the high-tech entertainment industry:

amBX has already licensed the technology to many content developers and publishers in the gaming sector and the sponsorship of Carnegie Mellon University highlights the ongoing commitment of amBX investing in the future of world class game development talent.

amBX, if you haven't already determined, is located in the UK. As for CMU, its Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) has quite the global reputation:

“This opportunity places state-of-the-art amBX technology in the hands of entertainment creators of the future and redefines the way entertainment is experienced. We’re really pleased to be able to work with such a prominent institution as ETC to develop the capabilities and application of amBX technology.”

The ETC innovation cluster is remarkable. Thanks to VisitPittsburgh, I was able to tour the ETC facility, which happens to be a neighbor of the Pittsburgh Technology Council. As someone who has experience teaching university level courses, I was most impressed with the design of the training program. The ETC successfully breaks down disciplinary barriers and fuels creativity. I was part of a multi-disciplinary graduate training program at the University of Colorado. Conversations between the social scientists were almost impossible. I'm thankful for the exposure to other theories and research methodologies, but I never witnessed any functioning collaboration. ETC has managed to pull off what my program only proported to do.

Back to amBX ... I've read on numerous occasions, over the past two years, stories about the UK talent shortage in the virtual gaming industry. Surely, amBX is hoping to benefit from its relationship with the ETC by landing top graduates from that program. Right now, Pittsburgh doesn't have the capacity to grow all the ETC spinoffs. But eventually, companies like amBX will see the value of locating operations near the ETC campus in order to benefit from knowledge spillover.

The ETC is one of the best reasons I am bullish on Pittsburgh.


RoboticGhost said...

The guys from Penny Arcade were in town last month and offered their take on the ETC. Worth reading.

Around the same time, the organization I work for was wrapping up some business with a local company the grew out of the ETC. For a variety of reasons, I can't go into the details, but suffice it to say it would have been unthinkable 10 years ago and not just because the tech behind it hadn't been invented yet. Nobody around here was doing anything like what they were doing. Stuff like that only happened in California or Japan.

Unknown said...

I am the Professional Projects Manager at amBX and an ETC and CMU Drama Alumni so the hiring of ETC talent into the UK market is already well underway, also the reason that this project and opportunity came about... believe me ETC is one of the main reasons I too am bullish on Pittsburgh and amBX is why i am bullish on the future of entertainment technology.... together it is a very exciting world atm. Nice blog post I look forward to more.