USC's GamePipe Lab continues to help shape industry

Students test their designs at the GamePipe Lab's showcase
Students test their designs at the GamePipe Lab's showcase

As gaming takes the lead in the entertainment industry, the University of Southern California's GamePipe Laboratory continues to focus on putting out top-notch experiences across platforms.

The school produced 24 games in its fall semester, including one that turns the user's documents into levels of a game designed to help the user memorize or remember the information in the documents. The game was the result of a collaboration between USC students from several different schools and backgrounds, highlighting what gaming advocates say is a deeper truth about the world of games.

“Like film and literature, games are artistic expressions of our culture,” Interactive Media & Games Chair Tracy Fullerton said. “And they come out of the alchemy of these diverse teams, each with their own unique skills and vision that bring new, unique voices to the field.”

Many of these voices have at some point passed through USC Games.

“Visit Activision, Blizzard or any of the biggest industry players and you’ll bump into loads of USC Viterbi [chief technical officers], designers and lead engineers working on juggernauts like Call of Duty, Destiny and Grand Theft Auto,” GamePipe Lab founding director Michael Zyda said.

Zyda estimates the lab has educated more than 1,500 students in game design.

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