Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the games industry had already experienced an enormous growth. The current situation, which has proven difficult for many other industries, did not change this. By 2025 the global market will have grown to a volume of more than 181 million Euro, and more than a third of the world population will have played computer games. Although the German games industry is growing too, its global impact is still comparatively minor. Both the games development and the job market in Germany are falling behind. Gaming, however, has outgrown its fixation on entertainment, and a genre called “serious gaming” has emerged. Consequently, computer games have also become a constantly growing sector for vocational and cultural education and are already being used in schools, museums and medical institutions.
In cooperation with the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), the RWTH Aachen University and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln), the HSD is developing the “Games Technology Network” (GTN), a network of excellence, which is supported by the Future Fund NRW.
The GTN aims at creating an innovation center for research and industry to promote game technologies. Initially, there will be themed workshops with representatives from arts and culture, science, and public institutions to determine innovation potentials. Based on these potentials, several demonstrators will be developed, and selected lines of development will be pursued. An open-source software strategy will be applied to offer developers a low-threshold entry to the research results.
At the same time, the four participating universities will become even more interconnected. Through interdisciplinary courses and doctorates, the training of professionals in NRW will be enhanced. In the medium term, the “Games Technology Network” is intended to become a research and innovation center that looks at games development in all its facets and includes the games industry in NRW. The innovation cluster aims at creating new business models and pioneering solutions as well as positioning them for competition with developers from Asia and the USA. By accelerating the transfer from basic research to economy and society, the GTN will enhance the regional added value in NRW.
The interdisciplinary team of the MIREVI work group (Mixed Reality and Visualization) researches methods and technologies of user-oriented human-technology interaction. The emphasis lies on highly motion-based interfaces and the development of empathetic systems. Having finished several projects in the digital health and wellness sector and drawing on an extensive network within arts and culture, the MIREVI team is focused on developing applications and games in mixed reality.
Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), Institute of Visual Computing (project coordination)
RWTH Aachen University, Visual Computing Institute
University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf (HSD), Department of Media, Mixed Reality and Visualization
Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln), Computer Graphics Group und Cologne Game Lab