IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

IIT-B gets serious about games, starts elective

Posted on: July 4, 2011

By Times of India
MUMBAI: The games we play have changed with time. We slouch in front of a computer and play ‘Pacman’ for hours. We turn on a play station and race furiously. This was not how children spent their evenings.

To revive board games where families sit around, play and interact, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-B) has started an elective in game design. Newly invented games just like Wobble—that uses marbles to balance a board supported precariously from the centre—would be auctioned to industry.

Developed by students from the institute’s Industrial Design Centre (IDC) and electrical engineering department, all the 14 games will be thrown open to toy manufacturers and game developers as part of the auction. “Traditionally, games for children were a matter of luck determined by the throw of dice, but we have designed games that educate and enhance social interaction,” said professor Uday Athavankar from the IDC

He added, “With China taking over the toy industry, there is need to create innovative games. The most important part is to have innovative game design.”

Behind every successful game is a great design. “These aren’t merely board games. They put to test various human capabilities and involve strategic thinking and problem solving.”

The market for educative games opened up six years ago when a toy manufacturing company, bought nine games developed by IIT-B students. Pupils design these games as part of a 15-day elective course offered by the institute. To improvize their games, students call in a bunch of children from the neighbourhood, who provide feedback. “Creating a game can be very frustrating and tiresome. We end up playing a game at least 100 times to fine-tune the rules and structure of the game,” said Ruchin Shah, a student who has designed one of the games.

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