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Designing for development

Published:Sunday | October 19, 2014 | 5:57 PMKemisha Anderson

Professor Joseph Saulter, founder and chief executive officer of Entertainment Arts Research Incorporated, one of the United States? leading game-design and development firms, says Jamaica?s economy could benefit significantly if its young people tap into the game and application designing industry.

Saulter, who was speaking at the region?s first ever Digital Game Design and Development Conference at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), University of the West Indies, Mona campus, recently, said Jamaicans have a natural creativity that would be very useful in game designing.

?Game designing and development is never going away. One per cent of the gross revenue will change the whole economics of Jamaica. If you are creative and are looking to do something, why not do something that brings your creativity where you can play in?? Saulter said.

The net value of the gaming industry, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and computer games, is forecast to reach $111 billion by 2015, according to Gartner Incorporated, one of America?s leading information technology research and advisory firms.

Saulter, who is African-American, said he has been in the industry for more than 12 years and has never seen a game that was developed in the Caribbean.

He said one of his main intentions was to get the black race into an industry that is proven to be a good financial opportunity for everyone.

He said the designing of educational games is very profitable.

Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, who also attended the opening session of the conference, said he has seen where the introduction of digital technology and games into the classroom has improved learning, especially among boys.

?The technology and educational games are extremely important, as they serve as mediums through which learning and all its aspects can take place, and also a means by which those who are unable to be attracted to formal educational pursuits can learn,? Thwaites said.

Saulter said he hopes, through a partnership with CARIMAC, to introduce game design and development to the Jamaican youth.