Brooklyn Will Soon Have a “MAGNET” to Draw Gaming Scholars

NYU and NYU-Poly faculty are joining forces for the new Media and Games Network

New York University (NYU) and Polytechnic Institute of NYU faculty members are a diverse group whose teaching and research often span both technology and culture. The Media and Games Network (MAGNET), a newly renovated space of nearly 40,000 square feet on the 8th floor of 2 MetroTech Center, will provide them with a place to collaborate and innovate. Expected to open in the fall of 2013, the multi-school facility will house programs in games as a creative art form, game design, digital media design, computer science, and engineering--with each program retaining its department affiliation and school identity. Among the schools that will participate in addition to NYU-Poly are the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, the Tisch School of the Arts and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

The establishment of the center is considered an important development in the world of gaming. When the news was announced, Rich Taylor, a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group, told an Associated Press reporter that game developers are going to find themselves in increasing demand. “This is an industry that has a growing population that consumes the products we create,” he explained. “[The faculty at MAGNET will be] preparing students for the economy that's awaiting them upon graduation."

The center will also reaffirm the study of gaming as a serious scholarly exercise. “What new forms of culture are being made possible by digital media? How are games and other interactive systems transforming our lives, our ideas, and the world we live in? MAGNET is a new approach to answering these questions by bringing together faculty and students from different disciplines in the same physical space,” Frank Lantz, an associate arts professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and director of the NYU Game Center, explained. “It’s an opportunity to cut across institutional boundaries and discover powerful new combinations of concepts, techniques, disciplines, and talent in order to learn from the past, engage with the present, and invent the future.”