A Chinese company specialized in the development of serious games has established at the Healthy Ageing Campus of University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG). Together with MadLogic and with the support of research conducted by the University Centre for Psychiatry (UCP) and Accare, the company is looking into the possibilities of developing a serious game for autistic children.
The company’s arrival in Groningen is one of the results of the visit paid by alderman Joost van Keulen and members of the UMCG’s executive board to the Chinese city of Tianjin (twinning arrangement) together with researchers and a company delegation earlier this year. The arrival of the company is expected to give a boost to the serious gaming industry in the Northern Netherlands.
The new company’s founder has his roots in entertainment gaming and is known for his outstanding graphic design. The company will now be using this expertise in Groningen for the development of serious computer games for training, education and public information. The first project involves a game that is intended to improve the social skills of autistic children.
The UMCG has been working for years in partnership with hospitals and universities in Tianjin. Mental disorders such as autism are just as big a problem in China as they are in the Netherlands and Europe. China is very interested in European innovations and there are opportunities for the business community to place them on the Chinese market. The new company could take on a guide and bridging function for other gaming companies in the Northern Netherlands wanting to do business in China.
There are now about thirty companies operating in the gaming industry in Groningen and Leeuwarden. A lot of interest is being expressed in Tianjin for the expertise the UMCG has built up in the area of innovative treatments for mental disorders. Plenty of interest is also being shown in China in the Northern Netherlands’ activities in the area of Healthy Ageing and large-scale and long-term population surveys such as LifeLines.
Source: Groninger Ondernemers Courant
Bron photo: VSTEP