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1st Level-Up Taiwan Game Design Festival Held in New York

1st Level-Up Taiwan Game Design Festival Held in New York
The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York (TECO) hosted a 2-day game design exhibition Level-Up - the 2015 Taiwan Game Design Festival in New York on May 30 and 31, featuring works of Taiwanese students and themes. As Charlin Chang, the Education Division Director, pointed out, “The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York (TECO) wants to provide a platform that connects industry resources and students so that excellent works can get wider exposure in the metropolitan area.”

This was the first time the division has hosted a game design exhibition. The works were selected by a group of experts from academia and from the game industry. The title of the exhibition, Level-Up, embodies the goal that most gamers constantly strive for – to break though previous boundaries and to win the game. The idea of succeeding permeates the exhibited works which range from digital games, to non-digital games, and game art.

The Political Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Lucia S. Lin, who was currently visiting America, was invited to attend the opening event as a special guest. She was delighted to do so and expressed her appreciation of the design students’ hard work. “Taiwan has made enormous advances in the computer science and technology fields in recent years, and this exhibition here in New York highlights the technological and creative potential of Taiwan’s game designers. I’m very very happy to be able to see these games that were designed by our overseas students from Taiwan firsthand. It is a wonderful testimony to your creativity and collaboration.”
The 21 dynamic works in various mediums, selected for display, were created by students at New York University, Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts and Carnegie Mellon University on the east coast, and universities as far away as in Indiana and California. Among the digital games, Rising Suns allowed the player to use a camera to photograph and decide the narrative of the Sino-Japan War. Falling investigated a homicide from the perspective of the victim, with a sophisticated atmosphere. The game Life Cycle examined the meaning of life with its sleek and simple interactions.

The young designers also created non-digital games, equally rich in creativity: Formation: Three Kingdoms, for example, based on the history of ancient China, showed how cultural diversity can be incorporated into the design of a game.
A panel featuring some gurus of the game industry was another feature of the very dynamic Level-Up exhibition, including Howard Tsao, the CEO of Muse Games, and Colin Williamson, the Director of Partnership at Shinra Technologies. They talked about and demonstrated how gaming elements have entered the practice of art-making and life.

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