Gaming means business at the Virginia Serious Games Institute (VSGI) in Prince William.
Located at the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus, VSGI is an incubator that looks to develop gaming companies into thriving home-grown businesses.
According to founding Director of VSGI Scott Martin, VSGI has three major components that make up what it does; research, education, and business growth.
“The three major components are applied research, so that means that our faculty and staff, and students, work with industry agencies and governments to build things with subject experts, using current game technologies. The second piece is [the] outreach component. The biggest component of that is Mason Game and Technology Academy which is the largest Tech and Student Academy across the Commonwealth. We teach over a 1000 kids on site, with over a hundred different courses, touching on everything in game design, programming, even had cyber security in neuroscience courses,” said Martin.
Within the third component – business growth – VSGI provides space for new companies in the gaming industry to develop products, put together a business plan, and collaborate with like-minded individuals, stated Martin.
According to Martin, VSGI hosts eight to 12 new companies every year, and so far many of the companies have had great success.
“[In] the past 12 to 18 months, several of our companies have produced multiple patents, IP, and trademarks. We also have produced over 70 part time [and] full-time jobs – salary ranges from 45 to 90,000,” said Martin.
One company in particular, Little Arms Studios, was recently awarded for their work on training simulators that are being used by firefighters at the Fairfax County Department of Fire and Rescue.
The hope of running the VSGI as an incubator for these companies, is that they will grow into full-scale operations that bring jobs and investment into Prince William County.
“When they graduate the goal is for them to stay within Prince William County, and then flourish and grow,” said Martin.
For more information about VSGI, click here.