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Regent opens gaming lab in Aqaba

By JT - Aug 04,2016 - Last updated at Aug 04,2016

HRH Crown Prince Hussein, the Regent, tours a gaming lab that opened in Aqaba on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — HRH Crown Prince Hussein, the Regent, on Thursday inaugurated a gaming lab in Aqaba, established by the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The inauguration of the lab is part of a series of Royal initiatives that started in 2011 in Amman and Irbid, seeking to make Jordan a regional hub for gaming in the Middle East. 

The gaming lab aims at building the capabilities of young people to gain necessary skills to develop digital games and support the society of game developers in cooperation with the concerned authorities. 

Crown Prince Hussein toured the facilities of the lab and was briefed by Planning and International Cooperation Minister and Chairman of KAFD’s Board of Trustees Imad Fakhoury on the fund's vision to support creativity among Jordanian youth. 

For his part, the Crown Prince highlighted the importance of encouraging creative energies young people have and their passion towards the field of gaming, providing them with a stimulating environment to increase their participation in the industry. 

At the main hall in the lab, Crown Prince Hussein watched a short film on the levels of developing the gaming labs project in the Kingdom, which set off in cooperation with specialised companies in the field of creating and developing digital games to benefit from their expertise. 

He also attended a training session concerned with the promotion and development of games, attended by 25 students learning to write plots for the games and to programme using the Unity game engine. 

Crown Prince Hussein had a conversation with the students, who expressed how the gaming lab helped them gain necessary skills, especially in light of having a club established in cooperation with the Royal Film Commission, with the purpose of helping students learn movie making and creating storyboards. 

The Crown Prince used virtual reality gear to play a simulation of the Warrior Competition, an annual competition organised by the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre. 

Students aged more than nine years can join the gaming lab’s activities to improve their skills in the field of digital game creation, Petra reported, adding that the lab has 5,200 members of different ages and that 6,000 students have benefitted from the workshops and activities. Participants have developed 75 games, uploaded on the app store. 

The KAFD held a Jordan Gaming Summit in 2015 in cooperation with the Aqaba Development Corporation to allow young people exchange ideas and experiences. 

In an interview with Petra, Fakhoury said that the first gaming lab was opened in Amman, then in Irbid and now in Aqaba, noting that next on the list are Maan, Karak and Zarqa governorates.

 

He added that KAFD had worked on connecting the labs with 17 international and local companies specialised in the game industry, in order to enable the youth to contribute to the ICT sector. 

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