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“Landmark” €4million gaming bid

The University of Salford has won a €4m bid for an international research project which will evaluate the video game industry across Europe.

It’s partnering with City Football Group, Ubisoft, Imperial War Museums and the London Symphony Orchestra to explore the economic, social and cultural value of video gaming.

Garry Crawford from the School of Health & Society at the University of Salford will lead on Gamehearts as the organisations examine how gaming can be a “driver for innovation and increased accessibility”:

“We will explore how gaming technology and influences could be extended into the wider arts and cultural sector, in a way that helps create new interactive experiences that can open up cultural engagement to wider audiences.

“What makes Gamehearts unique and exciting is that we will be working with some of the main players in the world of gaming as part of the research. Ubisoft is one of the biggest games companies in the world.  Plus we will be working closely with the City Football Group, London Symphony Orchestra and the Imperial War Museums who have been carefully selected as three case studies that will be used to explore the current and potential value of a closer working relationship between the video game and wider creative industries.”

The €4m Horizon Europe funding for the study is from the European Commission and UKRI.

The University will collaborate with the universities of Vienna (co-lead) and Tampere, Breda University of Applied Science, and Wroclaw University of Economics and Business on delivering the project.

The team believe that the impact of gaming shouldn’t just be measured financially and that it needs to be looked at in a “wider cultural and social context.” 

“City Football Group are delighted to be involved in this research project with the University of Salford and other leading organisations,” explained Gavin Johnson, Media Director at City Football Group.

“Whilst many may know us for our success on the football pitch, the gaming industry has been a natural priority for us over recent years and we have passionately developed our gaming and esports offering with a key focus on reaching fans in an area of their lives they are passionate about.

“We look forward to offering our unique expertise and global perspective to the Gamehearts collaboration and learning from academic findings to continue to enhance our fan experience in the world of gaming and beyond.”

Gill Webber, Executive Director IWM Institute from Imperial War Museums added: 

“IWM is delighted to be part of this exciting project, funded by Horizon Europe, and to work in partnership with the University of Salford and a wide range of other European partners. At IWM, we have taken a keen interest in how video games tell stories of war and conflict. 

“Our recent War Games exhibition at IWM London was the UK’s first at a major museum to ask how the reality of war is represented in the virtual world of a video game. Through this project, we hope to further develop our relationship with the video game industry, and to explore how video gaming technology could be used to enhance IWM’s future public programming.”

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