PhD Scholarship in MMORPG development available

To expand the research in the Video Game area of Information Technology, the IT University invites applications for 1 PhD scholarsip in Massively-Multiplayer Game Design and Development.

The PhD will be situated in the University’s Department of Digital Aesthetics and Communication and directly associated with our ongoing ODDPAW-project (Open Source Design and Development of Persistent game Worlds. See below for more on ODDPAW).
The PhD program at ITU puts great emphasis on the quality of the PhD studies. PhD students
can expect to be part of a scientific environment with great emphasis on collaboration
and development. This is done by offering PhD courses of high international standard
and the possibility of establishing international contacts at relevant conferences and by
spending a semester abroad.
Applicants are expected to have a solid background in relevant fields such as Computer
Science, Software Engineering, Social Sciences or the Humanities. A broad interdisciplinary
orientation is highly recommended.
The successful applicant will be an excellent student capable of conducting research under
supervision at the highest international level. The candidate’s PhD proposal must be closely
associated with overall goals of the ODDPAW project (see below) and at the same time be
an independent research project in its own right. The candidate must demonstrate a thorough
understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities related to video game design
and development. Furthermore, the candidate must demonstrate excellent programming
skills specifically in regard to Python and C++. Experience from Open Source and
Free Software development is an advantage. For more information applicants should feel
free to contact ODDPAW Project manager Jan Rune Holmevik via email (jrh at itu dot dk)
The PhD scholarship runs for a period of three years. A three-year scholarship can only be
awarded to applicants with a Masters degree, equivalent to a Danish graduate degree.
Appointment and salary will be in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of
Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Applicants must
be able to document that they will be able to fulfill the requirements before entering the
PhD program.
The three-year scholarship pays approximately 20,000 DKK per month exclusive of superannuation.
The salary is taxable.
To be awarded a scholarship requires enrollment as a PhD student, which is based on an
application. An assessment committee within the field in question will assess the applications
submitted.
What is ODDPAW?
In the 1990s there was a growing academic interest in Virtual Worlds and their potential
for more serious applications such as teaching and research. From 1992 onward, a category
of Virtual World systems known as MOO were successfully applied to many educational
and academic activities ranging from conferencing applications to online language
learning. Based on the positive experiences from these projects, in 2003 associate professor
Espen Aarseth, created the ODDPAW project which was designed to create a modern
platform for the creation of academic Virtual Worlds and Multi-Player games using Open
Source software and methodologies. The project, which is funded by the Danish Research
Council (Forskningsstyrelsen), was begun in 2004 and is scheduled to run through March
of 2007.
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Goals
To explore, develop and implement experimental game designs, including alternative models
for power distribution and democracy, both in the process of game development and in
the games as such.
To help develop an open-access, open-source game platform that can be used for a variety
of applications and by a variety of user groups, including educators, non-profit organizations,
independent game developers, artists, minority language communities, and the public
at large.
To provide researchers with a low-cost, flexible platform for persistent-world experiments
of any kind.
To create a forum for independent persistent-world game developers and other interested
parties.
To create a body of knowledge about persistent-world games and game technologies, including
the understanding of game development processes, useful for lawmakers and relevant
public and commercial agencies.
To realize these goals, the aim of the ODDPAW project is to create a Free Software platform
for multi-player games. This platform is an integrated suite of tools that includes a
game server, a 3D client, a network layer, and a set of databases that provides support for
persistency as well as rules, combat and magic systems and other game assets.
For educational institutions and small independent developers alike, component-based
game engineering using open source middleware and tools is an intriguing new prospect
that might help them gain entry into the technically challenging MMO sector. The economic
savings of using open source middleware can be substantial when compared to the
price of the most popular commercial offerings. More important, however, is the fact that
an Open Source platform means that game developers can freely modify the system to suit
their own particular game designs. Concerns pertaining to intellectual property rights need
not dissuade anyone from adopting such a system since game assets such as art and animations,
level designs and story lines can be kept separate from the underlying game
platform itself.
From an educational point of view, a system such as this means that educators can give
their students a powerful tool with which to freely express themselves and explore aspects
of online games that commercial and/or proprietary systems does not afford them. Experiences
from the past 10 years of MOO use and development, as well as from the myriad of
mod-ing communities that grow up around popular games, suggests that access to, and
control over the creative processes of game design and development adds a tremendously
powerful dimension to immersion and learning.
Application may be in Danish or English and must include:
1. Completed application form available on our website:
http://www1.itu.dk/sw341.asp
2. Letter of motivation
3. Project description (see guidelines on our website)
4. Documentation of previous studies
5. Brief CV
6. Copies of theses or up to 3 selected publications and a numbered list of all publications
if any
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All application material, including all enclosures (see above points 1-6), must be assembled
in sets.
The application, including 4 copies of the enclosures and at least 1 copy of the publications
or theses, marked “(PhD Scholarship)” ref no 225-0013, must be submitted to:
IT-Universitetet i København
Att.: Journalen
Rued Langgaards Vej 7
2300 KBH. S.
Denmark
You may also submit your application electronically (one per applicant) with enclosures in
pdf format to the following email address: journalen@itu.dk. Please note that applications
sent to any other email address will not be taken into consideration.
Application deadline: 1 September 2005 at 12.00 noon.
The IT University invites all qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, religious affiliation
or ethnic background to apply for the scholarships.
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The IT University was established in 1999. There are currently about 1,500 students at the
university. The IT University offers graduate studies, post-graduate studies and Open University
courses in six areas: Design, Communication, and Media; E-business; Internet
Technology; Multimedia Technology; Software Development; and Interdisciplinary IT.
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