About

The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi) is the center for entrepreneurship, academic cooperation and economic development across the Massachusetts games ecosystem.

MassDigi was conceptualized in 2010 and established at Becker College in 2011 after a rigorous planning process. Based at WPI since 2021, MassDigi is the result of creative collaboration among academia, state government and industry, aimed at fostering the growth of the innovation economy in Massachusetts.

Since starting up, MassDigi has launched several initiatives that support entrepreneurship and strengthen the talent pipeline between higher education and the game industry. Specific initiatives include the Summer Innovation Program and Digi Studio – both of which bring multi-institutional student teams and industry professionals together to work on creative projects in a real game development environment. Numerous other initiatives include the Game Challenge, Made In MA and Mentoring on Demand. In addition to working with student teams, MassDigi regularly works with startups and established studios in the region, across the country and around the world as well as with different levels of government. From 2011 to 2021, MassDigi was a US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center.

To date, MassDigi has launched over 45 games many of which can still be found on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Steam.

Team

Gillian Smith, PhD is faculty advisor at MassDigi. Smith is WPI IMGD program director and an award-winning game designer. Her interdisciplinary work merges technical research in AI and HCI with creative practice in textiles and games, with a view towards addressing social issues and broadening participation and perspectives on computing. Find her on: LinkedIn

Walt Yarbrough is the executive producer at MassDigi’s Summer Innovation Program. Yarbrough, a professor of practice at WPI and a past digital fellow at Becker College, has worked at Mythic Entertainment, EA, Turbine and Quick Hit. Find him on: LinkedIn

Senior Advisors

Timothy Loew is the co-founder and former Executive Director of MassDigi. He serves or has served on various boards including The Worcester Guardian, New England Public Media, Worcester Cultural Coalition, Worcester Public Library Foundation and the National Esports Collegiate Conference and is a past appointed member of the Massachusetts Creative Economy Council. He is also a founding member of Wire Group. Find him on: LinkedIn

Monty Sharma is the former Managing Director of MassDigi. Prior to joining MassDigi, Sharma, a game industry and technology professional, was co-founder and general manager of Vivox, a voice chat service for games with key relationships to EA, Sony, Ubisoft, Nexon, Bigpoint and many others. Vivox was acquired by Unity in 2019. Before Vivox, he held senior positions at Jamcracker, Novell and MT&T. He advises a number of companies and is a veteran MassChallenge and MIT Sandbox mentor. Find him on: LinkedIn

Past MassDigi Advisory Board Members include: Jeff Goodsill, consultant, OtherSide Entertainment; Craig Alexander, CEO, Endless Studios; Dave McCool, President & CEO, Muzzy Lane SoftwareHelena Fruscio Altsman, Assistant Secretary, MA EOHED; Pat Larkin, Director, The Innovation Institute at MassTech Collaborative; President Robert Johnson, PhD, WNEU (and MassDigi co-founder); Michael Cavaretta, Attorney, MBBP;  Peter Blacklow, Partner, Boston Seed Capital; Jen MacLean, GM, Creator Partnerships, Xbox and former Executive Director, IGDARyan Canuel, Founder & CEO, PetricoreNikita Virani, former CEO, WizdySarah Zaidan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Emerson College; Jean King, PhD, Dean, WPIWalter Somol, Business Development, Epic Games, Jennifer DeWinter, PhD, Dean, Illinois Tech, Gordon Bellamy, Visiting Scholar, USC, Timothy Loew and Monty Sharma.

  • Click here to download and read “Getting in the Game: A Plan to Establish the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute” as presented on Apr. 26, 2011.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2012 Annual Report” as presented on Sept. 13, 2012.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2013 Annual Report” as presented on Sept. 12, 2013.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2014 Annual Report” as presented on Sept. 30, 2014.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2015 Annual Report” as presented on Oct. 5, 2015.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2016 Annual Report” as presented on Oct. 28, 2016.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2017 Annual Report” as presented on Oct. 30, 2017.
  • Click here to download and read MassDigi’s “2018 Annual Report” as presented on Oct. 31, 2018.
  • Beginning in 2019, a brief annual statement can be requested by email.

 

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