September 14, 2023: On September 14, 2023, Alfaisal University welcomed esteemed guests from the United States Embassy, Mike Fischer, and Jesse Vigil, as part of the US Embassy’s Game Developers Program. This program aims to facilitate collaboration between the United States and Saudi Arabia in the realm of game development. During their visit, they had the opportunity to witness the innovative projects of Alfaisal University students, interact with the local gaming community, and share insights on the positive impact of gaming.
During the visit, Dr. Maha Alsaud, Vice President for External Relations, Dr. Muhammed Anan, Dean of the College of Engineering, and Ms. Lana Alsaleh, Director of Advancement, warmly welcomed the guests. The guests delivered a captivating talk titled “Gaming as a Social Good” to the students and faculty members of Alfaisal University, particularly those from the Software Engineering department. Notable attendees included Dr. Umair Khan, the department Chair, Dr. Areej Alwabil, the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and Eng. Hoda Elsayed, a Software Engineering lecturer and the Game Innovation Center director. This exceptional opportunity allowed the university community to gain valuable insights from industry experts.
The event showcased interactive media projects and posters exhibit developed by Software Engineering students, all under the guidance of Eng. Hoda Elsayed. These projects not only demonstrated the technical power of the students but also highlighted the potential of gaming as a tool for education and social change.
Two student groups enthusiastically presented their projects to the visitors. The first group introduced “Golden Quest,” a physics-based game designed to educate players about the contributions of Arab physicists. The game offers a fun and engaging 2D environment where players can explore the world of physics while learning about the achievements of Arab scientists. “Golden Quest” aligns with the broader mission of promoting STEM education and showcasing the rich scientific history of the region.
The second group unveiled “EasySpeak,” a virtual reality (VR) application that aims to assist individuals in enhancing their public speaking skills. By creating a simulated environment, “EasySpeak” allows users to practice and refine their public speaking abilities in a supportive and immersive setting. This innovative use of VR technology holds the potential to empower individuals to become more confident communicators.
The interactive media projects left a lasting impression on Mike Fischer and Jesse Vigil, who were impressed by the creativity and dedication displayed by Alfaisal University students. Following the student presentations, Mike Fischer delivered an informative presentation on the broader impact of interactive media on society today. He emphasized how gaming, beyond being a source of entertainment, can serve as a powerful medium for education, social change, and community engagement.
The visit by the US Embassy representatives and American game developers underscored the importance of international collaboration in the field of game development. It provided Alfaisal University students with valuable exposure to industry professionals, inspiring them to continue exploring the limitless potential of interactive media.
The event served as a bridge between the United States and Saudi Arabia, fostering meaningful connections and partnerships within the global gaming community. Through initiatives like the Game Developers Program, Alfaisal University and the US Embassy are driving innovation, education, and positive social impact in the world of gaming and interactive media.