Peter Raad

Faculty in the News: Nov. 16, 2010

Henry Arthur McArdle, 'The Battle of San JacintoEric White, curator at SMU’s Bridwell Library, discussed James G. Pepper’s work creating a hand-lettered, hand-illustrated Bible with The United Methodist Church’s Interpreter Magazine. The article appeared in the November-December 2010 edition.

Sam Ratcliffe, head of special collections in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, talked with The Houston Chronicle about the recent discovery of a smaller version of Texas artist Henry Arthur McArdle’s famed painting The Battle of San Jacinto (right) – a canvas previously thought to have been destroyed in a 1918 house fire. The article appeared in the paper’s Nov. 8, 2010 edition.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Sarah Palin’s visit to Dallas and its potential impact on other politicians’ aspirations with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 10, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how – and whether – President Obama can adapt to the new political realities of Washington with The Christian Science Monitor Nov. 6, 2010. In addition, he discussed the 2010 midterm elections with The Houston Chronicle and USA Today in articles that appeared Nov. 3, 2010.

Peter Raad on 'Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman'Peter Raad (right), Executive Director, The Guildhall at SMU, discussed the future landscape of video games on the nationally syndicated PBS series “Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman.” The show aired Nov. 4, 2010. Watch it online. video

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Democratic successes in Dallas County elections despite Republican dominance of national races with The Dallas Morning News Nov. 3, 2010.

Anastasia Suen, Creative Writing, Continuing and Professional Studies, was featured in an article on the “Frisco Reads” program that appeared in The South Lake Times Oct. 27, 2010.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, talked with The Wall Street Journal about how cement used in oil drilling is prone to failure. The article appeared in the Oct. 30, 2010 edition.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, discussed Halloween sales of candy, costumes and decorations as a barometer for general economic recovery with The Dallas Business Journal Oct. 29, 2010.

Mark Chancey, Religious Studies, Dedman College, talked about a Bible-based history curriculum being sought by a member of Louisiana’s Caddo Parish School Board with The Shreveport Times Nov. 2, 2010.

Research Spotlight: Scores matter to video gamers

'Plants vs. Zombies' trailer screenbgrabVideo game review scores influence consumers, at least to an extent – according to a new study by EEDAR (Electronic Entertainment Design and Research) and The Guildhall at SMU.

Study participants were shown the game Plants vs. Zombies. The researchers found that those gamers who were shown high review scores (of about 90) gave higher scores of their own (about 85) when asked to give their own review score after playing the game.

Their scores were 20 percent higher than those of participants who were given low review scores (61) prior to playing the game; those respondents gave review scores averaging 71.

(Note: the Metacritic score for Plants vs. Zombies is 88 – not far off the 85 score given by the higher score group and the 79 given by the control group, which saw no reviews prior to playing the game.)

After they played the game, participants were offered $10 or a copy of the game. Participants exposed to the higher reviews were more than twice as likely to take the game than the cash.

In addition, those in the high review score group were 40 percent more likely to recommend Plants vs. Zombies to friends than the low review score group.

The results suggest that professional video game review scores can influence the marketplace, the researchers say. “We knew that review scores influenced consumers, but to what degree we couldn’t measure,” says EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich. “Still, as people, if you ask yourself individually we say, ‘No, we are not persuaded by outside sources. We make our own opinions.’ But obviously, the review scores influenced them.”

“This research, which has identified key behavioral aspects, is part of an overall objective of ours to ensure that we are always on the cusp of what is next in an ever-changing environment of the video game industry,” says Peter Raad, Guildhall executive director. “The driving force behind what we do is based on what is happening beyond our campus – in both distance and time. Preparing students to become industry leaders requires a commitment to ongoing research.”

> Read the full story from USA Today
> Learn more at The Guildhall at SMU website

Tune In: Girl gamers on the rise

The traditionally all-male world of video game creation has experienced an influx of female talent over the past decade.

The Guildhall at SMU sees this trend up close: The January 2010 entering class for its video game development programs is nearly 20 percent female, as compared to the industry’s current employment pool of 4 to 6 percent women.

“It’s very exciting to see more women in gaming,” says Peter Raad, The Guildhall’s founder and executive director, who was interviewed for a segment broadcast on Dallas’ CW33 News April 29, 2010. Click the video screen to watch the entire piece. video

Faculty in the News: May 4, 2010

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the potential impact of the immigration debate on the 2010 elections with USA Today May 3, 2010. He also discussed U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s efforts on behalf of Houston’s Johnson Space Center to win a two-year extension of space shuttle flights for an article that appeared in The Houston Chronicle May 1, 2010.

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, discussed the economic outlook for energy and gas exploration in Pennsylvania with The Dallas Business Journal April 30, 2010.

Peter Raad, The Guildhall at SMU, discussed current job and salary prospects in the video game industry with Reuters April 29, 2010.

Alan Bromberg, Dedman School of Law, talked about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s newly aggressive posture in its fraud litigation against Goldman Sachs with The Los Angeles Times April 22, 2010.

Dan Howard, Marketing, discussed how companies use Earth Day to promote their brands with giveaway items for an article that appeared in USA Today April 22, 2010.

Tune In: Training tomorrow’s game designers

What does SMU’s master’s-level program in game design have in common with medical school? Peter Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, talked about The Guildhall’s blend of theoretical and hands-on training – and its involvement in the inaugural Indie Game Challenge – with GamerLive.TV during the 2010 D.I.C.E.™ (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit in Las Vegas in February. Click the screen to watch the interview:

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