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April 11, 2011

Tommy at TED

Student Produced Video Games and Films at TEDxUSC Conference

The USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Division has been a leading advocate for video games to deliver both entertainment and an emotional experience since their inception. With the re-release of the “Apps for Healthy Kids” winning game Trainer, developed by twelve USC students, IMD has pioneered the use of video games as a means to deliver a positive message about nutrition.

A shot from Apple of My Eye on the iPhone 4

“Being invited to present our work at a TEDxUSC conference is extremely flattering and a personal honor for me,” said Interactive Media Division MFA student and Trainer developer Erin Reynolds. “I have been a fan of TED for ages and have found great inspiration in the speakers and topics presented over the years. I’m thrilled that forward-thinking organizations like TED are looking to the interactive space for inspiration and solutions to the major issues of our day.”

Trainer was developed as part of a two-part class sequence in IMD and the GamePipe Laboratory at the Viterbi School of Engineering. Last September, it was awarded first place in the “Apps for Healthy Kids” contest sponsored by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative.

Trainer was presented at the TEDxUSC on April 8th.

In addition, Apple of My Eye, an SCA student film shot entirely on an iPhone 4 was screened at the TedxUSC on April 12th. The crew includes writer/producer Michael Koerbel, producer/editor Anna Elizabeth James and composer Corey Wallace.

“It was a great moment to find we had been accepted into the conference. TED constantly gives us inspiration so to be able to show how that inspiration has affected us is so wonderful,” said James via email.

James and Koerbel are working on their next iPhone 4 project Goldilocks, which will be distributed through the Majek App found in iTunes.