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At a press conference on Aug. 20, LSU Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Brooks Keels discusses the university’s digital media initiative, AVATAR, and LSU’s new partnership with EA Sports.  
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Governor Bobby Jindal
Stephen Moret, LED Secretary
Brooks Keel
Brooks Keel, LSU Vice Chancellor

LSU Teams With EA Sports for Video Game Excellence
EA Sports to set up quality assurance center in LSUís South Campus

Electronic Arts Inc., more commonly known to gaming buffs throughout the world as EA Sports, announced a partnership with LSU and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development that will result in a new global quality assurance center – the first of its kind in the United States – located on LSU’s South Campus.

Joining Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in making the announcement were EA’s Senior Vice President for Central Development Services Sharon Knight, LSU Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Brooks Keel, Baton Rouge Mayor Melvin L. “Kip” Holden, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development Stephen Moret, President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber Adam Knapp and President of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation John Davies.

EA was particularly interested in Baton Rouge as a location in light of LSU’s new digital art initiative, AVATAR, or Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research. AVATAR establishes a university-wide faculty focus on the intersections among art, technology and computation, and will bring new faculty to LSU to conduct research primarily in intelligent and responsive systems – video games, training systems and simulation visualizations – and collaborative digital media.

“We are extremely excited about collaborating with EA, which will not only provide outstanding job opportunities for our digital media students, but will greatly enhance our ability to attract global leaders in digital media including scientists, artists and engineers to LSU,” said Keel. “Together, EA and LSU will ensure that Baton Rouge, and indeed the entire state of Louisiana, will become a global leader in the field of digital media and entertainment development.”

As part of this collaboration, EA will assist in the development of the digital media industry in Louisiana, and will help to encourage technology research and development in the field by assisting in the development of curricula, workforce programs and digital media cultivation efforts.

EA’s new center will be a testing facility for new software, housing approximately 20 full time employees as well as more than 200 part-time testers made up predominately of LSU students beginning as early as September.

Ashley Berthelot | LSU Office of Public Affairs
Summer 2008

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