Becker College Infects PAX Masses, IDA Uncovers the Cure

Published on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

What’s an aspiring developer got to do to gain the attention of videogame game companies and media? Unleash a virtual infection upon the tens of thousands, hungry for new games, who will converge on the upcoming game festival PAX East, March 11-13 at the Boston Convention Center.

Student game developers at Becker College created IDA (Infection Detection Assistant), a series of mini mobile games integrated into the PAX East experience; players solve puzzles in search of a cure for an unknown contagion that has infected the public. IDA is available for free download on iTunes.

“To save yourself and humanity, you must follow a scientist’s clues to unlock challenges in order to collect the rare ingredients for the cure. IDA is your personal device to help you survive this spreading infection,” said Adam “Professor Adamski” DeZago. “If you complete the tasks set before you, thus proving your sanity and viability, bring the ingredients to Adamski at the Becker College booth at PAX East to claim your reward.”

DeZago, of Cherry Valley, Mass. and fellow Becker College senior Shaun Dutton, of Billerica, Mass. developed IDA. The two teamed with another Becker senior, Torrey Kimball, of Warren, Mass. on last fall’s Race for the Ballot, that allowed the public—including Mass High Tech’s Rodney Brown, WBUR’s Andrew Phelps and Mayor of Worcester Joseph O’Brien—to select a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and race that candidate on a track toward Beacon Hill, all while avoiding opposing candidates, red tape and even pork barrel spending. 

“IDA is just one of the many games coming from students at Becker,” said Paul D. Cotnoir, Ph.D. chair of design at the Worcester, Mass. college, nationally rated in the top 10 colleges for videogame design. “Students created new games for PAX last year, teaching games for UMass Medical School and local museums, and they’ve gone on to work at Blizzard, Harmonix, Seven45 and other game companies.”
Becker College is at the center of the push to grow the videogame industry in Massachusetts. Mass. Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray announced Becker’s designation as host of the Massachusetts Videogame Institute at a December 2010 forum on campus, for game company executives, elected officials and colleges.

THIS JUST IN: Those who play IDA and find the cure will be entered to win a different game system each night at Pax:  a Wii, a PS3, and an Xbox.