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Sport Testing For EA Sports, Could Be You.

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Article by By Joshua Davidson

Ever dream of being a video game tester on such titles as Madden NFL Football, NCAA Football, NBA Live or Tiger Woods Golf? Well, look no further than LSU’s South Campus. Gov. Bobby Jindal announced August 20 that Electronic Arts Inc. – better known as EA Sports – is moving a global testing facility to LSU.

EA Sports is the leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment and games software in the world – thanks in large part to the success of the Madden franchise – with annual sales of more than $4 billion worldwide and around one quarter of that coming from the United States alone.

The first of its kind testing facility will be used to conduct research primarily in intelligent and responsive systems for video games, training systems as well as simulation visualization. The facility will bring upwards of 20 full-time jobs to Baton Rouge as well as more than 200 part-time jobs for area college students.

“Getting paid to play Madden?” says sociology senior Elton Williams. “I’d play Madden for free. That sounds too good to be true.”

The students will basically be getting paid to test and de-bug games before they are manufactured and sent to the public for sale. One might spot a discolored bunker on Tiger Woods golf or maybe find that Shaq hits his free-throws at an unbelievable percent. All these examples and many more can be fixed with the help of testers.

Not only is EA Sports great for the students around campus looking to make an easy buck doing something they like to do, the project is going to bring in great revenue for the state and offer opportunities for professionals in the field of digital media from around the world to travel to Baton Rouge.

EA Sports was especially interested in the move to Baton Rouge in light of LSU’s recent digital art initiative, AVATAR, or Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research. AVATAR enacts a focus on digital media with some of the nation’s most cutting-edge technology.

“Together, EA and LSU will ensure that Baton Rouge, and indeed the entire state of Louisiana; will become a global leader in the field by assisting in the development of curricula, workforce programs and digital media cultivation efforts,” said LSU Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Brooks Keel.

The project has been in works for the past several months with Gov. Jindal and Louisiana’s Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret stating Louisiana’s case for getting the facility with hope that it can be the stepping stone of bringing bigger projects to the state.

“The project provides a good return on investment just based on the jobs,” Moret said, “but the real value is the additional benefits.”

Gamers need not worry if they don’t get into sports games; EA Sports is the home of popular games of other genres like “The Sims” franchise as well as live action games “Mercenaries” and “Crysis Warhead.”

With the video game industry growing immensely over the last 10 years, what better time then now to jump on the cash cow? Baton Rouge already acknowledged a movie production company coming to the city; add a video game conglomerate to the slate and the future begins to look very bright.

The site projected to be home of the new center as soon as September is located on South Campus facilities on GSRI Avenue. The state has already committed to spend $800,000 to renovate the area.

In addition to the money spent on renovating the area, the state is also offering EA Sports a 20 percent tax credit.

“I live within walking distance from the proposed site,” says biology freshman Randy Chestwood. “I don’t care how much they pay me; at least I can tell my mom I have a job.”

The move is likely to encourage many of the talented people in Baton Rouge and Louisiana as a whole to seek jobs in media here rather than to move out of state for employment.

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Written by techran

September 11, 2008 at 10:03 am

Posted in For Fun

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