What is GIMM?
GIMM (Games, Interactive Media & Mobile) employs an Applied Research/Service Learning model that allows our students to develop needed high-tech tools to be used by as wide an audience as possible in the communities around us. GIMM works with a number of local foundations, government, and non-profit entities to improve the lives of people in Idaho and beyond with high-tech solutions. Together we are creating an engine for positive social change that pipelines a series of projects to be made available for free in partnership with the community members and researchers around us.
How does GIMM Work?
GIMM takes a different approach to traditional university research and how technology applies to our lives. The heart, soul, and soil of our work is collaboration with Idaho communities to create a positive social impact. We contend that the purposeful design and application of technology are what gives it meaning and that the benefits of these advances should be enjoyed and accessible to all, unlimited by location, power, or wealth. Our approach engages with communities to identify areas of need where technology can have a positive, transformative, and impactful effect. We then apply resources to those areas of need, bringing together university faculty, K-12 educators, K-20 students, community leaders, and aligned for-profit and non-profit entities. The results are a real and positive impact on the lives of our neighbors by working directly with them to address local challenges.
What We Do
Solve problems for social good
Clients from local and national communities come to our dev team with unique problems. Many aren’t sure how or even if their problems can be solved. However, it is never a question of "if" for dev team members, but a question of "how." GIMM’s student developers work tirelessly to find high-tech solutions to social problems.
Work with clients
Being a member of the GIMM development team gives students the opportunity to work directly with clients from various industries. Students are tasked with understanding the client's unique perspective and problems, documenting their development, coordinating meetings, and presenting updates and research to their clients. Because of these big responsibilities, the dev team cultivates a highly professional attitude.
Fieldwork and research
Many of the projects that the dev team is tasked with present unique challenges. Whether it’s a recreation of the Sistine Chapel or a revised digital curriculum for the deaf and hard of hearing, each project demands a fair amount of research and fieldwork. This can mean anything from communicating with educational experts to hiking through Hells Canyon to capture 360° video footage.
Self-motivated collaborative learning
Because the GIMM development team places high expectations on students, there is very little involvement from instructors. This means that student developers must be self-motivated and eager to overcome obstacles without supervision. They must be able to identify their own strengths as well as the strengths of their team members. The real-world pressures of client work motivate dev team members to improve skills like collaboration, flexibility, and understanding the different needs of each project.
The best way to solve problems for other communities is by first strengthening our own. GIMM is more than a major or a job. It is a place that many of the students would call their second home. Wander into the GIMM lab after hours and you will find students playing games, sharing laughs, and helping each other with projects. Students come away from their time in GIMM with memories and friendships to last a lifetime.