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Business Leader Cover Story

As I've noted before, I don't typically talk about 3Dsolve on my blog; given the nature of our work, I would undoubtedly have to compromise some of the other things I say here. But it's a rule I bend on occasion, and this seems like a good one:

Business Leader Cover
3Dsolve CEO Richard Boyd on the cover of the June issue of Business Leader magazine.

The cover story of this month's issue of Business Leader magazine, "Gaming Is Big Business: Pioneers Lead Resurgence in Local Marketplace", is on gaming and serious gaming in the Triangle area of North Carolina, where we're located. 3Dsolve gets the cover photo and the lion's share of the story:

The Triangle's gaming-hub status is the result of some serious technology pioneers. At one time, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill housed the world’s fastest graphics computer. Raleigh native David Smith created "The Colony" -- the original first-person 3-D computer adventure game -- while local entrepreneur Richard Boyd has helped create games such as "SSN" as spin-offs of Tom Clancy's bestselling books. Additionally, Raleigh-based Epic Games recently sold the movie rights to New Line Cinema for its "Gears of War," which was named Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

"We brought in people from all over the planet to work here in computer gaming" during the 1990s, Boyd says of himself and Smith, as well as executives at Epic Games and Red Storm. But the dot-com bust of the early 21st century left the industry reeling. "The period after the bubble burst was sort of a nuclear winter for gaming. There wasn’t a lot of local investment in the industry," he says.

To combat the economic depression, in 2001 Boyd, Smith and Frank Boosman -- who along with Tom Clancy were among the creative minds behind Morrisville-based Red Storm -- co-founded 3Dsolve, a Cary-based company that develops innovative technologies such as three-dimensional graphics as a medium to solve issues in government, military, and corporate functions. Since then, several other gaming companies have arrived, resulting in a strengthened local industry once again...

For the past five years, 3Dsolve has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Defense to train military personnel to identify explosive devices, set up communications shelters and maintain vehicles, among other skills. The company now is taking its software into commercial markets to train businesses using that first-person gaming experience.

"A game environment is a place where you really care about what's happening, rather than sitting back passively, watching a PowerPoint presentation," says Boyd, 3Dsolve's CEO. "It's all part of the experience." ...

In his book, "Digital Game-Based Learning," author Marc Prensky discusses the concept of digital natives, or people who have grown up with the Internet and video games...

"They socialize differently," says Richard Boyd, co-founder and president of Cary-based 3Dsolve, of digital natives. "You can't get in front of them and show them a video or do a chalk talk to try and train them. They're spending more time in the evenings in online virtual worlds or playing games." ...

3Dsolve, for one, is harnessing the medium for training and education. "Understanding how digital natives prefer to have their media experiences and socialize will shape the media landscape over the next decade," Boyd says. "The area is poised to be the leaders in that revival, and we expect 3Dsolve to be a part of it."

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