Research lab developing technologies to support children’s engagement at school

Phantom Compass CEO Tony Walsh (left) and Ryerson EDGE Lab Director Professor Jason Nolan (right) announce their partnership to innovate in education and game development

TORONTO, March 13, 2013 —- Ryerson University’s pioneering Experiential Design and Gaming Environments (EDGE) Lab has partnered with leading Toronto game development studio Phantom Compass. The partnership brings EDGE Lab’s world-class academic research and the creative industry know-how of Phantom Compass together, facilitating commercialization of the Lab’s applied research projects while enhancing the effectiveness of the studio’s desktop, mobile and tablet game products. EDGE Lab and Phantom Compass have already started sharing experience, best practices, and state- of-the-art technology to study how children learn while playing games and how to use that knowledge to better engage children in learning at school.

EDGE Lab will host the game development company within its facility at the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ). EDGE Lab Director Professor Jason Nolan and Phantom Compass CEO Tony Walsh will work alongside support personnel in the same dynamic, multidisciplinary workspace.

“Working with Phantom Compass on campus at Ryerson is a great opportunity for EDGE Lab to extend its research into game design,” said Jason Nolan. “It is also a rare opportunity to collaborate directly with one of Canada’s most innovative game studios. The ingenuity that Phantom Compass brings to the lab, they bring to the DMZ and the Ryerson community as a whole.”

Digital Media Zone Executive Director Valerie Fox added, “One of the Digital Media Zone’s core values is the intersection of education and industry to create innovative products and solutions. We are very pleased to host Phantom Compass and are excited about the opportunities this partnership creates with regards to the development of new technologies and learning practices.”

EDGE Lab is a trans-disciplinary research lab devoted to researching learning, play and social innovation. Unique in Canada, comparable to a select few labs world-wide, EDGE Lab leverages the insights of researchers from social science, humanities, engineering, and digital technology for applied projects with institutional, community and industry partners. One ongoing EDGE Lab initiative integrates new and existing technologies and designs, working primarily with cardboard and DIY electronics, to create customized, affordable adaptations and communication tools for children with a variety of physical, communication and sensory challenges. For more information on EDGE Lab, visit

“The Ontario game industry and academic interest in it has grown substantially since I founded Phantom Compass in 2008,” said Tony Walsh. “My company now has a greater market advantage with EDGE Lab’s data-driven research and insight supporting our product development strategies and design decisions. I look forward to collaborating with Jason and his team in pushing the boundaries of games.”

Phantom Compass is an independent game development studio with offices in St. Catharines and Toronto, Ontario. The studio provides consultation and production services to media producers and develops proprietary game products for international markets. Its flagship product, Rollers of the Realm, combines classic arcade pinball with fantasy role-playing games. It is also developing a game based on the ancient Greek tragedy The Bacchae. For more information on Phantom Compass, visit

The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) is one of Canada’s largest incubators and multi-disciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs. Set atop Yonge-Dundas Square, and infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto, this hub of digital media innovation, collaboration and commercialization is home to both startups and industry solution-providers. The DMZ leads the way in experiential learning and business success by creating a unique ecosystem of education and entrepreneurship. Emerging leaders fast-track their product launches and grow their companies in this supportive community by connecting with mentors, customers and each other. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has stimulated Canada’s digital economy by incubating and accelerating 75 startups and launching more than 125 projects. For more information about the Digital Media Zone, visit

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 28,000 students, including 2,300 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada’s leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit