Meet the UOW graduate turned Microsoft playmaker

University of Wollongong graduate and Microsoft games developer Sean Jenkin says he is working on a console to revolutionise the gaming world. Picture: ROBERT PEETIf you want to know the kind of games your kids will soon be clamouring for, Sean Jenkin is the person to ask.The former Figtree resident and University of Wollongong computer science graduate is the man software giant Microsoft employs to develop the “next big thing”.He has been the brains behind gaming hits such as Kameo, Rise of Nations and Fable, and has worked on creating consoles such as Xbox 1 and Xbox 360.He arrived back in Wollongong yesterday to share some of his expertise with university students.Although tight-lipped about games that will climb the charts this year, Mr Jenkin did reveal he was working on a new console that would revolutionise the gaming world.”Project Natal is where we’re heading in Microsoft,” he said.”That will be full body control of every game, with no controllers, nothing to hold. It can recognise who you are and say hello, or good morning.”We release that sometime next year, probably, and it’s a whole revolution in terms of how you play games.”Mr Jenkin began working for Microsoft shortly after graduating in 1999. Now based in Seattle, he works as development lead for Xbox Live Indie Games, and is enjoying his life in America.”It’s a different speed to Wollongong but the opportunities there – everything’s so big, bold and everyone is going for everything,” he said.Mr Jenkin is in Australia for his sister’s wedding but welcomed the chance to return to the university to talk about his experience.”It’s a great opportunity to bring that back and help the university develop their programs,” he said.”I learned how to learn here … and if I ever thought about doing a postgraduate qualification I would want to do that at Wollongong.” Of his job, Mr Jenkin said: “It’s a dream come true. The people I get to work with are the smartest and most creative in the industry. And I’m getting paid to make fun.”
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