Edu-gaming 2

Edu-gaming 2
Tighten Those Graphics

Erin Hoffman | 29 May 2007 12:02
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A number of questions remain to be answered. Can a college really claim to be teaching game development if their faculty has no game development experience? Where does theory end and practice begin? Is it more important to be a strong communicator and teach solid skills, or to have spent time in the trenches? On one issue the industry is unanimous: There is no replacement for live experience. But experience making games does not immediately correlate to skill in instructing and inspiring students.

Time will have the final say - which is unwelcome news for current hopefuls. But the bright side is game instruction in academia gets better every year, and this can only mean good things for the industry as a whole. Increasing numbers of programs, small and large, are bringing in developers as adjunct instructors, and game analysis itself is a tremendous skill growing in academia apart from its production-based siblings. Smaller programs like Westwood's offer options for the part-time and passionate, and, if a driven student can navigate through the qualitative labyrinth of program options, ask sharp questions, make some professional connections and land an internship, he has a better chance at making it into the industry than most of us had before these programs existed.

With passion and energy, doors will open, and as academic game programs mature, they keep getting wider. Just don't forget to tighten those graphics.

Erin Hoffman is a professional game designer, freelance writer, and hobbyist troublemaker. She moderates Gamewatch.org and fights crime on the streets by night.

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