Starting with a strong foundation in video game design, storytelling and development, students can customize their studies to focus on specific areas of interest such as audio and music for game design, storytelling, graphics and animation.
"We want students to be able to develop expertise for a variety of areas under the video game design umbrella," says Dr. Justin Burton, assistant professor II of music. "This will allow students to take advantage of the faculty expertise in multiple disciplines around the University, giving them the opportunity to explore their individual interests in their elective choices."
The program is designed to prepare students to create immersive, interactive experiences, complete with compelling storylines, fully developed characters, integrated music and a cohesive design.
"This is a very hands-on program. Students are going to be designing games in their first year," Burton says. "Throughout their studies, they'll be working in multidisciplinary teams to create playable prototypes and have access to industry-standard software. An internship is also required to further their experience in the field."
Video games are not just play but a rapidly growing industry. They are surpassing Hollywood and the music industry combined, with $140 billion in revenue worldwide, according to the Electronic Software Association, the trade association of the video game industry in the United States.
Gaming is also reaching beyond the world of entertainment and impacting business, education, finance, health care and government. In addition to creating interactive programs, graduates will be trained to better understand games and interactive media in social and political contexts through media theory and analysis.