by Rachel Stengel '14, '20
Video games are big business, bigger than the movie and sports industries combined.
In recent years, the gaming industry has surpassed both in terms of revenue, according to International Data Corporation statistics. The U.S. video game industry generates $90 billion in annual economic output and supports more than 400,000 jobs in all 50 states, the Electronic Software Association reports.
Rider is training the next generation of animators, designers, writers and audio engineers through its growing game and interactive media design program.
“The program really provides a comprehensive view of all the elements that go into creating a video game — design, storytelling, development, songwriting, composition, animation, filmmaking,” says program director Wil Lindsay. “Students can find the area they want to specialize in and pursue for a career.”
Developed in 2019, it’s one of the top 15 majors at Rider. In just four years, nearly 100 students are pursuing the major. Beyond creating what students hope to be the next Call of Duty or Minecraft, understanding the concepts and theories of games in general is a foundational aspect of the program.
“Analog game development becomes an excellent primer for understanding the creative process and underlying systems at play,” Lindsay says. “Card games, board games, role playing systems and dice games have become increasingly popular in recent years as we seek an engagement with friends and family that can’t always be found online.”
Play a board game developed by the staff of Rider magazine in collaboration with Will Lindsay and senior game and interactive media design majors Nicholas Ravaioli and Dorian Bialer.
Download the game board (PDF) and instructions (PDF) here.