Game Education Summit North America 2011 - Presentation
Balancing Education and the Player: The Creation of a Game Design Program
Associate Dean, Game Software Design and Production
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 12:45 - 13:45
Creating any new program is a challenge: finding the balance of general education to specific knowledge to core courses it difficult even for a traditional program such as Computer Science or Liberal Arts. For creating a program for the game industry, we have the additional challenge of balancing that traditional academic knowledge with occupationally specific knowledge and directly applied skills. This makes the development of new program even more convoluted; especially for traditional schools.
This paper looks at the methods used by a non-traditional school, DigiPen Institute of Technology, to develop two interdisciplinary programs: a Bachelor of Science in Game Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design. The development of these programs involved several years of research and iteration with game design industry experts, curriculum development experts, business professionals and faculty.
The research demonstrates why (and how) game design curriculum requires input from all facets of an institution along with industry input. How the benefits of creating a game design program can be used to increase interest and retention in programming and science is also covered. The interdisciplinary approach developed creates deeper and broader game designers, and has positive affects on the shared courses with other programs. Take-aways are how game design can be used in traditional schools to help retain students in technical programs.