Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sorry state of game education

Some comments on my second GameCareerGuide article referred to an awful advertisement, by a college I've not heard of, showing "game designers" lounging around playing games, with the implication that game playing is a major part of the work. I've also recently read a book titled "Virtual Apprentice, Computer Game Designer" that does exactly the same thing: one photo caption reads "Imagine a job where you play computer games all day long!" (p 5). These kinds of lies distress people in the game industry, and they distress me. Students should be told the truth.

Someone suggested that the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) should produce a pamphlet that "tells the truth".

Unfortunately, there are many teachers (and even more college administrators) who are unwilling to tell the truth to students, ultimately to tell them "you might be better off pursuing some other subject". Those awful advertisements are an example of the lying that goes on.

Many colleges are desperate to replace the shortfall of technology students, as members of the millennial generation are comfortable with using technology but rarely interested in it as a career. Technology enrollment is weak at most schools, and game subjects are seen as a source of replacement bodies.

Dollars rule in 21st century education. If the school isn't willing to tell the truth, will the students ever see the pamphlet?

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