Advice from the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) on Choosing an Academic Game Program

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Utdrag fra Game Design Workshop

A Playercentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games

Second Edition

by Susan Gold, Chairperson of the IGDA Education Special Interest Group (SIG), and Jason Della Rocca,Executive Director of the IGDA.

The International Game Developers Association ( means a lot of things to a lot of people. As a professional organization, it has a mission to advance the careers and enhance the lives of those working in the game industry. And as a part of this mission, the IGDA is interested in how they can help young people who want to make game development their careers. Today many students are looking at game programs as a way to learn the skills necessary for a career in games and are confused by the variety of programs available.

How do you choose the right program?

The IGDA’s Education SIG has developed curriculum framework recommendations that schools all over the world are looking to for guidance, and they are good place for potential students to find guidance as well. These recommendations advise schools that are starting a program to consider offering courses in a number of topic areas that are important to game studies. These include the following:

· Critical game studies

· Games and society

· Game design

· Game programming

· Visual design

· Audio design

· Interactive storytelling

· Game production

· Business of gaming

Depending on what part of game development you want to go into, you will want to focus on diff erent requirements. For example, if you want to be a programmer, you’ll want to make sure the program offers a strong set of game programming courses. Or if you want to be a visual designer, make sure there are plenty of courses on visual design for games. You can find more information on these core topic areas at


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