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School Daze: On Gaming Degrees

when words attack

Perhaps a little outside our bailiwick, but given a fair few RPS commentors seem to have worked on or hope to work on games it’s well worth covering this, I think. Eurogamer’s Johnny Minkley has spent months investigating the UK government’s relationship with games, with this third chapter specifically looking at what this country is doing to train up tomorrow’s developers.

Short story: if you’re planning on getting onto the games industry via the academic route, this is a must-watch. The same’s probably true if you’re an employer looking around for new talent. Or if you just like watching the likes of David Braben, Peter Molyneux and Ian Livingstone.

Far too many university courses are based around theory rather than practice, and their graduates “just ended up essentially being able to review games by the end of it,” as one student puts it. You certainly don’t need to spend thousands of pounds and three years to do that. Or “We do not need them teaching a philosophy about games, we need computer science, art and animation,” as Ian Livingstone puts it.

The show – which is incredibly well put-together – looks at the courses that do work, how the games industry and the government need to improve matters, and has some warnings against too-good-to-be-true course offers.

Again, if you’re even slightly thinking of signing up to a games course any time soon, you owe it to yourself to watch this.

Also covered is the positive role games can play in education themselves, flying in the face of those all-too-regular accusations by newspapers that all they do is turn kids into pint-sized sociopaths.

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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