Sail's Pedagogy

Sail's posts about her class, classes she is taking, and education.

Degrees in Virtual Worlds & Games

on October 15, 2009

254 of the nation’s colleges and universities in 37 states have such programs, up 27 percent over the year before…added degree programs in online gaming and virtual worlds, with specialties ranging from content creation to graphic design and persistent world programming. According to the Entertainment Software Association, which monitors the game industry, video-game design is the fastest-growing industry in this country.

This is creating a new Techno Ivy League by such forward-thinking schools as South Dakota State University, St. Paul College in Minnesota and UC Irvine in Orange County, California.

Most of these programs require some background in Computer programming and a working knowledge of two or more software tools such as: Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Flash, Unity, After Effects, Autodesk Maya, Second Life, modelling tools: Half Life, Unreal or programming skills in: Java, C#, LSL, ActionScript, and Lingo. South Dakota State University and UC Irvine require backgrounds in advanced math, some previous experience working with mesh or other texture mapping, and a knowledge of industry-standard creation tools used in virtual worlds.

The job market should increase, Gamasutra‘s job board shows at least 70 openings for game art designers, 47 for game and designers, and over 80 positions for programmers and coders. Average salaries is anywhere from $45,000 – $70,000 depending on the prestige of the parent company. However, relocating may be required to use your new virtual world degree — the bulk of jobs are located, predictably, in California and New York.


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