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GameCareerGuide Feature: Coursework vs. The Real World

In GCG's latest feature, game course graduate Matt Baxter takes a look at what aspects of his education worked, and which he had to bolster with real-world experience he got f
In GCG's latest feature, game course graduate Matt Baxter takes a look at what aspects of his education worked, and which he had to bolster with real-world experience he got for himself. Baxter's education was more focused on media studies than getting stuck in and making games, but he argues that there was more beneficial content than he initially expected: "There has been much discussion in the gaming press about the merits of game courses that teach a lot of theory compared to those with strong industry links and an emphasis on industry ready skills. I went and spent thousands of pounds on the former, and have since had periods of regret and also periods of being glad I did such a course." However, Baxter says, "What many people do not realize is that to create experiences that people want to connect with, you need to understand humans as much as C++." On the other hand, he suggests that you have to make up any deficiencies in your game course on your own time, by creating indie games or finding an internship: "There are many options such as working on flash games or XNA games for the Xbox 360. Doing more than testing in a commercial setting in-between university is also immensely useful." "If you are on a theory-heavy course and you are worried, stop worrying. Get out and active in the amateur community, send your resume to every company you can, bug your contacts for any work you can get and be honest to yourself about any holes in your skill set. If you do this, there is a great chance, even with this awful economy, that you will get a great job. Plus, you will have all the theory knowledge from university to enhance your influences as a game maker," Baxter concludes. You can read the entire piece, Coursework vs. The Real World, which is live today on GameCareerGuide.com.

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