, Gamasutra’s sister site for students, has begun a series of first-person accounts of the student game developer experience. The site has posted six thus far, covering a diverse range of institutions that offer game development courses, computer science, and artistic training.
Both undergraduates and graduate students have shared their candid accounts of what it’s like to be a student at Purdue University
, McGill University
, Illinois Institute of the Arts
, USC's Interactive Media Division
, Iowa State University
, and Full Sail Real World Education
While some of the institutions represented offer a concrete course of study in game development, others leave it up to the students to carve out an education in their area of interest. Professors at some academies have been overwhelmingly supportive, while others find games too far outside their normal curricula.
In this excerpt from one of the most recent posts, Erik Wesslen, a senior at Purdue University, explains how video game development does and does not fit in with the learning environment at the university:
“Although the programs are not geared specifically toward game development, all the professors have real world experience in some industry and typically know others who do work in the entertainment software business. One professor in particular, Carlos Morales, worked as a recruiter for High Voltage for several years and currently teaches one of the game development classes for CGT students.
In addition to the few game-related classes that are offered, the Purdue Game Development Club, offers an environment for those interested in game development to come together and not only learn more, but also make games. This club is a student chapter of the International Game Developers Association. The Game Development Club has regular meetings and social events as well as events with actual game development companies including Volition Inc. and Midway Entertainment. The club also provides a common ground for making games. During any given semester, there may be somewhere between four and 10 different projects being developed for any given platform.
The campus itself is very large with a total student population approaching 40,000 and a student organization count in excess of 600, meaning there is always something to do. Sometimes people may complain about getting lost in the shuffle, but as long as one is active, there's really nothing to worry about.
Support at Purdue is phenomenal. Between the academic advisors and the career counselling, as well as other student services, there's a plethora of advice in regards to academic choices and issues dealing with the school.”
The complete articles are available on GameCareerGuide.com, with a link to the site’s forum, where other students can add their two cents