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GCG Feature: 'Bridge Building: Making the People That Make the Games'

How do good game students become great game developers? Game school instructor Erik Pedersen looks at how we can turn the 'overeager and underskilled' masses
In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide, Erik Pederson from ITT Tech discusses models for teaching the next generations of students in game industry with particular emphasis on administration at multiple levels in the education system. In his introduction, Pederson says that despite a growing number of of educational institutions devoted to game development disciplines, the key to developing and nurturing up and coming industry professionals lies in an institution's own dynamic nature and ability to “respond and adapt” to the needs of its students: “Our task is most daunting, and very difficult to even pick a good starting point. As all of us are intimately familiar with, schools teaching students how to be game developers are now found in almost every state. With the promise of teaching the skills that will get little Billy into the games industry, comes a seemingly endless flow of over eager and unskilled, hungry for the quick education to get them on their path to developing the next God of War. Development of an educational plan and program that focuses on what the industry will require of the graduates is the key to any sort of long term success. To be successful, and not just a flash in the pan, interdepartmental communication is key. Most facilities begin by separating the key disciplines required to be in harmony for highly successful programs. The separation gives the school the ability to cut an unsuccessful program if not intertwined with other successful programs. Adding to this, interdepartmental goals for placement, retention, and enrollments are often very different, making it tougher to find a common ground to even begin the battle. Survival and growth depends upon an institution's ability to respond and adapt to what is demanded of its graduates.” You can now read the full Game Career Guide feature on the subject, with more from Pederson on different educational models for teaching would be game developers, including an examination of what he describes as the four levels an institution must consider to be successful (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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