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GCG Feature: 'I Am a Game School Dropout'

Are video game schools hindering the industry? Sister educational site GameCareerGuide.com has posted a revealing look at what goes in within game schools, written by a game
Lisa Laughy is a self-proclaimed game development school dropout. She enrolled in a video game-making educational program only to leave within a few weeks, horrified at what students were asked to do in their time there. Her candid account is now available on GameCareerGuide.com, Gamasutra’s sister web site for people who want to get into the industry. In this excerpt, the author begins to uncover just how some game development schools may be hindering the industry itself: “As students we were treated like employees of the school (except we were doing the paying) and were given more work than we could reasonably complete and still have time for the luxuries of life, like preparing meals and sleeping. The feeling this gave me at the time was that if I wanted to be in ‘this man's army,’ meaning if I wanted to hold my own in the game development industry, I was going to have to be put through the wringer and prove that I would be able to survive in the trenches once I had an industry job. ... The lingering and nagging thing about this for me is that this type of education and employment favors the young and (dare I say it?) the male. If what the game development industry needs in order to grow and prosper is diversity beyond the traditional nerd-boy army that makes up its proud history, then maybe they need to rethink a few things so that the first ones to drop aren't the women or the grown-ups that are used to having a life. How else will the industry mature and grow beyond that stereotype? And does anyone think that these quality-of-life issues aren't important to men as well? I can imagine that many people think that the program I was in did what it was supposed to: weeded me out since I couldn't keep up. Maybe the military needs boot camp to thin the herd, but I can't help wondering what kind of creativity and innovation is slipping through the cracks with this approach.” You can now read the full article on GameCareerGuide.com with more from Laughly on her game school experience.

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