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Student Feature: 'An Academic Approach to Game Design: Is It Worth It?'

Student Feature: 'An Academic Approach to Game Design: Is It Worth It?'

April 13, 2006 | By Frank Cifaldi

In today's Gamasutra educational feature, UCLA film school undergraduate and Abandon Mobile Games production intern Darren Guttenberg discusses the importance - or, perhaps, the lack thereof - of potential game designers persuing a proper education in game design programs.

The following is an extract from the essay's introduction:

"The logic of the recent surge of such programs smell an awful lot like that of our historical film schools: give passionate and idealistic students experience in a specialized field that they would otherwise have limited access to, study the theories and history behind the industry, and try to better prepare students for a job after college than their competition.

A game design program is also subject to the same criticisms. One of the biggest, and certainly the most highly debated, is that of utility. What can you gain from a formal education in game design? Game design, much like film directing, or sculpting, or music, is a technical art form. It requires a level of technical proficiency in the necessary tools, as well as creativity within the confines of the art form itself Jack Emmert, lead designer for City of Heroes and City of Villains, has been quoted as saying, 'Games are the product of talent, not training.' Can you teach talent? Can you teach creativity?"

You can read the full Gamasutra educational feature for Guttenberg's answers to these questions, among others (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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