WP: MSU Offers Game Design Course

Positive coverage of gaming! Who knew? And a Stardock mention.

Beginning in September, MSU will give students a chance to study video games and design through its Specialization in Game Design and Development program," the Detroit News reported “‘Game development is a very hot industry right now,’ said Brian Winn, co-founder of the program and an assistant professor of telecommunications, information studies and media at Michigan State. ‘It’s an important program for students who want to go into this as a career,’ Winn said.”

The paper reported that the program comprises 15 credit hours gained over a sequence of four classes on the history and social aspects of video games as well as a primer on game design. It also profiled one of the students:

“Scott Brodie, a MSU junior from Livonia, is hoping to be among the program’s first students. His interest in video games began when he was a 6-year-old playing Nintendo games. This summer, 21-year-old Brodie is working at Stardock, a Livonia-based video game design company where he is doing an internship. … ‘It’s a definite career field you can go into,’ Brodie said. ‘[Students] have been hoping for a program that deals with our passion.’”

Some of you, like reader Linda C. Perry of Laurel, Md., might expect a little snarkiness on my part about such a course. As Perry wrote in response to my column yesterday, “How about writing about positive things?”

Fear not, Ms. Perry, I can’t think of anything negative to say about this. When I was earning tiny paychecks that usually bounced during my first reporting job, it was my punk friends working on video game design who ended up pulling in real money doing something they enjoyed. Kudos to MSU for developing a serious courseload that teaches students the basics of one of the strongest cultural influences in America today.