Games and Academics

For years as I was going through my undergraduate work at Emerson College, the weekly tradition of watching [adult swim] as my weekly fill of television would occasionally be tainted with a certain advertisement. A certain school with a ‘gaming degree program’ spot starts out with the question about why ‘you’ haven’t made your video game yet. Every time this commercial would show up, I would flip off the screen and think to myself “I’M WORKING ON IT!!!”

Academia for the video game industry is a topic rather close to me. It’s safe for me to say that I created a good chunk of Emerson’s program on game design and writing for I had to make it from scratch. I had a make-your-own major that happened to be degree on the books. Course, I was the first to actually go for a BFA in New Media and to create a curriculum based on design and writing of interactive storytelling. At the time, there wasn’t a convincing curriculum that attracted to me, so making my own program was the only way I could be satisfied.

As to why I’m taking education as my first major post on my Media Blog, it’s the way in which one creates media, in this case video games, that makes my connection. Yea justification!There are many issues college with the in interactive electronic entertainment. These problems are shared between the educational institutions, the commercial electronic games industry, the students, and academic/admission counselors. It takes years for academia to figure out good methods of teaching any subject matter. Only with a careful dance between the industry itself and the academic world can a solid curriculums be formed. Without some form of industry involvement, students will not be properly prepared for the industry. Too much industry involvement and the school produces one-trick ponies.

But what defines the difference? There are obvious bad programs (hint: they air TV ads), but how can we begin to calculate a quality school? No school will be perfect, but what model should students be looking for? The first thing that comes to mine is the scope of the program:

Continue reading Games and Academics

Beginnings

The way I want to start out this blog is to explain why I am setting this up. The idea of making my first post as a meta-post is entirely fitting for both myself and this blog as I like my meta with meta and a side order of meta.

When I left the educational sector in March 2007, I still felt attached to the ball and chain that is academia. Not itching to get back into the classroom as I would rather be employed working in the field of my choice. From time to time however, I still get an itch to talk about the upper level analysis of media. Thus this site is born.

The content I intend to provide is media criticism. This isn’t criticism in a review of a certain entertainment title (though it will happen from time to time), but the analysis of how aspects of media work with each other. Pretty similar to the scope of On the Media as a review of all aspects of media, but with more focus to video/computer games and less on journalism.

As far as this site’s housekeeping is concerned, there will be a lot of cosmetic changes in the next few days and fancy toys such as FeedBurner. I’m going through a few themes and will certainly modify them to a certain extent in making this site my own. Not to mention the About page will go through a bit of rewriting.

There will be plenty of adjustment and tweaking both on content and form. Thoughts, concerns, and other aspects are more than welcomed! In addition to the user system for this blog, you can also use OpenID, which users of AOL, LiveJournal, and a whole bunch of other services use. This way you can manage login information a lot better by using existing accounts.

So add me to your feeds and I’ll be starting regular programming later in the week!