Finding an Education in Interactive Media

Since my appearance on Boing Boing Video┬╣ I’ve been giving a lot more thought about how someone can find the right resources and tools to formulate a curriculum and career in video games. Frankly, it’s not very good. There are an assortment of issues that lead to a drought of resources in deciding an educational path. While the issue is more complicated, I’ve narrowed down the tag line to this statement:

Do you want a job or a career?

A lot of the talk and guidance about video game education is rooted in getting a job with a studio. Yes, being employed is apart of a career and one seeks an education to become employable. I’m not questioning this aspect. What concerns me is the debate is geared towards getting that one job. There isn’t talk about the sustainability for one to adapt though their life time in interactive media. Simply training for getting hired out of college, not as a practitioner of the field.

Part of this comes from the current venues of advice one can seek. Naturally one would look towards the veterans in the industry as cues for being successful. While this advice is very valuable, the material from them seems more about getting the job rather than forming a career. The veterans of this industry created careers in a way that can’t be duplicated; The industry is created now. The experiences of our veterans can’t be duplicated. I wish there were more long-term advice applicable to today, but right now one has to extrapolate how the experience of the vets can be made in current times, and how it can’t. This kind of nuance isn’t realized by a potential applicant from high school, nor is anyone pointing this out. The debate is stuck at ‘get a job,’ not ‘make a living.’

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