University 'Overwhelmed' by Interest in Games Design Degree

Some believe that having a big-time college football team is the key to boosting enrollment. George Mason University has found that offering a degree in video game design does the trick, too. » 4/24/10 2:00pm 4/24/10 2:00pm

Boston School Training The Next Video Game Composers

Composers working on video game soundtracks seem to either be veterans of game-making or TV/movie folks crashing the medium. Take note, then, of schools like Berklee Music College in Boston that just might train people to compose music for games. » 1/19/10 1:00pm 1/19/10 1:00pm

Three-Day Symposium will Examine the Art of Games

"The Art History of Games," a three day public symposium devoted to investigating games as an art form, will be held in Atlanta in early February, followed by the monthlong display of three commissioned art games. » 1/13/10 10:30pm 1/13/10 10:30pm

ESA Report: More than 250 Colleges Offer Game Degrees

More than 50 game development programs have been added to U.S. colleges' curricula in the past year, bringing to 254 the number of universities offering degrees in video game design, programming and art, according to the Entertainment Software Association. » 10/04/09 3:00pm 10/04/09 3:00pm

UC-Irvine Establishes Games Research Center

The University of California-Irvine, already home to a game culture lab, has established the Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds. Twenty faculty members from the university's computer science, humanities, education and other departments will collaborate on its work. » 9/06/09 4:00pm 9/06/09 4:00pm

Study Examines Boom Blox for Benefits to Elderly Cognition

The National Science Foundation has given two universities a million dollars to study whether video games can improve thinking skills in the elderly. They're using Boom Blox in the research. » 7/11/09 12:00pm 7/11/09 12:00pm

You (Sorta) Owe Dead Space To Aristotle

Some deep reading over on Gamasutra on game design and narrative (courtesy of Company of Heroes narrative designer Stephen Dinehart) could be my next graduate school adventure. » 6/25/09 9:20pm 6/25/09 9:20pm

How a Lightweight Console Lay the Foundations of Game Design

A book by two professors of media studies examines the challenges of designing games on the Atari 2600, and posits that the infamous port of Pac-Man wasn't a half-assed effort after all. » 3/14/09 12:00pm 3/14/09 12:00pm

CFP/Scholarship Application: Foundations of Digital Games '09

I spoke to Professor Jim Whitehead of UC Santa Cruz yesterday, and at the end of our conversation he brought up the 2009 Foundations of Digital Games conference. FDG will run from 26 - 30 April, 2009, and takes place on a cruise ship » 11/22/08 12:30pm 11/22/08 12:30pm. In addition to the typical (due 19 December), the organizing committee is offering…

'The Video Games and Human Values Initiative' Unveiled

Jim Reilly forwarded news of the UConn interdisciplinary and interinstitutional initiative called The Video Games and Human Values Initiative » 11/15/08 3:30pm 11/15/08 3:30pm, and I noted it on the Brainy Gamer blog as well. Spearheaded by the occasionally baffling Roger Travis, professor of classics at the University of Connecticut, it's a pretty…

'Whose IP Is It, Anyway?': College Controversy

Recently, some controversy has popped up regarding who owns the IP of student-created work; recent events with the award-winning creation of some graduates of DigiPen Institute of Technology have highlighted the problematic nature of what is somewhat par for the course in design programs. On the one hand, while I can… » 11/15/08 1:30pm 11/15/08 1:30pm

CFP: 'Thinking after Dark: Welcome to the World of Horror Video Games'

Totally out of my academic purview, but it's a really neat sounding conference: The research group Ludiciné (University of Montreal), the Research Group on the Creation and Formation of Cinematographic and Theatrical Institutions (GRAFICS) (also from the University of Montreal) and the NT2 Laboratory on Hypermedia… » 11/08/08 2:30pm 11/08/08 2:30pm

Why We Love RPGs

Michael Abbott of the Brainy Gamer has a nice reminder of why we play RPGs (well, those of us who play RPGs), based on some of his undergraduates' writings on their experiences in Fallout 1 » 11/01/08 3:30pm 11/01/08 3:30pm and . Michael notes that the exercise — writing autobiographies of their characters — is often used in theatre, but it never…

Scientists in Second Life

I was recently discussing the mainstream media's love affair with Second Life » 9/20/08 1:30pm 9/20/08 1:30pm, and how the bloom appears to be off the rose. The Denver recently followed around a Denver University 'media specialist' who is working on SciLands, where NASA the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other scientific…

'Educational' Meets 'Fun': Tangential Learning

I sort of hope the Zero Punctuation knock-off dies a quick death, but reader Nathan M. sent us this video, which is based off an article by designer James Portnow » 9/14/08 12:30pm 9/14/08 12:30pm. There's nothing ground breaking here — the idea that educational games simply try too hard, while regular 'fun' titles can learning without having to…

UC Irvine Gets Grant to Study WoW

The National Science Foundation has awarded $100,000 to do a cross-cultural study of World of Warcraft » 9/13/08 12:30pm 9/13/08 12:30pm — Bonnie Nardi, an infomatics professor at Irvine, will be looking at player gaming habits and culture in the United States and China. Nardi has already spent time in the field, observing players in Beijing…

'Debunking the Stereotypical Gamer Profile'

Via Terra Nova comes word that a new series of academic articles centered around Everquest II » 9/06/08 1:00pm 9/06/08 1:00pm has just kicked off, starting with an article on 'who plays, how much, and why' (with a couple of 'oddball' gems scattered throughout the data). The results weren't always what researchers — or the general public — would…

Inside Out: The Pokemon Conundrum

In the last Japanese history seminar of my first year of graduate school, we shifted gears from the economic and political legacy of the immediate post-war period to slightly more current topics – the ‘afterlives of area studies,' the fate of post-colonialism in a world weary of po-co, and … Pokémon » 8/21/08 2:30pm 8/21/08 2:30pm and . I was at…

On the Gaming-Academic Divide

There are plenty of fields where the academic-'real world' divide is pretty sharp — and it's probably no surprise that game-related research falls into that category. Richard Bartle, MUD co-creator, criticizes universities who are resistant to change — while 'modern' universities (ones who developed from polytechnics… » 8/17/08 12:30pm 8/17/08 12:30pm