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Miami's digital game design program among nation's best: "Liberal arts of the 21st century"

03/22/2013

Global Game Jam 2013: Miami's Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies hosts Ohio's largest Global Game Jam. Participants worldwide design and create digital and non-digital games over the course of one weekend.
Global Game Jam 2013: Miami's Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies hosts Ohio's largest Global Game Jam. Participants worldwide design and create digital and non-digital games over the course of one weekend.
Miami University has earned an Honorable Mention on The Princeton Review's 2013 list of the best undergraduate schools in the U.S. and Canada for studying video game design. Only 30 undergraduate programs were recognized nationally and in Canada.

Compiled by The Princeton Review, the list names 15 undergraduate schools in rank order and 15 undergraduate schools as Honorable Mentions. The fourth annual list was compiled using a survey of 150 institutions offering video game design coursework and/ or degrees.

Miami also ranked in the top 30 schools in 2012 and in The Princeton Review’s first ranking of video game design schools in 2010. (Miami was not surveyed in 2011).

"We see games as the liberal arts of the 21st century,” said Glenn Platt, C. Michael Armstrong Chair in Interactive Media and director of the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS).

“Great game design and analysis involves all the liberal arts, from narrative and storytelling to psychology, from business to art and more.”

“Instead of merely focusing on helping students get their first job in games, we provide an education that allows participation in the growth of digital games by coupling game design with everything from marketing, education, art, law, language and just about anything a student might be interested in doing,” said Lindsay Grace, Armstrong Professor of Creative Arts and co-director of the Games and Learning Center within AIMS.

Digital game studies at Miami: New major in interactive media studies; minor in game studies


There are currently more than 60 digital game studies minors, according to Grace, and four student groups focused on games, with at least 200 students in them total.


AIMS special programs for game design include:

The San Francisco Digital Innovation Center established a new summer game studio program and a spring 2014 program with
Ubisoft; the Games and Learning Center; and the annual Global Game Jam.

Leader in game design: Student success

“We have active labs, partnerships and technology rarely available to undergraduate students at other institutions,” Grace said.

“Our students publish games on the app store, win awards at international conferences and find jobs in industry.“

“My current capstone course just released three mobile games on Google Play,” Grace said. “They made the game using a reduced timeline of just six weeks. The students then use the rest of the time to market the games and increase installs.”

Persuasive Play Lab

The Persuasive Play Lab, directed by Grace, is the only lab/research group in the country focused on making and analyzing games designed to change people’s interests, activities and opinions.

Its model is based around the A-Game Studio, a faculty-led and student-staffed design team. Projects are executed by students for real clients.

View an example of A-Game Studio work here:

AGameReel2 from Lindsay Grace on Vimeo.



“Unlike other programs, we offer the unique opportunity to prepare students to be academics, lawyers at game companies, game specialists in marketing or even game translators,” explained Grace.

“I think of a games major as the psychology or communications degree of the 21st century. Just as those degrees blossomed in the last century, I suspect games will do the same in the next century.”

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