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NYU: Get Your MFA In Game Design, Start Next Fall

When I was a kid, the idea of going to school to become a video game journalist, designer, or...well, video game anything was just plain preposterous.

But times have changed, and the New York University Game Center has added another fantastic program to their growing list of interactive entertainment options: a Master of Fine Arts program for "Game Design."

It'll be available next fall and faculty members will include guys like Eric Zimmerman and Frank Lantz. This two-year program will let students focus on everything from game design to programming to - wait for it - "game criticism." Therefore, it's very possible to get your Masters with an emphasis towards being a reviewer. As the site says:

"A student with this focus will be well-prepared to become a game journalist or critic, a theorist or researcher, or a scholar or historian."

Theorists? Historians? Scholars? ...what world am I in? Oh, that's right, a cool one. Anyway, this program wants to educate the interested in a multitude of disciplines, and that seems to include both the technical and the more recently popular journalism aspect of the industry.

I keep hoping this industry will end up with more real journalists; those trained in college, or at least those who have plenty of experience in the industry. My degree is in psychology and not journalism, but I did stuff for multiple newspapers and magazines before going this route. ...it seems that not enough of our reporters did any such thing, which means we still lack legitimacy in the eyes of other similar professions.

So by all means, NYU, keep it up!

Tags: nyu, new york university, game design, mfa game design

12/14/2011 10:22:34 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (12 posts)

Underdog15
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:36:48 AM
Reply

According to the metrics I get in my inbox every month on employment and industry trends in general, anything related to video games (particularly development) is one of the few industries out there that is continuing to grow and remain healthy.

I'm glad people are taking it seriously. This industry can create lots of jobs and opportunities.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:14:03 AM

Is the industry growing, Underdog? I honestly have no idea, but I've heard that getting your degree in game design doesn't open as many job opportunities the graduates have hoped for. I hope for their sake there are tons of job opportunities. Majoring in video games I'm sure would appeal to alot of people haha.

Really cool that NYU is offering this though. NYU is obviously a good school, so the more of these degrees offered at these types of institutions the more serious the rest of the country would begin to take the industry.

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 2:23:51 PM

EDIT: Apologies for the enormous wall of text.

It's certainly not as cut and dry as I made it seem at first, Jimmy. Unfortunately, even healthy industries are affected at least psychologically by the depression.
One of the other things to remember is that in a suffering economy, there's a trickle down effect, even in healthy industries. What I mean by that is that new jobs are gobbled up by folks that tend to be over-qualified. The other issue at hand is that employers, even in healthy companies, are much more likely, in this economical climate, to hire based on experience and NOT education or potential.

It's a bit backwards, because research has shown the best investment any company can make is in a young adult with a little experience in anything as long as references are excellent, and with top grades in whatever discipline they have studied. Young professionals have proven, in the right climate, to excel best... even if that means a little extra training time by the employer.

Even healthy industries worry about how the overall economy will affect them. Even if their business is on the rise. As a result, even when on paper a company SHOULD expand, fear often prevents that from happening.

For a fresh graduate, the road will be cumbersome in ANY profession. (Exceptions, of course, for jobs in huge demand with limited supply like Doctors)

Video games are growing, but the road to success is not ideal for most interested in the industry. For most, a fresh graduate is going to have to get a job designing very casual games... like games for facebook or ipods etc. Companies that do little games and release something small regularly. From there you work your way up. The reason? Most developers will not hire you unless you have experience, like I said before. It's less risky than fresh graduated blood.

There's a lot to consider. There's also an explosion of gaming programs all over the place. So, even though the industry is growing, there's an overwhelming supply of young professionals that over-supplies a growing demand that doesn't quite keep up. So unless you've managed to get good placement experience, a new grad will not have a great shot at the start.

In fact, in most any profession, as I'm helping youth select educational opportunities, if you had the choice between 2 schools, but only one had a good co-op placement program as part of the curriculum, I would take the school with the co-op program. Even if it's just a volunteer placement.

Why?

Because you NEED the experience... and for some, a placement is the only way possible to get that initial experience. You can't get a job without experience most of the time... and you can't get experience without a job... So... there ya go. lol

Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/15/2011 2:24:19 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:52:02 AM
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That's pretty cool, I wish I could attend. I'd want to do the scripts, but not for something like Skyrim. Holy crap that would be taxing.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 10:54:20 AM
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Cool beans (or is it cool beings?)
Anyway, *wipes tear from eye* I just knew these children's games would grow up some day and make it in the real world.
This is cool. Just imagine, N4G could become a prestiguos and well respected community having been educated here =p

Maybe I should read a journalism book. I could learn to do things like punish myself for mispelling someone's name or placing a comma instead of a period.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:40:03 AM

I spend half of my day putting in commas, and the other half taking them out :)

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Temjin001
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:49:33 AM

ha, *pats my well worn and trusty "Rules for Writers" book* yeah, I've spent a lot of time trying to understand this crap and I still don't know what I'm doing.

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SolidFantasy
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 1:15:39 PM
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This is good news. I would like to get into this kind of field someday. My current career doesn't permit much effort for anything else right now. So it will have to wait beyond 2012 most likely. But getting on a story board or into level design is the rout for me.

I recall saying that video game history could be a serous thing someday. Pretty sure I got thumbed down for that comment. Well now whose crazy!! HA!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 3:50:04 PM

You're still crazy, but I'll give you this one.

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SolidFantasy
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 4:07:13 PM

yeah like on the weekends n'stuff

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Underdog15
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 2:31:49 PM

It's definitely a lot of deep topics... I've been working for over a year now, off and on, what was supposed to be an article on video games as art..... but.....

52 pages (which translates into about 130 book-pages) and 83 sources later.... not including media appendices.... I've realized it's an incredible topic.... It's turning into a freakin' book.

My friend is actually designing a website for me to host it on. Once I finish it and get the thing copyrighted, I'll publish it online and perhaps in text with assisted DVD-appendices format if anyone likes it. I've called on the insights of some of my old professors and other professionals as well. (One of my majors in my first degree is Theatre Arts, so I have some professional insight of my own)

Long story short, I am not even a little bit surprised they can make a master's degree out of this. I'd like to find out what associations have accredited the program, though. It carries more weight if it's approved by elite accreditation boards and not simply approved by state guidelines.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/15/2011 2:35:06 PM

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___________
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 1:56:39 AM
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swet!
im really glad i started the course i did, just one word of advice.
stay the hell away from correspondence!
it may seem convenient, instead of tracking out every day doing it from home its useless!
every time i send my teachers a email it takes them 6 weeks at least to get back to me!
and even longer to mark my work!
my last assignment got sent in bloody 7 weeks ago, and they still have not unlocked the next set of work for me so i have not been able to do any more work.
and they said id be done by the end of the year!
end of the year my a$$!
its taken me that time just to do one module, and theres 4 of them!
wish i could get my money back and go do it on campus but they wont let me.
:(

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