IU's Media School to Launch Game Design Degree Program

By Eliza Williams

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Indiana University’s new Media School recently announced that it has approved an innovative new undergraduate degree in game design.

The new degree collaborated with the School of Informatics and Computing and the Information Library and Science program to provide students with a unique program. It offers a core set of about 30 classes designed to give students a taste of all of the skills needed to work in interactive media.

The new major is designed to offer something for everyone, from advanced gamers to beginners who have no knowledge of the field.

“People who have only played Words With Friends or Monopoly will learn game literacy. Everyone has to start somewhere, so together we unpack information and begin to understand games as systems,” said Edward Castronova, a professor in the Media School.

The major begins with an introductory course focusing on game literacy and basics, followed by an introductory programming course designed specifically for people without a traditional STIM background. Other courses focus on design, producing and publishing games, apps and other interactive media forms, developing teamwork and production skills, storytelling, sound and animation.

Sophomore Andrea Reinhart is pursuing a double major in history and game design. She has no experience in design or coding but is eager to begin the coursework in the fall.

“I have loved the art, passion and beautiful story-telling techniques of video games from a very young age,” Reinhart said. “I think women are an integral part of the video game industry and they really do make an awesome difference in the field.”Castronova encourages women of all backgrounds to pursue the new major.  He stresses that there is a place at the table for women in the video game industry.

“There are so many unrefined young men running things in the tech industry. The culture is dominated by that at the moment, but we have the opportunity to start a new culture with new young game designers that have a totally new outlook,” said Castronova. “If enough women show interest and enroll, then this program is something that can fundamentally change the world.”