Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rant: The Need for Accreditation in Game Design Programs

I just saw a job posting on the HR website of a university that I will not name here, for a "Digital Game Design Faculty".

Requirements for the position:
  • Bachelor’s degree in education with experience in graphic design and animation.

  • Proficient with Maya, Swift3D, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Final Cut Pro, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro.
No. No, no, no. A thousand times no. When I say that a game designer is an artist, I say this metaphorically, not literally. Game design is its own field.

The really sad thing is, these people probably have no idea what they're doing, nor will the person that they hire. And this will ultimately be a black mark on all education, not just this particular school, as the industry sees just how many schools mis-name their academic programs... and if the name isn't even right, what would you assume about the quality of instruction?

The only way I see out of this is industry accreditation, probably through the IGDA. Because universities can only be honest with students if they know enough about the subject material to proceed honestly in the first place.

1 comment:

Lewis Pulsipher said...

At this point there are so many unaccredited private schools preying on the ignorance of prospective game development students, that ignorance from the legitimate schools is a lesser problem.

Near where I am there's a private school of this type (I teach at a public institution). As far as I can tell, it is not a good school, but it IS a very expensive one. Yet I know people who have spent, or are spending, a lot of money to go there, when they'd likely get a better education at the public college.

Another community college in my state has advertized for a game development instructor for many months. It reads as a programmer instructor. Yet most incoming students (at my school, where we have over 100 new students) are not interested in programming at all.