*Not a baccalaureate degree program
Game Studies at UB combines an experimental approach to technology and game design with a critical stance toward the impact of games and gaming. Increasingly video games are a technology and research driver. Scholars, educators and artists want to know how games work; why they work; what their effect is on society, on culture, and on the psyche. This certificate is designed for undergraduates who want to deconstruct, experiment with, and revolutionize gaming paradigms; who want to explore alternative realities, interfaces, and narrative forms. The basic assumption of the core courses is that theory and practice go hand in hand, but the electives are wide-ranging and flexible enough to support intense production, rigorous scholarship or both.
Upon completion of the certificate, students will be able to:
- critically engage with scholarship relating to the history, theory and analysis of games, game culture, gender and diversity.
- evaluate genres of video games and critically relate them to controversial cultural issues.
- apply a formal iterative design process for a game, including prototyping and playtesting.
- analyze the structural elements of a game and how they contribute (or not) to the success of the game.
And, depending on specific courses taken, students will learn technical skills of game production which may include
- 2D pixel art
- 3D modeling
- graphics programming
- web programming
- use of game engines- scriptwriting
- interactive fiction design
Most Game Studies courses focus on either production or theory. Production courses are hands-on classes, involving making multiple projects over a semester; class sizes are roughly 15-18 students. Theory courses are typically discussion seminars, examining analytical texts as well as games; class sizes are 30-40. Some online classes are available during winter and summer semesters. Students also have the option of independent study courses to work on advanced, individual projects, and internships with game or other media businesses, both local and national.
As the Game Studies Certificate is housed in Media Study, Media Study offers a range of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities integral to the practice of media arts production including: a student accessible equipment pool with hundreds of pieces of equipment for traditional and emerging media creation (video production, computational media, VR); computer labs with the latest industry-standard and open-source software for digital audio and video editing, computational media, multimedia creation, game design, 3D printing and prototyping; a large production studio with green screen and lighting grid; smart classrooms; a 200+ seat auditorium with HD projection and sound.
The Department of Media Study faculty is among the most distinguished in the university and are recognized internationally for their work in their respective fields.
Please visit the Media Study department website for additional information about our faculty.
The Game Studies Certificate will serve as an educational foundation for those interested in careers in the games industry proper or in the increasing number of closely related off-shoots: interactive museum and entertainment design; games in education, training, advertising, art, activism and politics; games and research. Past students have gone on to work in positions such as animator, art director, graphic designer, software engineer, QA tester, or independent game developer. Employers include ILM, Zynga, Rockstar Games, Pi Studios, NetherRealm Studios, and Full Sail University.
The department’s preeminent advising goal is to support students in completing the program in a timely manner. All of our advising forms are available on the Media Study website. While the advisor provides information on each of the programs, general education advising occurs through CAS advising located at 275 Park Hall.
Bradley Hendricks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Media Study
231 Center for the Arts