March 1, 2012
The Princeton Review today named Bradley one of the “Top Undergraduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2012.”
Bradley received honorable mention recognition and was selected from 150 universities that offer game design courses and/or degrees. The rankings are based on quality of curriculum, faculty credentials, facilities and infrastructure gathered from a comprehensive, national survey of administrators at institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees.
Bradley has offered a video game design concentration through the Department of Interactive Media and the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems since fall 2010.
“This program provides students a unique learning experience working across disciplines to advance their knowledge and skills,” Bradley President Joanne Glasser said. “Our program prepares students to meet the challenges ahead and succeed in the workplace. We are pleased that our peer institutions have provided this national recognition to Bradley University as a leader in game design education.”
“What makes Bradley stand out is our interdisciplinary approach between the computer science and interactive media programs,” said Steve Dolins, chair of the CSIS department. “Computer science is programming intensive, and interactive media is design intensive. The collaboration of both departments’ strengths benefits the students and makes Bradley unique.”
Students in interactive media focus on the integration of art and sound, whereas students in computer science are versed in the creation of code for games.
“We recognize this and have created games courses where students learn to hone their skills, but then also bring these groups of students together in two key courses so they can experience what it’s like to create games with people of various skills,” said Monica McGill, assistant professor in the interactive media department. “It’s exactly what happens in industry, so it’s a fantastic learning experience for students. They learn each other’s terminologies as well as the game development methodologies used in industry.”
Graduates of the program find jobs in the entertainment industry designing Nintendo Wii games and iPhone apps, creating movie special effects, designing animated characters and more. But their education prepares them to work in many other industries, as well.
“It’s not just learning to design recreational video games,” Dolins said. “This technology is used in many different fields, including medical simulation, manufacturing and education.”
The Princeton Review highlighted only 32 undergraduate programs nationwide in its third annual list. The University of Southern California and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were ranked first and second.
“Academic and professional programs in video game design studies — from very specialized college majors to highly concentrated graduate degrees — have evolved tremendously over the past 10 years,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP/Publisher. “We salute the schools on our list this year for their commitment to this burgeoning field and the innovative programs they offer. For students aspiring to work in this more than $10.5 billion industry and for the companies that will need their creative talents and skills, we hope this project will serve as a catalyst for many rewarding connections."
USA TODAY will feature an article about the list, and it will be published in the forthcoming April issue of PC Gamer magazine.
More information about the rankings is available at http://www.princetonreview.com/game-design.aspx.