SCAD Offers Degree in Game Development

Instructor Aram Cookson goes over material with students.
Instructor Aram Cookson goes over material with students.

Some Savannah College of Art and Design students take their games very seriously. As part of SCAD's new interactive design and game development program, they study concepts that will help them design sophisticated computer games.

"One of the things we're thinking about is, if we can get our students to think more about the mechanics of gameplay, that we can hopefully have people developing more creative and better experiences than just the standard going into rooms and shooting things," said Instructor Aram Cookson.

Cookson couldn't study game development when he was in college. "When I went, [game development degrees] didn't exist," he said. "It wasn't something that you could do. The industry was there, but there was no formal training for it."

Now SCAD is one of only a handful of institutions offering training for careers in this multibillion dollar industry.

It's an industry student Stephanie Waugh says she's wanted to get into since she was 12. "Well, I already knew that I wanted to go into games when I was in computer art," she told us. "So when they opened up the new program, I switched over because I already knew that was the field I wanted to go into."

It may be a dream job for these students, but it's not all fun and games. Today's games business is actually a lot of work, with games taking years and costing several million dollars to complete.

"It's a very challenging enterprise," said student Willem  Vanderschyf. "You have to be very dedicated to your work because the hours, they expect you to work overtime constantly because it's project-based. You have to get projects done in a very short amount of time."

But dedication just might let these art students showcase their work in a whole new medium.

Reported by: Charles Gray,