10 Schools for Video Game Design Study

10 Schools for Video Game Design Study
  • Opening Intro -

    The popularity of video games is evident in the number of new games offered for Wii, PlayStation, xBox and other game platforms each month, an industry popular at home and abroad.

    Recognizing the significance of the video game industry, numerous schools, colleges and universities have created programs for video game design study, in a bid to meet the expanding demand for designers.

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For the second consecutive year the Princeton Review and GamePro magazine have teamed up, releasing its “Top Schools for Video Game Design Study for 2011,” in advance of the March 11, 2011 publication of the magazine. SayCampusLife.com got a hold of the top performers in both the undergraduate and graduate categories and is offering this information to you as follows:

The top 10 undergraduate schools for video game design study for 2011 are:

1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
2. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
3. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
4. The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
5. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
7. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
8. Champlain College (Burlington, VT)
9. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
10. Becker College (Worcester, MA)

Honorable Mentions:

Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA), North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA) and Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH).

The top 10 graduate schools for video game design study for 2011 are:

1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
2. University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
3. Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX)
4. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
5. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
6. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
7. University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
8. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
9. Parsons The New School for Design (New York, NY)
10. The University of Texas at Dallas (Dallas, TX)

Honorable Mentions:

Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA), DePaul University (Chicago, IL), DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA), Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA).

What Designers Do

So what exactly do video game designers do? They “create fun” says Christina McGarvis who works as a game designer for Maxis Studios in California. Maxis the creator of the best selling video game of all time, The Sims and its sequel, The Sims 2.

Simply defined, a game designer is someone who designs gameplay, developing and designing the rules and structure for a game. If you are imaginative and have developed games off-line, then applying your talent to video game development is a natural step. Of course, you need to enjoy playing video games to make this educational and career path work for you.

Good Pay

As of February 2011, the salary for video game designers ranges from $41,392 to $69,729 according to PayScale. Designers are often paid a base salary and are sometimes eligible for commissions, bonuses and profit sharing.

Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Working so Others Can Play: Jobs in Video Game Development

PayScale: Average Game Designer Salaries

Source: GamePro Media

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