Student and Academic Relations
The IGDA has been doing considerable work on building bridges with the academic and student communities. These efforts have been focused on setting curriculum guidelines, to enhance collaboration between industry and academia and to provide guidance to students wanting a career in games. The following is a list of the projects and activities that are ongoing:
GDC Student Scholarships
The IGDA annually awards 25 GDC Student Scholarships to send qualified students to the Game Developers Conference, where game development professionals from around the world gather to share ideas and build the skills essential to creating the next generation of interactive entertainment. Each year, the number and quality of applicants grows dramatically.
Education Special Interest Group
The new Game Education Special Interest Group (SIG) to enhance the education of future and current game developers via numerous initiatives:
- Updating and maintaining the IGDA's Curriculum Framework
- Creating an educator's knowledge base
- Implementing an internship clearinghouse
- Renovating the "Breaking In" web resources for high school students
The SIG will also oversee content for education related sessions at industry events such as the Game Developers Conference and conduct extensive international outreach to ensure a global perspective.
Student Game Development Clubs
Student Game Development Clubs are intended to unite students interested in game development on campus, providing hands-on group project experience to foster skills and bolster resumes/portfolios.
The Curriculum Framework serves as a guide for all those who want to implement, or improve upon, game development courses, programs and degrees. The Framework has been in development since 2001, and incorporates the input and feedback from countless academics and professionals. The latest daft was released in March 2003 at GDC, with work continuing on the next iteration.
Game_Edu Mailing List
The IGDA hosts the Game_Edu Mailing List to assist in the ongoing discussion and evolution of game development curricula. This list is focused on the teaching of the disciplines that go into making a game, along with covering teaching/teacher issues, book and material needs, links for professional developers, etc. Note, this is NOT a list for games as traditional learning tools (ie, serious games) or for game studies and research.
"Breaking In" is an outreach program to educate high school students, guidance counselors and parents on the potential for careers in the video game industry. This dedicated web site offers information on the various career paths in the game industry, interviews with professional developers who provide advice and insight on getting into the industry and how to best educate yourself, as well as links to additional resources to prepare for a career in games.
The IGDA hosts several academics events, summits and lectures each year. These events serve the purpose of furthering the IGDA's academic relations work, providing a forum for academics and developers to converse/connect and to work to build stronger ties. The proceedings, notes and materials from these events are catalogued (as much as possible).
The IGDA hosts two monthly columns with an academic slant:
And, a column specifically with advice for those looking to get into the industry:
- The Games Game: Advice to break into the industry, and stay in...
The IGDA also publishes articles on a myriad of topics. Here are some articles with somewhat more academic relevance:
- The Evolution of Games: Originality & Chreodes
- There Are No Words (Yet): The Desperately Incomplete Language of Gaming
- Playing a "Good" Game: A Philosophical Approach to Understanding the Morality of Games
- The Future of Game Design: Moving Beyond Deus Ex and Other Dated Paradigms
- The Cultural Study of Games: More Than Just Games
And, several with advice for students and career development:
- Expert Designer Shares Knowledge about Multimedia and Game Design Career Paths
- How to Network - Especially at GDC
- Words of Wisdom Archive
- Mentoring: A Good-Practice Checklist
- So you want to be a games designer?
- Six Tactics for Career Development: Get Where You Want to Be
To encourage student involvement in the game industry, the IGDA offers student memberships for US$30. College, university, and tech-school students of a similar level are eligible to join as student members, gaining access to all the benefits of regular membership at lower rate (the only benefit that this does not confer is the right to vote). Please note that proof of valid student ID is required.