The Gaming Industry
The gaming industry has experienced dramatic growth mainly due to advancements in technology. Contrary to the situation in the past where users played games through game consoles or desktop computers, users can now play games on their mobile phones, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices. Regardless of their mobile operating system, users can access unlimited games. For instance, users with iPhone download games from the app store, users with Nokia download games from OVI store, and users with Android systems play games from Playstore. Moreover, users can play games in a multiuser environment that is provided by social media. All these advancements have created a multi-billion dollar industry that has not yet achieved its full potential. Developers are always creating new games on Android and iOS devices. This research proposal presents the rationale for introducing a gaming degree in the State College of Missouri by discussing the available options, the timeline of the project, cost, and recommendations for introducing the program.
The Need for Gaming Degree in the Institution
The advancing technology in the sector necessitates developers to acquire knowledge in a wide range of subjects which will help them create new games to be used on new devices and platforms. A gaming degree ensures that the learners acquire knowledge in various subjects like physics, mathematics, computer science, and simulation. This experience, in turn, contributes to the industry since high-selling games are produced. Moreover, the gaming industry is not a single entity. It requires a variety of skills that can only be acquired via a gaming degree in a local college. For example, developers should be aware of how product promotion functions. This concept entails incorporating advertisements in the gaming environment. This mode of advertising is highly efficient since users cannot skip them like in cable television where people can change the channel when they see an advertisement. Therefore, developers need to learn all these concepts in school.
A degree in gaming will make the students eligible for jobs such as game designer and game tester. These jobs earn a good income which improves the quality of life of the game developers. Furthermore, a degree in gaming can make the students self-employed. Unlike other businesses that require a huge start-up capital, developing games do not need many resources. Therefore, after the college, students can decide to make their individual games and sell them via the Android and AppStore.
Students in the college can take a degree in computer science instead of a degree in gaming. Computer science covers a wider area, and the students will learn how to make other applications other than games. Nevertheless, the content taught in computer science does not equip learners with enough knowledge required to have a prosperous career in the gaming industry. This is because computer science focuses on the coding of all problems and not just games. Therefore, even though this alternative is a valid option, it is not efficient for the gaming industry. Currently, ninety-two percent of smartphone users play at least one game per week, forty-five percent of smartphone users play a game daily. These users easily become bored of playing the same games on their phone. They require new games to be introduced on a regular basis to keep playing. This can only be achieved by adding a gaming degree that will focus entirely on the development of games.
The second option available is studying programming modules that are used for developing games. For instance, the students may enroll for certificates in Python, Visual Basic, and c languages. However, this option focuses on the technical aspects of game production. The students do learn of the accompanying disciplines that they require. For example, the students are not taught communication and imaginative skills like composition writing. The development of a game starts with a vision of how the final game should be. The students need to know how to write compositions since this skill enhances their imagination and makes them develop the game story better. Both the above options may be used instead of a degree in gaming, but they would not be as effective.
The gaming degree will be introduced in pilot phases. The college will enroll few students for their first year. Before the enrollment, the curriculum for the program would be available for the instructors of the course. As the students approach their final year, the college will search for internships where the students can acquire practical experience. Furthermore, once the students have completed the program, the college will link them with prospective employers. All these actions will be observed as the college increases the students in the enrollment.
The degree in gaming will incur a huge startup cost. This is because the college has to hire professionals in programming to teach the students. These experts will be paid a good salary which will make the college spend more money on payroll. Furthermore, the college will require purchasing equipment for conducting the coding and also purchase software to prevent hackers from accessing the student’s projects. Nevertheless, this cost will reduce as more students are enrolled in the program. The students will incur extra charges for using the computer laboratories and equipment. The college will use the additional cost to cater for the higher operating costs.
The college should approach successful institutions that offer degrees in gaming to obtain information on an effective curriculum that will ensure the students are competent in game design. A department of gaming should be introduced and the officials like of head of the department selected. The head of the department will form a team that will be responsible for conducting preliminary investigations on all the requirements for offering the degree.
The team will also contact the relevant authorities that need to sanction the degree. For instance, there are professional bodies that set the standard on programming languages. These authorities will provide a list of requirements to the college. The team will subsequently work to ensure that all the requirements are met. Outsourcing will be performed to obtain the staff needed to teach the students. The team should make sure that the outsourced lecturers have the capability of providing adequate information to the students.
The college should then set the minimum requirements for students wishing to take the course. This action is significant since this degree is involving and hence requires committed and talented students in various subjects that are considered complex like mathematics and physics. Thus, when minimum requirements are not set, several students may drop out of the degree in gaming forcing the college to terminate the program.
The introduction of this degree would be of mutual benefit to both the students and the college. The college would enroll more students thus gaining more income while the students will become competent in developing games thereby get employed by gaming developers like Sony and Nintendo or become self-employed. Furthermore, the degree program would be beneficial to end users who would now have access to numerous games developed by former students of the college.