The Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII) at Georgia State University is offering two new bachelor’s degree programs designed to prepare students for careers in the growing fields of game design and development.
The new degree programs — a bachelor of arts in game design and a bachelor of science in game development — were created through a collaboration between CMII and regional game development industry partners, including the Georgia Film Academy.
“Our mission at CMIII is to educate, train, and prepare students to become the next generation of digital storytellers through emerging technology, and gaming is a key area for us to focus on,” said Brennen Dicker, director of the institute.
“With more than 160 companies in Georgia, the gaming industry is poised for significant growth both regionally and nationally over the next decade,” Dicker said. “We are excited to be able to offer these two unique degree programs to CMII students who aspire to careers in gaming. The skills students acquire with coding, animation and immersive world creation will serve them well not only in the gaming industry but for additional careers in emerging technologies in entertainment.”
The B.A. in game design focuses on preparing students for work in animation, TV and film production, virtual special effects, and graphic design.
The B.S. in game development has a strong focus on programming skills and work in application development for social media platforms, web design, network security, and data analytics.
Georgia State has offered a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Game Design and Development since Fall 2015. That program will be phased out in favor of the new B.A. and B.S. degrees.
The new offerings will provide more in-depth course options for students, allowing greater specialization while promoting collaboration between art-oriented and computing-oriented students and faculty members. Students will be able to declare the new majors or take classes through the programs starting in July. One of the new courses features a partnership between CMII, the Georgia Film Academy and Skillshot, an esports company that organizes amateur and professional video game competitions.
With the global esports economy expected to cross the billion-dollar threshold by 2020, Atlanta is recognized as one of the top cities in the U.S. for gamers, and is broadly recognized as the esports capital of the nation, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The department projects that the state of Georgia will have 12,000 direct and indirect jobs in digital entertainment this year, with an estimated economic impact of $550 million.