Join the Educators Summit (7-8th of June)

Educators: the Gotland Game Conference Educators Summit is back and it wants your voice. If you’re an established education with a set of veteran teachers, or a new education wondering where to focus your attention, there is something for you here.

For the past two years the Educators Summit has created a space to discuss the subjects that gather under the banner of game education. We have looked at teaching, research, outreach to industry and how to form a closer bond with each other. It has been instrumental in the forming of a European wing of the Higher Education Video Games Alliance, and the formation of a HEVGA Research Summer School.

We have three things to ask of you:

  1. Fill in this pre-meeting survey. Whether you can come or not – this information will help us keep future summits relevant!
  2. Consider submitting a talk for the summit
  3. And register for your ticket on ti.to (combined tickets for the Gotland Game Conference + Educator Summit are available!)

As always, we’re looking for presentations of what and how you teach. If you’d like to submit a presentation, these are some areas to focus on:

  • What is your education’s unique niche?
  • How did you develop your unique niche?
  • What is your education’s biggest weakness and threat?
  • Do you have innovative methods of teaching your content?

Slots are available for 15 – 45 minute presentations, submit your talk through this form.

We understand what it means to ask educators to take days away from their subjects. It has always been our goal that the summit be a place of value for our participants and this year is no exception.

We want to start delivering on a promise: an international network of teachers who are willing to travel and teach in other departments. The presentations are meant as adverts and request: tell us what you’re great at, tell us what you need.

And bring your business cards. We want to bring people together.

Thanks for your interest!

Back from alt.ctrl.GDC 2019

alt.ctrl.GDC is a unique showcase of alternative control schemes and interactions in games at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and for the second year in a row, three of our student teams were awarded a slot on the showfloor! (Coal Rush, Neon Nemesis and ReLeap. )

Gamasutra wrote about each game back in January when the 20 strong line-up was announced:

There wasn’t much video coverage this year, but Phillip Chu Joy took the time to walk the floor and record all 20 games, it’s in Spanish but provides some much needed overview of the crazy creativity being on display:

Coal Rush @ 11:10, Releap @ 12:32 and Coal Rush @ 15:15

RockPaperShotgun were there and wrote about their experiences: I got tied to a chair at Alt.Ctrl.GDC and it was wild. Tom’s Guide loved the nefarious multiplayer nature of Neon Nemesis, as documented in their write-up: Haunted Couches, Escape Rooms and Guitar Combat: The Weirdest Games of GDC. Arcade Heroes seemed to really see the potential in Neon Nemesis. Finally, CNN wrote about both Neon Nemesis, and Coal Rush.

Our students also got a fair response from other developers. Here’s Ubisofts’ Aaron McClay;

And Seal Games’ Christian Haja:

And finally, some photos from the teams themselves on the show floor in San Francisco:

Of course, reading about these games is not the same as playing them! If you want to try our new games out (without having to travel to the US to do so), come meet us at this years Gotland Game Conference in June. There is a Pay What You Want-option to get full access to ~50 entirely new games. It’s also a great opportunity to meet our students and faculty, if you’re interesting in studying game design and development.

Find out more at the Gotland Game Conference website, and get your tickets here!

HEVGA 2019 Survey of Program Graduates

Today the Higher Education Video Game Alliance published its 2019 Survey of Program Graduates.

By surveying alumni of higher education video games programs, HEVGA aimed to understand whether education in video games translates well into future participation in the industry. This survey is a follow-up to HEVGA’s 2015 Survey of Program Graduates. To download the full report, click here or go to hevga.org/reports.

HEVGA is a global network of game educations but the majority of responses to this survey (~89%) were from the US. Ours is a global industry so the information is still relevant for all of us, but for more details about our educations on Gotland in particular please have a look at our own Alumni Statistics.

Highlighted findings

A survey of almost 400 graduates of games programs from colleges and universities found the following:

  • Salaries for graduates of university and college games programs are higher than for those with similar education, and much higher than for the average American.
  • Graduates find employment in a wide variety of jobs within the game industry. They also find numerous opportunities outside the game industry, which reflects the broad applicability of skills developed in games programs.
  • Games programs continue to adapt to changing technological needs and industry demands. Most students have access to internships and practicums.
  • Students are less likely to be White than those in the US population. Generally, African Americans are still underrepresented.
  • Students are much more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than the average American.

There remain some significant challenges to graduates’ success in the game industry:

  • Women’s job satisfaction drops off quickly—most notably after two years of working in the industry. This is a critical concern that must be addressed.
  • Graduates who pursue self-employment in the games industry report lower work satisfaction than those employed in companies.
  • Games industry workers who are members of marginalized communities continue to note barriers to inclusion in the workplace.
  • HEVGA received few international responses to the survey, which will require specific attention in future surveys.

From the president

At its core, education helps shape the adults that will build tomorrow, and gives them the knowledge and resources to be productive in ways that are meaningful for them and for a global society.

The following report is a reflection of that vision. It examines what our students are doing during their time at colleges and universities, provides a window into their experiences as graduates, and reveals the real-world impact games education has on their lives in their own words. It examines where they have gone, what they have done, the industries they are impacting, and the myriad of ways they are contributing to the world of our future.

This examination reflects the core of HEVGA’s mission and our commitment to the well-being of our programs and students. Through this report, we are excited to share the collective successes of our alumni and information about their experiences after graduation. It is personally gratifying every time we are able to release such material, as it highlights HEVGA’s key role in observing and reporting the overall trends, issues, and practices of games in higher education, with an aim toward continual improvement.

Andrew Phelps, HEVGA president

Guest Lecture: Jan-Jaap Severs (Grendel Games)

Jan-Jaap Severs is visiting us again next week for a guest lecture on serious games and the challenges inherent to the production and design of these types of games. Jan-Jaap is one of the co-founders of Grendel Games, a studio that’s been producing validated and commercially successful serious games for twenty years now! That is a lot of experience to be listening in on.

Time: 10:00-12:00, Thu 14th March
Place: E22, Campus Gotland

“Dealing with stakeholders, requirements and evidence in serious games development”

Jan-Jaap Severs, Grendel Games

During this lecture we will discuss several aspects that make serious game design and development a challenging endeavor.

We will look at managing stakeholders and domain experts with different backgrounds, who speak totally different languages. We will investigate methods of gathering requirements from these stakeholders and the common obstacles we face during that process. Finally, we will discuss the gathering and dissemination of scientific evidence of the effect of a serious game and how we can prepare for this during the design phase.

The lecture will be structured around three in-depth examples in the fields of surgery training, behavioral change pertaining to water consumption and mathematics training for children with learning disabilities.

Time: 10:00-12:00, Thu 14th March
Place: E22, Campus Gotland

Please note: students taking the Serious Games class must be given priority. There are only ~20 free seats available, so guests have to be prepared to sit in the stairs!

Questions? Contact the course responsible; Ernest Adams.