“Creative education is vital. But creative education is, in places, broken.”, WeTransfer says. In order to support new, better, types of programs they teamed up with Lecture in Progress and developed The Pioneers list – highlighting schools around the world who deserve credit for doing things differently. They recently visited us on the island and spoke with our Director of Studies, Jakob Berglund-Rogert which led to this great write-up on how we approach game design at Campus Gotland!
“A lot of departments look at game design from a media studies or from a computer science perspective, but we have an actual subject that is called games design,” Jakob explains. As part of the university’s faculty of arts, students sit alongside those from gender research and philosophy, narratologists and pedagogists, giving designers and developers the opportunity to work in areas such as medicine and psychology. The university also hosts a summer school in serious games where they teach the likes of biologists and physicists – “People with skills that can actually save the world,” Jakob says. […]
So if games themselves can serve as teaching tools, how do you teach aspiring game designers to do this effectively? For Jakob, one of the most important things students need to be equipped with is “some kind of ethical backbone.
“Since you’re making a mass product, you have a responsibility toward the world that you are communicating with. If you’re going to disrupt order you need to have thought about it long and hard. Game design is such a craft that a lot of students focus on the creation, but sometimes we forget to reflect on why we’re making something.” […] So right from the outset, students are taught to design with intent …
Click through to read the rest of the interview with Jakob.
Well good news, everyone! Finding new sources for inspiration, experience and skill just became a lot easier. Our former student Emma Johansson and her New Zealand studio Runaway Play has created #GirlsBehindTheGames – a worldwide movement to highlight the women and benefits of gender diversity in the games industry, with participation from hundreds of deep-in-the-trenches developers from studios like Bioware, Capcom, EA UK, Google, Nyamyam and UsTwo Games.
She was interviewed in a Dunedin newspaper recently:
Emma Johansson, the studio’s creative director, said they’re close to gender parity, with a dozen women on the 26-strong team. That includes two women in the company’s leadership roles. She said they felt like they were “crushing the glass ceiling” in an industry traditionally dominated by men, and wanted to share their story about the benefits of gender parity.
That led to the #GirlsBehindTheGames campaign, a social media push that kicked off at the end of January in a bid to get more women making games.
“We were expecting to get maybe a few hundred followers on our twitter accounts, maybe a few shares and likes,” she said.
The campaign went far beyond that. It was shared online by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and “took on a life of its own”. […]
At GAME we pride ourselves on taking an active and vocal stance in social and ethical issues within the games media and -industry. We let topical issues infuse nearly all courses and discuss representation, equality and social issues from year one of the undergraduate. We have to do this in order to teach our students to be responsible creators, and to stand up for what is right, even when that seems difficult.
The work that Emma is doing – both in the company and in the community – is incredibly important, and it’s with great pride that we can point to her as one of ours! Follow @grlsbehindgames for lots of good stuff!
The presentations are now available on our YouTube-channel. Even better – if you prefer reading you can click through these links to find a) a description and the video for each talk and b) our live Twitter coverage of each talk. Highly recommended!
- Welcome! by the Department of Game Design/li>
- Making Them Care: The Narrative Burden for Creating Empathy, by Heidi McDonald
- Existential Game Design – Lost in the Woods, Searching for Bliss, by Doris C. Rusch
- Empathy through Art: The Visual Language of Frostpunk, by Bartosz Sobolewski
- Practical leadership for a healthy and productive studio culture, by Albertina Sparrhult
- Kickstarted intimacy – Designing intimate spaces for strangers, by Malena Klaus