Rensselaer Research Review Spring/Summer 2010
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Rensselaer Ranks Among Nation’s Top Schools for Game Design
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Games used to mean playtime. Not anymore. Today’s video games serve a multitude of functions beyond entertainment, including exercise and even education. Now, the Princeton Review is saluting the 50 best undergraduate institutions in the U.S. and Canada to study game design. The publication named eight programs for top honors as the “best of the best,” and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute came in at number 5.

The Princeton Review developed its “Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs” list — the first project of its kind — in partnership with GamePro, a well-known publication in the video game industry, reaching more than three million gamers a month.

The top eight programs on the list in rank order are: University of Southern California, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Drexel University Becker College, Rensselaer, The Art Institute of Vancouver, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The remaining 42 programs are from 27 states in the U.S.

* Rensselaer Ranks Among Nation’s Top Schools for Game Design

Podcast of GameFest 2010. The event featured the work of students from Rensselaer's Game Development and Experimental Game Design classes. Podcast by Colleen Luther.

“Our program is focused on teaching those who wish to design the current generation of games, as well as those who wish to do the research needed to invent the games and technology for the next generation, said Wayne Gray, acting dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and associate dean for graduate studies and research. “Imagine immersive, interactive simulations where human players compete against intelligent computer agents in facilities on the scale of Rensselaer’s Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. That is the future, and that is where Rensselaer graduates are headed.”

Launched in fall 2007, Rensselaer’s Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) undergraduate degree continues to prepare students to capitalize on — and successfully navigate — the explosive growth in the continually evolving games phenomenon. Rensselaer’s approach to games studies combines theory and practice, along with a strong emphasis on collaborative, interdisciplinary teamwork. The program is designed to help students to acquire a comprehensive understanding of interactive digital media, a balance of disciplinary competencies, and the mastery of a self-defined set of interrelated disciplinary challenges. Presently, 111 students are enrolled in the program.

Image Credit (top): Ian Stead

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“Rensselaer Ranks Among Nation’s
Top Schools for Game Design”
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