Of the roughly 500 programs at which students can study game design in the U.S. and Canada, The Princeton Review selected 50 programs based on a survey it conducted in 2009-10 of administrators at institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees. In an effort to design the survey instrument and methodology, a 10-member national advisory board was formed. Board members included administrators and faculty from respected game design programs, and professionals from some of the top gaming companies.
The comprehensive survey numbered more than 50 questions and covered areas from academics and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and career achievements. Criteria included the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities, and infrastructure. The publication also looked at data on scholarships, financial aid, and career opportunities.
Game Design at Rensselaer
Rensselaer’s GSAS program helps students 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. Gray also noted that interactive technology helps shape how young people learn, drives national defense strategies via computer simulations, and assists training efforts in physical fitness, biomedicine, and anti-terrorism, to name just a few of the practical applications of games and simulation arts.
Within the program, students gain an understanding of games from the broadest range of possible perspectives and play an active role in research and education in disciplines ranging from the visual and aural aspects of new media in the electronic arts, cognition and artificial intelligence in cognitive science, digital graphics and software development in computer science, experimental game design in psychology, human computer interaction and computer graphics in communication and the arts.