Getting into the Game: Despite the Fast-Growing and Lucrative Landscape, of Video Game Designing, Minority Students Are Finding Themselves with Limited Options in the Field

By Galuszka, Peter | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, March 19, 2009 | Go to article overview

Getting into the Game: Despite the Fast-Growing and Lucrative Landscape, of Video Game Designing, Minority Students Are Finding Themselves with Limited Options in the Field


Galuszka, Peter, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Malcolm Perdue faces a dilemma as challenging as the computer games he loves to play. The 19-year-old student at Atlanta Metropolitan College

wants to learn how to become a game designer. Not only would doing so be a lot of fun, designers can make $80,000 a year early in their careers.

But his school has limited options in the field. Nearby Georgia Institute of Technology and the Savannah College of Art and Design, which has an Atlanta campus, offer full curricula in game design, but SCAD costs nearly $28,000 a year in tuition alone, and Georgia Tech demands high math scores. "Right now, I am focusing on my school," Perdue says.

Indeed, minority students may find their options limited for what is a fast-growing and lucrative field. According to the Entertainment Software Association, game sales have reached $9.5 billion, triple what they were in 1996. The average age of players is 35, and 40 percent are women. By some accounts, before the economic downturn, gaming was growing at a rate of 24 percent year and had been offering 822,000 new jobs as companies such as Bandai Namco to catch up with leaders like Sony and Nintendo.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

According to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), a trade group based in New Jersey, some 80 percent of the designers are White, 4 percent are Hispanic, and 3 percent are Black Asked about the discrepancy, Joseph Sapp, community liaison for IGDA, says "there's a concerted effort all around to get more people involved in game design."

Yet few historically Black colleges and universities offer much in the way of computer gaming, which can involve a range of specialties from graphic de sign, to computer programming to marketing and accounting. For example, Howard University's College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences offers only two courses in game design and none at the graduate level. Many schools that do offer such courses in the field are fine art schools or heavy-weight engineering universities such as Georgia Tech or Carnegie Mellon University. Distance educators such as DeVry or the University of Phoenix are also options.

Experts are aware of the lack of minorities in the game design field and say they are working for improvements. "Gaming is a wonderful opportunity to bring nontraditional students into various fields of college study,' says Dr. Keith Moo-Young, dean of the California State University, Los Angeles College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology. "It's a great way to lure minority students into fields such as art, engineering and computer science all at once. Once you get in, you are exposed to all three,' he says.

Moo-Young's school is in an unusual position to help minorities get into gaming as its student body is diverse. Specifically, 53 percent are Hispanic, 22 percent are Asian and 9 percent are Black.

Among the school's course curricula are two sequential courses in engineering and design and programming language. Also offered are courses in cartoon animation and robotics. CSU Los Angeles also partners with nearby University of Southern California in various aspects of gaming design. The institution is ideally located in California, a major center for the industry that features such game-producing firms as EA Sports, Sony, PIXAR and DreamWorks.

Professionals offer cautionary tales, however. "There are a lot of colleges who say they are offering some design work and they have jumped on the bandwagon, but what are they offering," says Steve Waddell, founder of I Support Learning, a private education company in Olathe, Kan.

His firm tries to spark interest in game designing at early stages, such as middle school. For example, his firm goes into the Kansas City, Mo., school system and offers workshops and two-week courses in game design for 4,000 middle-school students and their teachers. If the program centers around inner-city school children in Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City or Orlando, as many as 100 percent of the participating students are minorities.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Getting into the Game: Despite the Fast-Growing and Lucrative Landscape, of Video Game Designing, Minority Students Are Finding Themselves with Limited Options in the Field
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.