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Communications

New Certificate Gives Fundamentals of Game Design

By Jessica Harris

AU will host international game design and development conference to foster innovation, creativity.

With 2.5 billion in revenue, the gaming industry is evolving. Now more than ever the industry is about more just the entertainment and leisure. Companies today are interested in the ways games can influence and improve their business and other sectors.

American University now offers a certificate in Game Design. This adds a level to the success of the Master’s in Game Design Program that is already two years underway. The MA program has been ranked one of the top 30 in the nation by the Princeton Review.

The certificate program provides students with one-one interaction with faculty and application that can be used in several arenas. It serves as an entry to the MA program should the student choose. One way students are able to gain practice and develop their ideas is through the Game Lab.

AU Game Lab provides practice and partnership with some of the leading organizations. Through the lab students can play their way through research and innovative production. For example the lab previously partnered with Smithsonian American Art Museum for a pop-up arcade event. The event attracted an audience of almost 12,000 visitors. This provided a platform for game designers to showcase their work to a large audience and new way to see games as more than just entertainment.

One of those pop-up arcade participants was Cherisse Datu. Earlier this year she present at the GDC alongside another AU faculty member. Datu works as a digital editor at an ESPN news affiliate site called The Undefeated. For Datu the game program offered leverage in a blossoming career.

"I think of game developing as game storytelling. What is nice about The Undefeated, there is not backlash against games – like they are for children – its more they think interactives are cool and everyone likes them. I can think of a story – experiment with choose your own adventure in video format. It’s a low tech way to tell a story, using the technology we have,” she said in an interview.

The certificate offers a unique opportunity for those who may be working in other fields but have a desire to sharpen their skills or continue to pursue a passion.

Request information about the Certificate in Game Design