UT Martin introduces video game design certificate to begin in the fall

The University of Tennessee at Martin departments of computer science and visual and theatre arts have partnered to create a Video Game Design Certificate that will debut this fall for students and design professionals interested in entering the video game industry.

The certificate includes 18-hours of computer science and graphic design courses that will teach students video game theory, design, construction and development. Students earning the certificate will take courses such as graphic design, software development, 3D modeling and computer graphics, and video game design and development to produce their own computer video game.

The courses offered this fall will be taught online using free design programs students can utilize on their own computers.

The certificate was created in a joint effort by Dr. Windy Wang, assistant professor of art education and program coordinator, Dr. Joshua Guerin, associate professor and chair of computer science, Dr. Carol Eckert, professor and chair of visual and theatre arts, and Doug Cook, former chair of visual and theatre arts. Wang, who earned a master’s degree in Immersive Mediated Environments with a concentration in video game design and a Ph.D. in art education from Indiana University, will lead the program with the support of the computer science department.

“One of the main goals for developing this certificate program is that we wanted to benefit our students. We want them to have a chance to learn … how to be digitally skillful so they will be able to get a job,” said Wang.

According to the Video Game Design Certificate webpage, “The program provides opportunities for creative and technical-minded students to explore multimedia tools, skills and applications that are essential to staying competitive in today’s gaming culture.”

Wang, Guerin and Eckert encourage students across campus to participate in the program as the video games designers will need help from multiple disciplines, such as history, English and music majors, to develop characters, backstories, musical scores and more.

“We’re very excited about this program, and we think it’s going to interest a lot of students,” said Guerin. “I see creative new programs as an important way for us to grow at UT Martin.”

“This is the future. It is absolutely the future,” said Eckert about the design certificate. “I think we will see it grow rapidly.”

For more information, visit www.utm.edu/gamedesign or contact Wang at twang42@utm.edu.

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