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Games:EDU:08 North: Dr. Mike Reddy


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Mike Reddy was a good speaker, asking provocative questions. In particular, he challenged Skillsets focus on vocational skills and stressed the importance of research.

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Games:EDU:08 North: Dr. Mike Reddy

  1. 1. Industry as Publishers, Universities as Developers Dr. Mike Reddy University of Wales, Newport [email_address]
  2. 2. “ Oh the Cowman and the Farmer should be Friends” Or… why the Games Industry and Academics should be closer… … but not too close! Turn on your MOBILES! Txt 0797******* to comment [email_address]
  3. 3. 24/7 Summary <ul><li>24 seconds: START…! </li></ul>[email_address] 7 words: “ I need land… … Don’t fence me in!” Dean Martin, adapted song lyric from “Don’t fence me in” 24 seconds: STOP!
  4. 4. Cowman/Farmer conflict <ul><li>Publishers… </li></ul><ul><li>95% about profit, with as little risk as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Ruthless in culling “no starters” and elitist in choosing dev’ partners </li></ul><ul><li>Understand developers make bad games and willing to give advice </li></ul><ul><li>Want to own the Intellectual Property </li></ul><ul><li>Have very tight deadlines and changing markets </li></ul><ul><li>Developers… </li></ul><ul><li>95% about turn over, with little chance for profit </li></ul><ul><li>Most products under development do not make it to final production </li></ul><ul><li>Or fail in the market place, with 1 in 4 (?) successful AAA titles </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property lost to the money men </li></ul><ul><li>Have very tight deadlines and changing platforms </li></ul>[email_address]
  5. 5. Cowman/Farmer conflict <ul><li>Industry… </li></ul><ul><li>95% about recruitment, with no scope for risk </li></ul><ul><li>Ruthless in culling “no starters” and elitist in choosing graduates </li></ul><ul><li>Understand academics make bad courses and willing to give advice </li></ul><ul><li>Want to control the Curriculum (e.g. Skillset) </li></ul><ul><li>Have very tight deadlines and changing job needs </li></ul><ul><li>Universities… </li></ul><ul><li>95% about turn over, with little chance for profit </li></ul><ul><li>Most student under-graduates may not make it to final employment </li></ul><ul><li>Or fail in the recruitment place, with 1 in 4 (?) successful in getting a job </li></ul><ul><li>Course Content lost to the vocational focus </li></ul><ul><li>Have very tight deadlines and changing pressures </li></ul>[email_address]
  6. 6. Some things to ponder… <ul><li>Should we count as success the students who decide NOT to go into the games industry, as well as those who successfully get gaming jobs? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it the job of a University to fill short-term recruitment problems? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we square team work experience against traditional individual assessment? </li></ul>[email_address]
  7. 7. How Industry could harm us <ul><li>Liverpool sculptor Arthur Dooley, on questioning the 60s plan to destroy rows of terraced houses, and the destruction of whole communities – </li></ul><ul><li>AD: “Did the locals mind?” </li></ul><ul><li>Archtect: “No. Consultations had taken place and the residents had raised no objections at all.” </li></ul><ul><li>AD: “Well, There's no-one as easy to rob of their culture as those that don't know they've got one.” </li></ul><ul><li>There is an often invisible culture to Academia </li></ul>[email_address]
  8. 8. Games Degree? <ul><li>Trip Hawkins, founder of EA, 3DO and Digital Chocolate: </li></ul><ul><li>First ever games graduate with a degree in “Strategic and Applied Game Theory” </li></ul><ul><li>From Harvard! The ultimate generic course with bit of games content thrown in </li></ul><ul><li>What do WE want from a Games Degree? </li></ul><ul><li>Employer? Employee? Life-long Learner? </li></ul>[email_address]
  9. 9. A Job Advert? <ul><li>Game programming/artist wannabe wanted: </li></ul><ul><li>0 years industry experience </li></ul><ul><li>No portfolio to speak of </li></ul><ul><li>Must be incapable of eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>No ability to work in a team necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>No, NOT likely is it? So, how do we best prepare graduates for the industry? </li></ul>[email_address]
  10. 10. A Quote on Assessment <ul><li>Student: &quot;Professor Einstein, the questions you put on this year's final exam are the same ones you gave us last year.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Einstein: &quot;Yes, I know, but last year the answers were different.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Newport (and others!) emphasis is focussed on portfolio development and LOTS and LOTS of inter-disciplinary group work </li></ul><ul><li>Over ¾ of degree is Games specific, but… </li></ul>[email_address]
  11. 11. Skillset? <ul><li>Standards are good… </li></ul><ul><li>… and the more there are the better! </li></ul><ul><li>Any system is better than none… </li></ul><ul><li>… but only just! </li></ul><ul><li>How many people here are Game Developers? Ex-developers? Christians? </li></ul>[email_address]
  12. 12. Søren Kierkegaard 1811-1855 <ul><li>Father of Existentialism and severe critic of Denmark Church & Danish Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Championed the concept of ‘becoming’ by constant doing. </li></ul>[email_address]
  13. 13. Image References <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>[email_address]
  14. 14. “ Don’t Fence Me In!” <ul><li>Games development is a valid method for increasing motivation and a useful educational resource for teaching ‘hard’ disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Industry requirement for key Transferable Skills allows slow moving HE institutions to be leveraged into looking at new learning and assessment techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Freedom is the best route to wider social acceptance and cultural penetration </li></ul><ul><li>Does a Virus really understand Biology? </li></ul>[email_address]